Turé (a.k.a. Stokely Carmichael) was born on June 29, 1941 in
Trinidad. He moved to New York with his parents at a young age. We
must always remember Brother Kwamé’s contributions to
the worldwide African Liberation Movement.
the morning of November 15, 1998 it was learned that Kwamé
Turé had made his transition into eternity in Conakry, Guinea.
with the late Henry English of the Black United Fund of Illinois (the
administrator of the Kwamé Turé Medical Fund),
Saraduzayi Sevanhu of the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party
(A-APRP), we were fortunate and honored to attend the memorial
tribute and burial of Brother Kwamé on November 22nd in
Conakry, Guinea where Kwamé had lived, worked, studied,
taught, and struggled for thirty years.
the late 1960s, Brother Kwamé Turé was one of the chief
spokespersons and organizers for the All African Peoples
Revolutionary Party (A-APRP), where he had lived in the Republic of
Guinea in West Africa. While in Guinea, Brother Kwamé studied
with, and worked under the guidance of the late President of Guinea,
Ahmed Sekou Turé and the late President of Ghana, Osagyefo
people throughout the world began to hear of Kwamé (a.k.a.
Stokely Carmichael) during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s
where he participated in the first Freedom Rides and many sit-ins and
origin of Kwamé’s participation in the Civil Rights
Movement began during his high school years at Bronx High School of
Science where he graduated in 1960. Kwamé always had a
tendency to be active around the movement circles in New York while
in high school and this continued when he enrolled at Howard
University in 1960.
source documents reveal that, “In the Winter of 1960, Black
college students in dozens of communities across this country
conducted sit-ins to secure the desegregation of lunch counters in
drug and variety stores.” These sources go on to explain that,
“Arrest numbered in the thousands. On every major college
campus in this country, students organized groups such as NAG (The
Non Violent Action Group) at Howard University to continue the Sit-In
Movement.” Kwamé was a founding member of NAG and was
one of its early leaders.
of this student activism, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC) was formed at Shaw University in April 1960. SNCC
and its student base provided ground troops for almost every major
Civil Rights Demonstrations and Campaign during the 1960s period of
the Movement. Kwamé was one of the three hundred “Freedom
Riders” that were arrested “in Mississippi and Alabama
during the Spring and Summer of 1961. From that point on, Kwamé
participated in every major campaign that emerged.
came to the public’s attention on November 16, 1965 when Look
Magazine featured an article entitled, “Freedom Road,”
that mentioned Kwamé’s role as an organizer and leader
months later, in June of 1966, Ebony Magazine historian and
writer, Lerone Bennett, Jr. wrote an article featuring Kwamé.
Brother Bennett observed in this article that (a.k.a. Carmichael)
Kwamé, like “No other young man, with the exception of
Martin Luther King, Jr. has risen so fast so quickly. No other young
man has sparked such an avalanche of hope, fear, anger, and public
concern.” Bennett asked the question, “Who is this young
man? What does he want? What does he mean by Black Power?”
primary source documents explain that, “In April, 1966, at the
Kingston Spring SNCC staff meeting (a.k.a. Stokely) was elected
chairman, ushering in a new level and direction for both the
organization and the larger movement of which it was an integral
part.” These same sources indicated that, “In June, after
James Meredith was gunned down on a highway in Mississippi, (a.k.a.
Stokely) sounded the new Black mood.” This is what Kwamé
said: “The only way we are gonna stop them white men from
whippin’ us is to take over. We been saying freedom for six
years and we ain’t got nothing. What we gonna start saying now
is BLACK POWER!!"
was one of the leading advocates of Pan-Africanism through his
leadership in the A-APRP. Since the late 1960s, Kwamé has
traveled throughout the world lecturing and organizing African people
to understand the need to struggle around the idea of Pan-Africanism,
“as the only solution to our problems.”
people in our movement give unselfishly, and consistently, over the
years, like Kwamé, we must never forget them!