Kwame Ture was born as Stokely Carmichael on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, on June 29, 1941. Kwame became a household name in amerikkka during the 1960s when after enrolling as a student of Howard University in Washington D.C., Kwame decided to join the freedom rider efforts to integrate the southern portion of the united snakes. As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coördinating Committee, SNCC (pronounced SNICK), Kwame was arrested 26 times between 1964 and 1966 because of his work to register Africans in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, to vote. In June, 1966, Kwame defeated now usa Congressman John Lewis to become Chairperson of SNCC.
Kwame’s election as SNCC Chairperson signaled the growing militancy within SNCC, and the movement, and a desire on behalf of many in the membership to take a more militant and uncompromising stance on African liberation. During the summer of 1966, Kwame became known as the person who popularized the phrase “Black Power” when he articulated that demand in Greenwood, Mississippi, during the great Civil Rights march of that summer. It should be noted that although Kwame has been credited with creating that phrase, the phrase has a long history that extends back to the 1700s and the movement and writings of Martin Delaney. During his tenure as Chairperson of SNCC, Kwame helped the organization develop into one of the most militant African organizations in amerikkka. SNCC became the first African organization to come out against the Vietnam war. SNCC was also the first African organization to take a position against the zionist state of israel. In 1968, Kwame briefly spent time as the Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party (BPP) that was founded in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. By the end of 1968, Kwame had resigned from the BPP, not because, as the imperialist press has consistently claimed, the BPP “forged links with whiteradicals”, but because the BPP’s ideological framework was not completely consistent with Kwame’s developing ideological orientation.
In 1967, while still Chairperson of SNCC, in the height of the united snakes of amerikka imperialist war against Vietnam, Kwame had the privilege of going to Vietnam and visiting the Great Nguyen Al Thouc (Ho Chi Minh), the leader of the Vietnamese war resistance against amerikkkan imperialism.
It was during that visit when Kwame expressed his disillusionment with the direction of the struggle in the amerikkka, that Al Thouc told Kwame “why don’t you go to Africa? It is your home.” Taking Al Thouc’s advice further, Kwame took up the offer made by Guinean (West African) President Sekou Ture made three years prior to a visiting SNCC delegation, to come to Guinea, stay, and help to build the African revolution. In 1968, Kwame moved to Guinea and began to live and study under Sekou Ture, and Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana who was overthrown in a central intelligence agency-organized Coup in 1966.
After the coup in Ghana, Ture invited Nkrumah to come to Guinea and become Co-President of Guinea. At that time, Guinea was struggling to build the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG), as a mass, Pan-Africanist political party that would function as a base within West Africa in which to launch the Pan-African struggle to unite Africa under one continental, socialist, government (see Nkrumah; Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare pg. 56–59). Kwame Ture stayed in Guinea from 1968, until his death in 1998, working to bring about Pan-Africanism. Ture and Nkrumah passed on in 1984 and 1972 respectively.
In 1977, Kwame changed his name from Stokely Carmichael to Kwame Ture in order to honor the Pan-Africanist work of Sekou Ture and Kwame Nkrumah. From 1968 to 1998, Kwame worked tirelessly to build the All African People’s Revolutionary Party (A‑APRP), which is the revolutionary Pan-Africanist political party that Nkrumah discussed in his handbook as the logical vehicle to bring about unity and socialism to Africa. In the Handbook, Nkrumah talked about the inability of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which he founded, to bring about genuine African unity. He offered up the A‑APRP, through it’s organization of the All African Committee for Political Coördination (A‑ACPC) as the vehicle to bring about true unity. The A‑ACPC, unlike the OAU, would not depend on the governments to unite, but would instead unite the genuine African revolutionary political parties and movements under the direction and guidance of the A‑APRP to bring about continental unification.
Kwame Ture spent 4 years at Howard, three years in SNCC, less than one year in the BPP, but thirty years in the A‑APRP. He didn’t run away, disappear, or become irrelevant after 1968, as the imperialists, and many so-called progressives and revolutionaries would have you believe. Instead he worked tirelessly to build the A‑ACPC and the A‑APRP. Today, five years after his physical transition, no one can deny the fruits of his work. The A‑APRP, in its efforts to build the A‑ACPC, has developed strong principled brother/sister relationships with the Democratic Party of Guinea, Pan-African Union of Sierra Leone, African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau, Azanian People’s Organization of Azania/South Africa, and Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania/South Africa, all of which consider themselves A‑ACPC organizations as called for by Nkrumah.
The A‑APRP has organizers on the ground, openly integrated with the A‑APRP and those respective parties and organizations in each of those countries, as well as Ghana, Senegal, The Gambia, Britain, Canada, Barbados, Virgin Islands, Brazil, and throughout the united snakes of amerikkka. These organizers are working to build the A‑ACPC which will serve as a worldwide fighting force of Pan-African revolutionaries who are dedicated to fighting amerikkkan led imperialism to liberate Africa under one unified, socialist government. As Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Ture predicted, once Africa is free, unified, and socialist, Africa, and Africans, wherever they live on the planet, will be empowered to make a proper forward contribution to all of human civilization.
Kwame Ture’s life, from Civil Rights, to Black Power, forward to Pan-Africanism, is the logical forward progress of the international struggle of African people to achieve self-determination. He should be remembered, three years after his death, as Rev. Jesse Jackson described him in 1998, as “a man who never made peace with capitalism, racism, and amerikkkan policy.”
Some legacies of Kwame Ture’s life:
— Contributions to the A‑APRP which include actualizing a genuine international Pan-African political party, based in Africa.
— Contributing towards developing true principled relationships with< non-African revolutionaries such as
‑the Palestine Liberation Organization,
‑Irish Republican Socialist Party, International Indian Treaty
‑Council/American Indian Movement.
— Contribution towards institutionalizing African Liberation Day as an international Pan-Africanist day of protest and unity throughout the world.
— Contributions towards developing and building an African United Front in amerikkka between groups as far apart ideologically as the NAACP, Urban League, Nation of Islam, Republic of New Afrika, and A‑APRP.