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Stokely Carmichael

Carmichael, Stokely, 1941–98, African-American social activist, b. Trinidad. He lived in New York City after 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). His increasingly separatist politics isolated him from most of the civil-rights movement, and he emigrated to Conakry, Guinea, in 1969. There he spent the rest of his life, calling himself a pan-African revolutionary but largely relegated to the political fringe. He changed his name to Kwame Ture, and was briefly married to the singer Miriam Makeba. His memoir Ready for Revolution was posthumously published in 2003.

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

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