stokes

For racism to die, a totally different America must be born. This is what the white society does not wish to face; this is why that society prefers to talk about integration. But integration speaks not at all to the problem of poverty, only to the problem of blackness. Integration today means the man who ‘makes it,’ leaving his black brothers behind in the ghetto as fast as his new sports car will take him. It has no relevance to the Harlem wino or to the cotton-picker making three dollars a day…. Integration, moreover, speaks to the problem of blackness in a despicable way. As a goal, it has been based on complete acceptance of the fact that in order to have a decent house or education, blacks must move into a white neighborhood or send their children to a white school. This reinforces, among both black and white, the idea that 'white’ is automatically better and 'black’ is by definition inferior.
— 

Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, in “Black Power,” The New York Times Review of Books, 22 September 1966

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Any time you make an analysis of an oppressed people in any aspect of their lives and you leave out the enemy, you will never come to a correct analysis. On the contrary, you will blame the oppressed for all of their problems.

Even if one where to talk about the drugs in our community, if you just talk about drugs and not talk about the enemy, you make no analysis at all. If you haven’t brought in the question of who brings the drugs in, why the drugs are brought in, for what purpose they are brought in, you will never understand the problem at all.

When we speak of the conditions of the African masses we begin with the enemy of the African masses, especially the racist, capitalist system in the United States of America.

— 

Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), mid-1990s.

This is the same problem for people who are colorblind or don’t see race. They leave out the enemy (white supremacy) which leads them into blaming oppressed groups for their own problems.

youtube

Sy Stokes - “The Black Bruins”

“When we were children, we learned how to mix colors with a paint brush. We learned that white mixed with anything makes it brighter. But we wouldn’t dare mix anything with brown or black or else our entire creation would be ruined.”

This poem and video impressed us. This petition is important. This is someone using spoken word to try to make a genuine, tangible difference in people’s lives.

White people associate Black Power with violence because of their inability to deal with blackness. If we said ‘Negro Power’ nobody would get scared. Everybody would support it. If we said power for colored people, everybody’d be for that, but it is the word 'black’ that bothers people in this country, and that’s their problem, not mine. That’s the lie that says anything black is bad.
—  Stokely Speaks
A young student came running to me and said, ‘oh, you know it was Dr. King’s birthday recently?’ I said 'yes,’ he said, 'you know, I almost know his speech 'I have a dream’ by heart!’ I said, 'that’s excellent.’ He said, 'did you know that’s the best speech that Dr. King ever gave?’ I told him 'keep quiet.’ You must not spread ignorance, especially among an oppressed people. Anyone who knows anything about Dr. King knows that one of his most mediocre speeches is 'I have a dream’ speech. I commend one other speech to you if you really want to see Dr. King. It’s called 'Why I oppose the war in Vietnam.’ It is here that you will come to see something truly about King.
—  Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) on Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech.