Powerful New Biography Recounts Life and Work of Stokely Carmichael

Read an excerpt about the black power leader’s friendship with Harry Belafonte, his love of Miriam Makeba and his admiration for Malcolm X.

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NAG hosted Malcolm’s visit through Project Awareness, a forum designed to present opposing views of hot-button issues. E. Franklin Frazier helped to negotiate the terms of Malcolm’s appearance in the kind of behind-the-scenes maneuver that endeared him to campus radicals. Rustin had personally approached Malcolm with the idea after university administrators objected to the Nation of Islam minister delivering an unopposed lecture. “You’ll present your views,” said Rustin, “and then I’ll attack you as someone having no political, social, or economic program for dealing with the problems of blacks.” This last line represented a vintage Rustin provocation, one that Malcolm responded to accordingly: “I’ll take you up on that.”

Excerpted with permission from Stokely: A Life, by Peniel Joseph. Available from Basic Civitas Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2014.

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Peniel E. Joseph, a contributing editor at The Root, is professor and founding director, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Waiting ’Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America, Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama and Stokely: A Life. Follow him on Twitter.

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