Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Perry Ray Robinson, Jr., a civil Rights activist, travelled to South Dakota from Alabama, to participate in the American Indian Movement (AIM) takeover of Wounded Knee. Robinson, well known within civil rights circles, traveled to Wounded Knee with the intention of preaching his message of nonviolence and building a bridge between Indians and African-Americans.
The activist and follower of Martin Luther King Jr. never made it home to Bogue Chitto, Alabama. He was declared dead, but his body never was found and little is known about what happened.
Two Native Americans were confirmed to have died during the 1973 siege, and rumors of other deaths persist. Anna Mae Aquash's body was discovered three years after the standoff. In 2004, 28 years after Aquash’s body was found, two men were convicted for her murder. The evidence also indicated she was shot because AIM members believed she was an FBI informant.
FBI documents that now are public suggest the possibility of people buried at Wounded Knee during the occupation. As recently as 2000, the Minneapolis office of the FBI developed information that the civil rights activist was killed by “militant members of the American Indian Movement.”
Robinson likely was at Wounded Knee for just a day. His wife was told Robinson backpacked into Wounded Knee at night and was later shot for not following an order to immediately report to AIM co-founder Dennis Banks. According to his wife, Robinson’s nonviolent approach probably was not well received at what was a violent situation, and it’s possible AIM members incorrectly suspected he was a federal informant.
Robinson was married and a father of three at the time. Perry Ray Robinson Jr. was in Washington in 1963 for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and attended the 1964 funeral of three white civil rights workers killed in Mississippi. In 1968, Robinson was among the protesters who set up Resurrection City, a camp at the Washington Mall.
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