BHM: Conspicuous Carmichael

BHM: Conspicuous Carmichael

Ismail Taylor-Kamara, sports editor-in-chief

Kwame Ture, or more formally known as Stokely Carmichael, was a Trinidadian-American civil rights activist mostly known for leading the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. What most people don’t know is Carmichael was the first person to coin the phrase: “Black Power.” Young Ture made his first quest to fix racial injustice at the end of his freshman year at Howard University in 1960. He had joined the Freedom Rides of the Congress of Racial Equality, which were hazardous bus trips of blacks and whites that challenged segregated interstate travel in the South. One early arrest brought him a particularly harsh 49-day sentence in Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi.

Upon graduation from Howard University, Carmichael joined SNCC. In his first few years as a field organizer, Carmichael’s rhetoric helped to raise the number of registered black voters in Lowndes County, Alabama from 70 to 2600 voters. Carmichael’s contributions to the Black Community seized to stop there. In 1966, 25 year old Carmichael was elected the chairman of the SNCC. Carmichael’s story doesn’t stop there. After his 27th arrest, Carmichael finally declared, “Black Power!”, and the rest was history.