Additional Information on Stokely Carmichael

  • In the mid-Sixties, Carmichael helped promote the slogan “Black is Beautiful” and the word “honkie” (as a derogatory term for whites, to parallel the epithet “nigger”).
  • In 1967 a Senate subcommittee asked Carmichael whether he had any knowledge of Communist Party USA attempts to infiltrate SNCC. He replied, “I will plead the Fifth [Amendment] on that.”
  • In 1967 Carmichael asserted that “the [communist] system we like best is the Cuban,” and he identified his three greatest heroes as Malcolm X, Che Guevara, and Mao Zedong. Calling Guevara “an inspiration not only to black people inside the United States, but to the liberation struggle around the world,” Carmichael approvingly quoted the Cuban guerrilla leader’s declaration that “hatred is an element of the struggle, transforming [man] into an effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machine.”
  • Some leaders of established civil-rights groups such as the NAACP, the National Urban League, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference rejected Carmichael’s militant rhetoric as counterproductive.
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