Stokely Carmichael

By the mid-1960s, many civil rights campaigners were becoming frustrated and impatient at what had been achieved through the use of non-violent methods. Stokely Carmichael was one of these campaigners.

Stokely Carmichael
Stokely Carmichael

Carmichael joined the Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 after it was formed in April of that year and took part in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He was arrested several times and at one point served 49 days in prison in Mississippi.

By 1963, Carmichael began to call for stronger action against the racism and violence experienced by black people in the south.

In addition, he also called for all white people to be removed from the SNCC.

Carmichael believed that black people needed to take control of their own future by using their right to vote.

In March 1965, he went to Lowndes County in Alabama, to urge African Americans to register to vote. He did this in a number of ways:

  • He told them that the only way to improve their area was to take part in the political process.
  • He increased the number of registered voters in Lowndes from 70 to over 2600.
  • He set up an all-black political party, the Lowndes County Freedom Organisation.