Ray Robinson (activist) – Wikipedia – Ray Robinson (born Perry Ray Robinson; 12 September 1937 – approx. 25 April 1973), was an American civil rights activist from Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. He had been active in Mississippi and Washington, DC, supporting the March on Washington and the Poor People’s Campaign. He disappeared while participating in the 1973 American Indian Movement resistance in the Wounded Knee incident on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
His family never saw him again, and his wife believed he was killed there. She struggled to get Robinson’s disappearance investigated. In 2014 the FBI confirmed that Robinson had been killed and buried on the reservation in April 1973; it released redacted documents to the Robinson family under a Freedom of Information Act suit, including redacted interviews with cooperating witnesses. His remains have not been found. The FBI said it had closed his case.
indiancountrynews.com // Bernie Lafferty speaks about Ray Robinson’s killing inside Wounded Knee 1973 – Indian Country News – The following interview was not conducted by Paul DeMain of News From Indian Country, nor was it provided to federal authorities by him as falsely claimed (or as Hendricks wrote “probably”) in Hendricks’ book loaded with AIM alibi’s: The Unquiet Grave.
According to Dennis Banks, Ray Robinson was buried at Wounded Knee by Cris Westerman, the brother of Floyd Westerman. The family, through the wife of Ray Robinson, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson has indicated to federal authorities that they do not prefer to pursue charges in the case, but would appreciate if the Pine Ridge Lakota would repatriate the remains of Ray Robinson back to their rightful owners. Federal authorities have generally ignored the death of Robinson both because of issues revolving around the inability to get truthful information from key AIM leaders, and/or what has been termed a non-premeditated death, meaning the statute of limitations on any potential prosecution has expired.
The real problem for AIM, is the repeated rumors that if anybody found Robinson’s grave at Wounded Knee and dug it up, he wouldn’t be the only one they would find buried there. News From Indian Country has reviewed the existence of both FBI and WKLDOC documents referring to additional victims buried at Wounded knee in 1973 and has interviewed additional sources involved with the Wounded Knee occupation, as occupiers in 1973 whose names do not appear here. Reports about missing persons were also produced by private investigators Lake Headley and Jeanne Davies, and provided to attorney Ken Tilsen, Luke McKissack and the late attorney Ramon Roubideaux.
ERIC KONIGSBERG // Who Killed Anna Mae? – The New York Times – Aquash had been having an affair with Banks the year she disappeared. Although he was in a common-law marriage with someone else, Aquash was convinced that she was his true match. They met almost three years earlier at the siege of Wounded Knee, a 10-week armed standoff between residents of Pine Ridge who opposed the tribal government and agents from the National Guard, the U.S. Marshals Service and the F.B.I. (Wounded Knee was chosen because that was where more than 200 Indians were killed by the U.S. Cavalry in 1890.) When she heard about the revolt there, Aquash, a Mikmaq Indian from Canada, left her two young daughters with her sister in Boston and traveled to join AIM volunteers who had taken up the cause. “These white people think this country belongs to them,” Aquash wrote in a letter to her sister at the time. “The whole country changed with only a handful of raggedy-ass pilgrims that came over here in the 1500s. And it can take a handful of raggedy-ass Indians to do the same, and I intend to be one of those raggedy-ass Indians.” On her first night in South Dakota, Banks told her that newcomers were needed on kitchen duty. “Mr. Banks,” she replied, “I didn’t come here to wash dishes. I came here to fight.”
“Ray Robinson: Whatever happened to the civil rights activist at Wounded Knee? – Missing Persons of America” ( http://twitthat.com/KN4tt ) // In a May 1973 FBI memo a Native America woman who left the village said there were 200 Indians, 11 whites and two blacks. A black woman from Alabama was accounted for and the other black which is assumed to have been Robinson has never been.
Although Ray has been declared dead, his body has never been located and no one knows what happened to him after he arrived in South Dakota.
Over the years, Buswell-Robinson has heard many stories about what happened to her husband. She was told her husband was killed by federally backed vigilantes and another story said he was killed because he was accused of being a federal informant. She was also told that Robinson entered Wounded Knee at night and was shot for not following an order to report to Dennis Banks. AIM member Richard Two Elk told the Associated Press in 2004 that he saw someone shoot Robinson in the knees because he would not pick up a gun and was bothering people in the bunker. AIM leader, Carter Camp, said years later that Robinson had walked away under his own power, seeking medical help for his wounded leg.
Killed at Wounded Knee? – [object CPOW [Today is 1/16/04. The following article was written by Carson Walker.]
Detroit (AP) – As prosecutors probe the 1975 killing of American Indian Movement member Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, they might unearth details of the unsolved death of a black civil rights activist two years earlier at Wounded Knee.
Ray Robinson left his home in Bogue Chitto, Ala., for South Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation in April 1973 to answer a call from AIM for help but never returned, said his widow, Cheryl Robinson, 59, of Detroit.
That was during a 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee by AIM members and supporters that included the exchange of gunfire with federal agents who surrounded the village.
Robinson, 35, later was declared dead. But his body never was found.
“Reliable sources let it be known positively that Ray had been shot and killed at Wounded Knee by an Indian man and buried there. We have been told that a participant in Wounded Knee has heard a definite confession from the man who did it,” Cheryl Robinson wrote in a February 1975 request for a meeting with AIM. ]
Steve Hendricks, counterpunch.org // The Conflicted Legacy of Dennis Banks: AIM, the FBI and the Murder of Anna Mae Aquash – Astonishingly enough, theirs was not the only family Banks abused in just this way. During the siege of Wounded Knee, a black activist named Ray Robinson had come to the village to stand with the militants and had immediately and wrongly fallen under suspicion of being an informer. AIM members seized him, interrogated him, and shot and killed him. Whether the shot was intentional or an accidental misfire of a weapon pointed at him remains a mystery, but credible witnesses say that several leaders, including Banks and Means, conspired about what to do with Robinson’s body. By one account, it was Banks himself who ordered Robinson buried in the hills around Wounded Knee. Like Aquash’s daughters, Robinson’s widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson, tried for decades to learn how her husband died. A civil rights activist herself, she had no interest in undermining AIM or even having the killers prosecuted. She just wanted answers.
At one point in her searches, an AIM member told her it had been Banks who summoned Robinson to his interrogation, but when she tried to reach Banks to discuss the charge, he refused to talk to her. In 2004, as these details came to light, I tried to ask Banks about Robinson’s death and he refused to talk to me too. Other reporters got no more from him. Once again, his cowardice outstripped his compassion.
None of this is to say that Banks’s wrongs outweigh those of the FBI. Absent the FBI’s work pitting activist against activist, no activists would have been killed. But Banks and company were entirely to blame for succumbing to the FBI’s provocation. They didn’t have to. The black civil rights leaders who marched with King didn’t, which is one reason why their movement didn’t fall apart while AIM’s did. In the end, the stupidity and brutality of men such as Banks hurt not only their own legacies but the lot of all Indians, who live to this day in an endless economic depression and who endure a racism that surpasses even that which black Americans daily endure. A better Banks, a better Means might have given Indians a better life.
FBI confirms black activist Ray Robinson was killed during 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee – CBS News – The hundreds of pages of reports provided to Buffalo, N.Y., attorney Michael Kuzma and shared with The Associated Press on Wednesday shed new light on the 40-year-old case of Ray Robinson, an activist and follower of Martin Luther King Jr. But the documents fall short of pinpointing where Robinson was buried and do little to fulfill his family’s wish to have the remains brought home to Detroit.
Desiree Marks, who’s held out hope for 40 years that she’d see her father again, said she was crushed by the FBI’s confirmation of his death.
“I’ve always thought that might not be the case. He may come home. He may be alive. He may, he may, he may,” Marks told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “And yesterday, when I was reading the documents it was very difficult. It made it real final.”
AIM co-founder Clyde Bellecourt said Wednesday that he was only in Wounded Knee for 51 days and knew nothing of Robinson.