Stokely Carmichael expounds on “black power” idea in 1967 at Michigan State University
|4th Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee|
May 1966 â€“ June 1967
|Preceded by||John Lewis|
|Succeeded by||H. Rap Brown|
June 29, 1941
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
|Died||November 15, 1998
|Education||The Bronx High School of Science (1960)|
|Alma mater||Howard University
(B.A., Philosophy, 1964)
Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom.
I knew that I could vote and that that wasn't a privilege; it was my right. Every time I tried I was shot, killed or jailed, beaten or economically deprived.
Integration is a man's ability to want to move in there by himself. If someone wants to live in a white neighborhood and he is black, that is his choice. It should be his rights. It is not because white people will not allow him.
An organization which claims to be working for the needs of a community – as SNCC does – must work to provide that community with a position of strength from which to make its voice heard. This is the significance of black power beyond the slogan.
Leaders in Africa are so corrupt that we are certain if we put dogs in uniforms and put guns on their shoulders, we'd be hard put to distinguish them.
Black power can be clearly defined for those who do not attach the fears of white America to their questions about it.
Now we maintain that we cannot be afford to be concerned about 6 percent of the children in this country, black children, who you allow to come into white schools. We have 94 percent who still live in shacks. We are going to be concerned about those 94 percent.
We had no more courage than Harriet Tubman or Marcus Garvey had in their times. We just had a more vulnerable enemy.
Seems to me that the institutions that function in this country are clearly racist, and that they're built upon racism.
So that the failures to pass a civil rights bill isn't because of Black Power, isn't because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; it's not because of the rebellions that are occurring in the major cities.
I usually say I did the best I could with what I had. I have no major regrets.
There is a higher law than the law of government. That's the law of conscience.
There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites.
One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up to now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young black people in the urban ghetto.
The masses don't shed their blood for the benefit of a few individuals.
Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation's out of breath. We ain't running no more.
The philosophers Camus and Sartre raise the question whether or not a man can condemn himself.
It is a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.
I maintain that every civil rights bill in this country was passed for white people, not for black people.
I also know that while I am black I am a human being, and therefore I have the right to go into any public place. White people didn't know that. Every time I tried to go into a place they stopped me.