Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Akinyele Umoja


This research was designed to examine the transformation of Stokely Carmichael from a reformist in the Civil Rights Movement to a militant in the Black Power Movement due to experiences which he encountered while an organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The three factors which Stokely Carmichael, as well as some of his corroborators in SNCC, spoke most of were soured relationships with white liberals, the ineffectiveness of moral appeals to the government and white southerners, and the significance of black nationalist politics These factors contributed to Carmichael's shift in ideology and caused many members of SNCC to follow him. The research suggests that Stokely Carmichael and his comrades in SNCC made the transformation to Black Power due to their disappointment with the results of civil rights tactics. However, due mostly to repression fiom the government, they were never able to move past ideological explanations to actually implementing a program The African-American community made the transformation in much the same way that Carmichael and SNCC did Self-pride and a self-definition became prevalent topics of discussion in the African-American community. However, the psychological gains did not cross over into their economic and political lives There was a definite interest in black nationalist politics in the African-American community However, again, any efforts to mobilize the African-American community into a powehl force working for its own self-interest were squashed by the FBI who sought to eliminate any potential black militant leaders.

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