The Black Power Speech Given by Stokely Carmichael

Better Essays
In the October 1966 speech given by Stokely Carmichael, we are faced with a variety of terms involving racism and racist remarks. Just the year prior to this speech “blacks” had earned the right to vote on national ballots. The speech was given at the University of California Berkeley. Stokely Carmichael was born on June 29th, 1941, and he moved to the United States of America in 1951. This means at the time of his speech he was 25 years old. He was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) later called the Student National Coordinating Committee. The significance of Mr. Carmichael giving the speech at the University of California Berkley was he was talking to the “youth” of the United States of America through the students of this University. However, at the time Mr. Carmichael gave the speech “90 percent of entering freshmen were white and most of them hailed from the state's middle and upper-middle classes” (Academic Senate). Nonetheless, this percentage was not extremely different from the rest of the universities in the nation. Mr. Carmichael recognized this fact and embraced it full-heartedly. The speech that was given on that October day was not solely aimed at the “black” community the majority of the speech is asking the white population what are they doing to try and aid the other communities rather than harm them. Mr. Carmichael keyed the use of the term “Black Power” through his later speeches. Throughout the speech given by Mr. Carmichael he uses the “Us-Them” comparisons as defined by Martin Buber.

The “Us-Them” attitude ,as defined by Buber, is when a group of people thinks that they are more correct or have more rights to something over another group of peopl...

... middle of paper ...

...of America. Where the them in the situation is the white population of the USA. The white population has gone to many different countries and continents and tried to “civilize” the uncivilized. However, as a country we are uncivilized. How can we teach someone how to be civil if we are brought up from a country of thieves and uncivilization?

Works Cited

"Freshman Admissions at Berkeley: A Policy for the 1990s and Beyond." Academic Senate |. N.p., n.d.

Web. 04 Nov. 2013. .

Johnson, Jacqueline. Stokely Carmichael: The Story of Black Power. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett,

1990. Print.

Buber, Martin. I and Thou. New York: Scribner, 1958. Print.

Carmichael, Stokely. "Black Power." Black Power. Berkeley. 05 Nov. 2013. Speech.