For the Module 6 Assignment, students will write a 3-paragraph analysis (400-550 words) of the following excerpt from Stokely Carmichael’s 1966 Speech “What We Want.” Follow the attached outline as you write your essay.
Stokely Carmichael, “What We Want” (1966)
For too many years, black Americans marched and had their heads broken and got shot. They were were saying to the country, “Look, you guys are supposed to be nice guys and we are only going to do what we are supposed to do – why do you beat us up, why don’t you give us what we ask, why don’t you straighten yourselves out? After years of this, we are at almost the same point – because we demonstrated from a position of weakness. We cannot be expected any longer to march and have our heads broken in order to say to whites, come on, you’re nice guys. For you are not nice guys. We have found you out.
An organization which claims to speak for the needs of a community – as does the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – must speak in the tone of that community, not as somebody else’s buffer zone. This is the significance of black power as a slogan. For once, black people are going to use the words they want to use – not just the words whites want to hear.
Integration speaks to the “problem” of blackness in a despicable way. As a goal, it has been based on complete acceptance of the fact that in order to have a decent house or education, blacks must move into a white neighborhood or send their children to a white school. This reinforces, among both black and white, the idea that “white” is automatically better and “black” is be definition inferior. This is why integration is a subterfuge for the maintenance of white supremacy. No one every talked about “white power” because power in this country is all white.”
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