A Life

Book - 2014
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Stokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for "Black Power" during a speech one humid Mississippi night in 1966. Carmichael's life changed that day, and so did America's struggle for civil rights. "Black Power" became the slogan of an era, provoking a national reckoning on race and democracy. In Stokely, preeminent civil rights scholar Peniel E. Joseph presents a groundbreaking biography of Carmichael, arguing that the young firebrand's evolution from nonviolent activist to Black Power revolutionary reflected the trajectory of a generation radicalized by the violence and unrest of the late 1960s. Fed up with the slow progress of the civil rights movement, Carmichael urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality, inspiring countless African Americans to demand immediate political self-determination. A nuanced and authoritative portrait, Stokely captures the life of the man whose uncompromising vision reshaped the struggle for African American equality.
Publisher: New York :, Basic Civitas, a member of the Perseus Book Club,, [2014]
Description: xiv, 399 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780465013630
Branch Call Number: 323.092 Car


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Apr 07, 2014

For guys who may only read one book a year - if that - this is the one book. Joseph is a fantastic writer. The 10 years of research show in this book. It was like a mini travelogue through history. Stokley meets Malcolm and works with Bayard Rustin. MLK has his phone number and calls him. He dines in the home of Condelezza Rice. Near the end of his days - Stokely gives a speech in New York. In the audience is a skinny kid with a funny last name from Hawaii (later Chicago).

I learned from this book. How RFK went from spying on MLK to giving one of the best eulogies after MLK's assassination mystified me. Joseph covers how the transition to make this happen began.

When Stokley died - all I knew was that he died. The photographs were sad. In his salad days he was the little cutie on duty. Yet the last photos of him showed a very haggard man. Through this book I learned that Stokely had cancer and had been searching for a cure. Added to that that the latter part of his life was spent as the recipient of protection from some of Africa's most sinister leaders.

Definitely worth reading.

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