H. Rap Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on 4th October 1943. While attending Southern University (1960 to 1964) he joined the civil rights organization, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He became Alabama project director in 1966 and national director of SNCC after Stokely Carmichael left in May, 1967.
By 1968 Brown had completely abandoned his pacifist beliefs and joined the Black Panther Party. He quickly developed a reputation for extremist views reflected in his book, Die Nigger Die! (1969). Associated with the rallying call, "Burn, Baby, Burn", Brown was arrested and charged with inciting people to riot and committing arson. He was also accused of importation of a weapon into Louisiana.
Imprisoned several times between 1967 and 1970, Brown was eventually shot and captured by New York City police during an armed robbery. Sentenced to a term of from five to fifteen years in Attica Prison, Brown was paroled in 1976. Converting to Islam, he changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin.
After his release in 1976 Al-Amin became a grocery store owner in Atlanta. He also became leader of the National Ummah, one of America's largest black Muslim groups.
In March, 2000, two police officers, Aldranon English and Ricky Kinchen went to Al-Amin's store to arrest him for theft. Al-Amin opened fire on the officers with an assault rifle. Both officers were wounded. Evidence was produced in court that while Kitchen lay bleeding Al-Amin produced a 9mm handgun and shot him three times. Two years later Al-Amin was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.