These Influential Speeches Inspired Radical Black Activism

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September 11, 2019

Stokely Carmichael was, in the 60s, a powerful critic of the nonviolence movement:

“Dr. King’s policy was… your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved…  [but] in order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

Black women are always criticized for being “angry.” Audre Lorde in 1981 flipped the script:

“My fear of anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will teach you nothing, also… Any discussion among women about racism must include the recognition and the use of anger… We cannot allow our fear of anger to deflect us.”

Co-founder of the Black Panthers, Huey P. Newton, asserted in 1970 that homophobia and sexism have no place in the revolution:

“We must… have respect and feelings for all oppressed people... We should try to form a working coalition with the gay liberation and women’s liberation groups.”

As we approach an election year, it’s important to be reminded of Malcolm X’s 1964 warning about politicians:

“All of the white politicians are going to come into the Negro community… with false promises… And when I speak, I don't speak as a Democrat or a Republican… I speak as a victim of America's so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy - all we've seen is hypocrisy!”

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