Civilize Yourself Stokely Carmichael: an angry man behind a bold message

The changing times of the 1960s

The asassination of President John F. Kennedy occurred in 1963 and changed The United States forever.

"Jim Crow must grow" several on violent protest went on in the 1960s, however protest over racism could be dated back before Columbus came over to America.

The news of the Civil rights bill going through Congress from the President gave Non-whites hope.

"Another Brown" walks to her college classroom.

Police brutality vs. girl with a flower

"It's sad, but this is the reality... for now."- Stokely

MLK and the president Lyndon B Johnson.

While attending Howard University, Carmichael was arrested in 1961 for disturbing the peace in a "white" cafeteria.

Stokely Was a natural born leader. In college he was head of his school's non-violent protesting center such as Non-Violent Action Group (NAG) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Comittee (SNCC) he later became chairman. Later, he became a prime minister for the Black Panthers, and over the entire Black Power movement.

Stokely also had the opportunity to be mentored under King for a period of time just right before he was assassinated.

Speech Summary

Black power

Carmichael's speech "Black Power" surrounds the idea of the problem solving that must go on to get to the bottom of racism and white supremacy. Throughout the text he asks hard questions , and gives relevant and heavy truths that appeal to the students sense of logic and emotion. Carmichael's underlying message is plainly seen at the end of the speech in which he his indirectly speaking the white population of the United States. Civilize Yourself.


Stokely Carmichael


Civil Rights Movement and SNCC conference


White population of the United States. SNCC members. Future African Americans.


Empower the black portion of the country and to condemn the white portion


Students at Berkeley.


Angry and powerful.

This speech was delivered in 1966. This is his most famous speech and outlines practically everything Carmichael believes concerning civil rights. The relevancy lies within the timing of the Civil Rights Movement which lasted until the 1970s. This speech signifies that it was high time for something to change for the suffering and oppressed black community.

Stokely after a speech


Through his diction in the speech, it is not hard to tell that this man did not come up short on his IQ test. Stokely is obviously very intelligent and means business. Phrases like "intellectual masturbation" and "insidious subterfuge", and words like "disfranchisement" and "facilitate" leaves the reader, without any question as to whether he got a higher education. His choice of words and phrases allows him to illustriously state his purpose and use it to empower students who are learning that same vocabulary.


Carmichael's syntax throughout the speech is varied. He uses a lot of examples and put in a lot of knowledge that only people who were living in that time would better understand even if researched was accomplished. So the structure of the sentences are tailored so. A good majority of hismore powerful sentences are shorter. "No man can give anyone their freedom," and "We were fighting against white supremacy," are two examples.

Prior Knowledge

Stokely used what the television told them that morning or that month to drive his purpose. The students know about that governor that authorized or turned a blind eye to the lynching that occurred years before or just that last weekend. They were there to witness the assassination of King right on their televisions. Stokely used that to describe how relevant the message was and how desperately they needed to hear it.

All the emotions

The fear of never seeing your family again. What jail was like. The persecution. All of it on top of each other could make anyone cry. All of this is what. Most students experienced at least 66 percent of these feelings; which is enough for Carmichael to work with. "Every time I tried to go in, they never let me." (Paragraph 13, Carmichael)  Carmichael used his own experiences that students could relate to in order to drive his purpose. In the experience cited previously

College life, college mind

Stokely was a very educated man so it wasn't a surprise to me when I found the heavy truths in his speech. "The only ones who were able to stay alive were the ones who never admitted that they committed crimes against people-- that is, the ones who rationalized that Jews were not human beings and deserved to be killed, or that they were only following orders." (Paragraph 4, Carmichael) (The outcome of the Nazis in prison.). This makes perfect sense. He's used logic and sensible phrases to draw a relativity from himself to the students listening. Then the students would listen more carefully and more clearly as if there was a test on it at the end of the week


Kimball and Roger. "The 1960s" 1972. Print.

Created By
Emily O


Kimball and Roger. "The 1960s" 1972. Print.

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