Stokely Carmichael and Allen Ginsberg.

Audio:

Part 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2

Notes:

Image of Carmichael with Ginsberg courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives.

 Image of Carmichael alone. Original caption:  Stokley Carmichael, Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee speaks to reporters in Atlanta, Georgia. May 23, 1966.  Copyright: Bettmann/Corbis.

Stokely Carmichael

Date: 
Mar. 4, 1964
Related Documents: 
Stokely Carmichael
Stokely Carmichael Bio

Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) was a civil rights activist. Carmichael spent his first 11 years in his native Trinidad before moving to Harlem in 1952 to join his parents. Carmichael attended Howard University, and by the end of his freshman year he joined the Freedom Rides of the Congress of Racial Equality. After graduating from Howard, Carmichael joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and worked in Lowndes County, Alabama, where he helped register black voters. Carmichael was chosen chairman of SNCC in 1966. In the late 1960s Carmichael began to vocally express frustration with the nonviolent tactics of many civil rights groups, popularizing the slogan "Black Power." Carmichael moved to Guinea in 1969, where he spent most of the last thirty years of his life. Once in Guinea, Carmichael changed his name to Kwame Ture to honor two African socialist leaders who befriended him.

Image: Original caption: Stokley Carmichael, Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee speaks to reporters in Atlanta, Georgia. May 23, 1966.  Copyright: Bettmann/Corbis.

Abstract

Carmichael describes his early life and education. Carmichael briefly discusses southern literature, including works by William Faulkner, considering whether Faulkner uses negative stereotypes of African Americans to describe black characters in his novels. He also considers whether black writers feel pressure to write a specific type of novel. Carmichael discusses his earliest involvement in the civil rights movement and his first opinions of, and encounters with, student activists in the South. Carmichael describes his choice to attend Howard as sparked by his involvement with civil rights activists in Virginia and Washington, D.C., and he discusses his participation in the first Freedom Ride and the mob violence and arrest he encountered during that event. Carmichael describes his interactions with several white jailers after his arrest in Mississippi. Carmichael questions the value of school busing, and he shares some thoughts on Malcolm X and Milton Galamison. Carmichael labels calls for preferential treatment for African Americans "nonsensical," and he considers the use of black reprisals for acts of violence by whites. He also discusses the leadership and tactics of the civil rights movement.

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