Carmichael, Stokely

Carmichael, Stokely, 1941–98, African-American social activist, b. Trinidad. He lived in New York City from 1952 and graduated from Howard Univ. in 1964. Carmichael participated in the Congress of Racial Equality's freedom rides in 1961, and by 1964 was a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Alabama. As SNCC chair in 1966, he ejected more moderate leaders and set off a storm of controversy by calling for black power, a concept he elaborated in a 1967 book (with C. Hamilton). He was also an anti-Vietnam War activist, and railed against both racial and economic injustice. His increasingly separatist politics isolated Carmichael from most of the civil-rights movement. He immigrated to Guinea in 1969 and spent the rest of his life there, calling himself a pan-African revolutionary but largely relegated to the political fringe. He changed his name to Kwame Ture, and was married briefly to the singer Miriam Makeba . His memoir Ready for Revolution was posthumously published in 2003.

See biography by P. E. Joseph (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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