Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 13:26:10 -0600 (CST)
Workers World <email@example.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Kwame Ture remembered
Thousands packed City College’s Great Hall here Nov. 22 to pay tribute to Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) the same day as his funeral in Conakry, Guinea.
In this same hall 30 years ago, thousands of youths had heard his stirring call to struggle for Black Power.
Kwame Ture as a youth was in SNCC, the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee, a militant civil-rights organization in the
South in the 1960s that
fought many battles, Willie Ricks told
And Kwame played a great heroic leadership role in those
battles. It was organization in his early life that made him strong,
sending us all over the South, fighting for our people.
The event was organized by Ture’s All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, founded by Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure in 1968.
Speakers came from movements in Africa as well as from the African American community in the United States. Organizers acknowledged statements from Mumia Abu-Jamal and from Monica Moorehead of Workers World Party.
The Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee sent a
statement. It noted that Cuba first came to know Stokely Carmichael
in the 1960s as the main promoter of the forceful Black Power
slogan in SNCC and later on in the Black Panther Party, striving to
bring political power so lacking in the Black community. It linked
the ideological work started by Malcolm X relating Black
freedom in America with the general anti-colonial struggle taking
place in those days.
Elombe Brath of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition told how the Portuguese
army invaded Guinea, where Ture was living,
in an attempt to
overthrow the government of Sekou Toure. The people, including Kwame
Nkrumah and Kwame Ture, met them, fought them and killed them. It is
from this that the slogan ‘ready for the revolution’
Wagun-inini (Vernon Bellecourt), from the American Indian Movement,
explained that when AIM seized the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972,
brother Kwame Ture was the first to come in and show his solidarity
with the indigenous struggles of the Americas. One year later, at
Wounded Knee, the AAPRP and Kwame Ture were there standing with
Kathleen Cleaver, Ture’s comrade from both SNCC and the Black
He had a wonderful little saying the people told
him when he came to Lowndes County in Alabama to organize. ‘This
ain’t Montgomery, this ain’t Selma, talk don’t get
it down here.’ In Lowndes County SNCC organizers shot back
at the Klan to register the 87-percent Black population and launch the
The finest idea that Ture came up with, said Amiri Baraka,
was the idea of the Black United Front. Listen, whether you went
for Garvey or DuBois, they exiled both of them, whether you were for
Malcolm X or Dr. King, they killed both of them. I’m a
Communist, that means that not only am I Black but I’m red, I
believe that the earth and all the wealth belongs to the people. But I
know this, us Communists alone can’t organize the people, you
Muslims alone can’t organize the people, you Christians alone
canorganize the people, you Pan Africanists alone can’t organize
people, I know that it will take a United Front.
Excerpts from the memorial are available on videotape from the Peoples
Video Network, along with an interview with Ture in which he says,
My major advice is just organization. Get into a revolutionary
progressive organization, stay there, work for your people.
If it’s not the one for you, find another one. But never be
outside an organization. Rosa Luxemburg, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther
King, Malcolm X, Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro,
all the great men and women I know belong to organizations. It is only
the masses that make changes, and they must be organized to make these
changes scientifically and in a systematic manner.