World House Podcast: Episode 18 - Black Power
At head of Meredith March Against Fear, from left to right, Floyd McKissick (Congress of Racial Equality, president), Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, 1966
When James Meredith
- who desegregated the University of Mississippi - was shot and injured during his solitary "March Against Fear" in June 1966, civil rights leaders and activists convened in Mississippi to resume the march. They knew that despite the 1965 Voting Rights Act
, white supremacists continued to terrorize many African Americans who dared to register and vote. To prove that fear won't intimidate them, hundreds of participates rallied behind Meredith's cause as they completed the march.
During the march, Stokely Carmichael (SNCC) attracted national attention. Calling for "Black Power
," Carmichael gave voice to younger activists disillusioned with the nonviolent principles, while exposing the growing differences within the civil rights movement. "Black Power" resonated with those who grew impatient and angry with African Americans' situation - poor and powerless despite civil rights reforms.
This episode includes excerpts from an interview with Stokley Carmichael, conducted by Blackside, Inc. on November 7, 1988, for Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965 to 1985. Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection.
Clayborne Carson, Liberation Curriculum