Jun. 16, 2021

June 16, 1966 - Black Power Introduced- Stokely Carmichael - Greenwood, Mississippi

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 black militancy tone arrived 55 year-ago today, an entire generation of young black men and women began a renewed systematic battle against those deemed as enemies towards a people’s goal of black power. What was launched by those enemies representing local, state and federal government forces to disrupt black power what a concerted strategy to not only kill the movement but also kill the voices who incited black power. 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 thriving 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.