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Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) Paperback – February 15, 2005
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Carmichael was born in Trinidad, but his life as an activist began with his immersion in the Civil Rights movement at the Bronx High School of Science and then Howard University in the 1950s and 60s. At Howard he joined the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) and later, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), through which he drove voter registration efforts in Mississippi and Alabama. Later, as chairman of the SNCC he moved beyond the teachings of nonviolent resistance and forged the Black Power movement, authoring one of its key documents, "Toward Black Liberation" with Thelwell. He became a nationally recognized figure, reviled by leaders on both the left and the right for his apparent abandonment of integration. Yet his vision for black self-determinism would empower a generation of African-American artists, scholars, and leaders to embrace a new vision of African and African-American identity that is still transforming black culture. Eventually, Carmichael settled in Guinea, where he became a member of the ruling party and spent his later years promulgating his vision for Pan-African revolution.
In the introduction to Ready for Revolution, Thelwell admits that, in keeping the story faithful to the recordings, he left it essentially a "first draft" of Carmichael's vision. Thelwell's intrusions in the text, whether his own points or thoughts of others whom he interviewed are bracketed--while this formal approach honors Carmichael's words, the passages are often distracting and would have been better left as endnotes. Further, Thelwell seems to let Carmichael's original text stand where some pruning would have been beneficial, notably in Carmichael's overly detailed recounting of his school days. That said, Thelwell has done a great service to African-American studies by shepherding Carmichael's controversial, quirky, and uncompromising autobiography into print. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a sustained narrative, in equal parts autobiography, historical analysis, and oral history.
Like SNCC itself, this work is focused, disciplined and deeply grounded in the freedom struggles of African people in communities like Cambridge, Maryland, Greenwood, Mississippi and Lowndes County, Alabama. Stokely's recap of events that made the walls of segregation come tumbling down is illuminated by luminaries like Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer. But it's the voices of the real stars of the Movement -- Mr. Hartman Turnbow, E.W. Steptoe, Victoria Gray, Annie Pearl Avery and Endesha Holland -- that, rightly, get pride of place in his retelling.
Thanks and praises to Ekwueme Michael Thelwell for midwifing a masterpiece. Show me a biography or an autobiography in which the text does not "stitch together" memory and chronology, fact and fiction, people and places -- and I'll assume you do your reading in the checkout line at the supermarket. Thelwell includes just enough of Stokely's vocal mannerisms to convey his live voice and real personality, without allowing them to become tics and distractions. His parenthetical asides may challenge readers with attention deficit issues, but personally, I found they captured Thelwell unraveling small mysteries about his friend. Check out the one where Thelwell muses about where Carmichael really was during the March on Washington.Read more ›
This much awaited biography covers much of the gaps and unknowns regarding his work post-1970, but unfortunately one of the tapes which Kwame made about his work with the All-African Peoples Revolutionary party went missing and it is this work which I and many others might be most interested in knowing about. My hope is that this information will one day find the light of day.
Details regarding Kwame's associations with Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Martin Luther King jr, Huey Newton and others are illuminating and insightful, but I would have liked to know more about his political work with Yasser Arafat, Mommar Ghadafi and Oliver. Given the fact that time was running out for Kwame I am sure it would have been a much different book had the circumstances been otherwise.
I found the biography engaging and would recommend it to anyone interested in the revolutionary nationalist movements of the past 40 years. Kwame / Stokely was definitely someone that "arrived early and stayed late" unlike many activists of his generation.
It explains his unique contributions to the 500-year,long, political Struggle of over 38 million marginalized Africans-in-America for liberty, equality, justice and freedom--in the face of brutal white-racist terrorism--supported (directly/indirectly) by America's elites who allowed "apart-hate" relations to persist in the country (while they blathered for decades about fighting wars to promote democracy and freedom abroad).
If you are old enough to have read and heard the plethora of vicious slanders against Carmichael--orchestrated by enemies of freedom operating in the mainstream media--you will now be able to correlate their untruths with details,facts and specific events provided in this 835 pages book to draw your own conclusion.
Carmichael rode the "freedom train" with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into the veritable pits of racist hell "down" South, as Americans struggled for civil rights during the 1960s, risking imprisonment, police beatings, water hoses, dogs and even life and limbs.
It is a miracle that he survived the treacheries of the period to tell this tale. Some of his great collaborators did not make it, including Malcolm X and Dr. King. They were among those criminally put down by assassins during the 1960s.
It is indeed a miracle that the well-known "Black Power" activist, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) wrote this big book, along with his life-long friend, Michael Thelwell, while dying from cancer. Carmichael died in 1998 at the age of 57.
Carmichael's book reads like an action-adventure novel, filled with chair-gripping dangers and humor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the great autobiographies I have ever read. This is on par with Malcolm X's autobiography in terms of it's density and revealing information about how the system of white... Read morePublished 6 months ago by phillip king
If you are interested in the civil rights movement, and even if you are not, do yourself a favor and read this book.Published on March 30, 2014 by Grifolet