Feb. 27, 2020

June 16, 1966 - Black Power Introduced- Stokely Carmichael - The Meredith March

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) who lived a life of passion, determination, perseverance, and dedication to the cause of international black people's progress. Once identified by J. Edgar Hoover as "the most dangerous man in America", also identified by the sitting United States President as an enemy of the state. Stokely whose every move was cataloged by surveillance agents of the FBI, CIA, and the Defense Department simply because on June 16, 1966, Stokely Carmichael awoke a black nation of young movers and shakers with these two words, black power. I celebrate the date of Stokely Carmichael's powerful pronouncement by revisiting that day with the words of his impassioned plea that shook not only Black America but the very foundations of White America. Let us honor Stokely's memory by continuing the fight for true international civil rights for all peoples of color.​

Greenwood, Mississippi
Meredith March Against Fear

On June 16, 1966, Stokely Carmichael changed the course of the American Civil Rights Movement for African Americans in the muggy evening air in Greenwood, Mississippi with two powerful words, Black Power.

"Those two words embolden the youths in America's black communities to thrust themselves into a new militancy.
Those two words implied that no longer would our communities wait for a change.
Those two words demanded change."

So, when this new black militancy arrived a generation of black men and women began renewed systematic battle that was launched by local, state and federal government forces to disrupt those calls for change. Stokely Carmichael was at the head of these new agents of change. Stokely had been a non-violent advocate for civil rights freedom now he was demanding that change must come at any cost. It was those two words that identified Stokely Carmichael as Public Enemy Number by every white agency of black suppression. The racial lines had been clearly drawn the mechanisms of law enforcement sought to destroy not only Stokely Carmichael but also every entity that aligned with this newly minted philosophy.

America's urban areas became battlegrounds as well as areas that saw an influx of ​guns and drugs delivered by a government that conjured up methods of destruction that literally erased complete black communities. These strategies cause widespread death, incarceration, increased poverty, and delivered blows to our communities still being felt 53 years later. Two words put the fear into the white establishment that an empowered people would force positive changes in black communities. Those positive changes that Carmichael envisioned still are unattainable today. Yet we hope that power in blackness will be achieved.