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Stokely Carmichael


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.

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