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Stokely Carmichael on black power

From Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. New York, published in 1967.

“The adoption of the concept of Black Power is one of the most legitimate and healthy developments in American politics and race relations in our time … It is a call for Black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for Black people to begin to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations and to support those organizations. It is a call to reject the racist institutions and values of this society.

The concept of Black Power rests on a fundamental premise: Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks. By this we mean that group solidarity is necessary before a group can operate effectively from a bargaining position of strength in a pluralistic society. Traditionally, each new ethnic group in this society has found the route to social and political viability through the organization of its own institutions with which to represent its needs within the larger society…

The point is obvious: Black people must lead and run their own organisations. Only Black people can convey the revolutionary idea – and it is a revolutionary idea – that Black people are able to do things themselves.”