Richard Gibson Reports. International News & Features [10 Issues, with Signed TLS]. Richard Gibson.
Richard Gibson Reports. International News & Features [10 Issues, with Signed TLS]
Richard Gibson Reports. International News & Features [10 Issues, with Signed TLS]

Richard Gibson Reports. International News & Features [10 Issues, with Signed TLS]

London: Richard Gibson, 1967-68. 4to, each issue mimeographed from typescript on offset printed letterhead on rectos only, and stapled once at the upper left hand corner. With TLS, a single sheet on Liberator stationary, with the address deleted. [Gibson had worked as an editor for LIberator, along with Leroi Jones and others].

Ten issues of the fugitive newsletter issued by Richard Gibson, one of the more complicated and intriguing figures of his era. Gibson, along with James Baldwin, Chester Himes and Richard Wright, was one of the African-American intellectuals who escaped America to Paris after the war. He eventually fell out with Wright after pressuring him to speak out against the French government on the Algeria question. Gibson is the subject of an unpublished roman à clef by Wright, entitled Island of Hallucination, in which he appears as the "superspy" Bill Hart. The book has still not been published, but 2006 a copy was given to James Baldwin's biographer James Campbell by Gibson himself, who refused to divulge how he had acquired it.

Gibson, whose code name was QRPHONE/1, had begun working with the CIA as early as 1962. At that time he had recently quit the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which he had co-founded, and sent an anonymous letter to the agency on FPCC stationary proposing a meeting. The next year, after the assassination of JFK, Gibson was questioned about Lee Harvey Oswald about his relationship and correspondence with the group. Gibson would go on to work for the agency for decades. Among his responsibilities was monitoring the activities of Amiri Baraka. While there were rumors about the possibility of being a spy, Gibson continued to deny them, even successfully suing to stop publication of a book which outed him.

It was the Lee Harvey Oswald connection that finally exposed Gibson. In 1977, the House Select Copmmittee on Assassinations asked to see Gibson's CIA file. The agency released only a small portion of the file but it then became part of the JFK files. In 1992, Congress passed a law mandating the release of the JFK files within 25 years, which is how the world learned of Gibson's work for the agency. It is rare for the CIA to release files on a living figure, and there is supposition that the CIA may have been seeking revenge upon Gibson for an unknown reason.

Gibson is still alive, but has refused to make any statements to the press following the release of the JFK files.

The TLS is addressed to a Belgian press agency, and salutes them for "your concern for the national liberation of oppressed peoples... Revolutionary reporting of these crucial struggles against imperialism, led by the United States, is a powerful weapon... Speaking personally as an Afro-American journalist, let me express my sincere best wishes for your continued success in this venture..."

The subjects of the newsletters include Russia and AAPSO, John NYati Pokela, Tanzania and Oscar Kambona, Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah, COREMO in Mozambique, GRAE and Angola, The Organization of Africa Unity and their rejection of Israeli donations, the World Church Council, and other subjects.

Rare. OCLC locates only a single holding worldwide. Item #28878

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