Founded in 1919 by a West Indian radical
named Cyril Briggs in response to the mass lynching
s and race riots that bloodied the United States in the early 1900s.
The group, also known as the ABB, set in stone many the philosophies that Malcolm X and The Black Panthers would later echo. The ABB promoted armed self-defense for blacks against murderous white mobs. At its height, it claimed 50,000 members and 150 branches although there are no exisiting records to verify this claim.
The ABB was largely an underground organization and had ties to the Communist Party. Eventually, the Communist Party dissolved the ABB in an effort to improve their reputation in the 1920s.