Civil-rights activist Stokely Carmichael is best known for initiating the “black power” rallying slogan in the 1960s. Carmichael found his calling when he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) at Howard University. At the age of nineteen, he was arrested for entering a “whites only” bus stop and became the youngest person imprisoned for his participation. Carmichael’s leadership skills allowed him to quickly rise within the SNCC, and in 1965, he was appointed field organizer for Lowndes County, Alabama. Though African Americans made up the majority of this county, they were unrepresented in government. In his first year there, Carmichael raised the number of registered African American voters from 70 to 2,600. As his activism matured, Carmichael became known for straying from Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
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