Nov. 20, 2020

Remembering Stokely

In 1966, Stokely Carmichael was the national leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he was a graduate of Howard University, he was a veteran of the fight for civil rights for sharecroppers in the Delta southern states of Alabama and Mississippi, he was one of the leaders of the original Black Panthers political party in Lowndes County Alabama. He was also identified by President Lyndon Baines Johnson and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as the most dangerous black man in America after his speech in Greenwood, Mississippi that initiated the call for Black Power. His very name on a rostrum or a program initiated law enforcement agencies from federal, state, or municipal authorities to take action to suppress his voice. It’s not hard to imagine that Stokely Carmichael didn’t live a long enduring life due to the extreme and relentless pressure he faced attempting to face down the proponents of white supremacy. I grew up in the age of Kwame Turi and learned from him not to accept anything less than what I was due as a Blackman. It’s been 22 years this week since Stokely Carmichael passed away on 11/15/1998 and I didn’t want this week to pass without reading his famous speech from that field in Greenwood, Mississippi on that muggy evening in June of 1966.