100 Stokely Carmichael Quotes on the Fight for Freedom

Join the fight for freedom and injustice with these Stokely Carmichael quotes.

Stokely Carmichael was a civil rights activist. He was known for the phrase “Black Power,” a movement against the racial discrimination of Black people in the United States.

His movement opened opportunities for the Black community to rise in society. Learn how they fought for rights and equality through this list of his best quotes.

Let’s explore the collection below.

And make sure to read these Malcolm X quotes and Angela Davis quotes.

Best Stokely Carmichael Quotes

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Best Gangster Quotes

1. “There is a higher law than the law of government. That’s the law of conscience.”

2. “The creation of new values means the establishment of a society based on free people, not free enterprise.” 

3. “I maintain that every civil rights bill in this country was passed for white people, not for Black people.”

4. “A man is born free.”

5. “The job of the conscious is to make the unconscious conscious.”

6. “The power for racism, the power for sexism comes from capitalism, not an attitude.”

7. “Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks.”

8. “We were aware of the fact that death walks hand in hand with struggle.”

9. “Capitalism is a stupid system, a backward system.”

10. “I usually say I did the best I could with what I had. I have no major regrets.”

Inspirational Stokely Carmichael Quotes

11. “The secret of life is to have no fear; it’s the only way to function.”

12. “No man can give anybody his freedom.”

13. “I ain’t going to jail no more. The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin’ us is to take over. What we gonna start sayin’ now is Black Power!”

14. “If we are going to eliminate that for the generation that comes after us, then Black people must be seen in positions of power, doing and articulating for themselves.”

15. “Go home and tell your daughters they are beautiful.”

16. “Our noses are broad, our lips are thick, our hair is nappy. We are Black and beautiful!”

17. “Black people in the United States must raise hard questions, questions which challenge the very nature of the society itself: its long-standing values, beliefs, and institutions.”

18. “It doesn’t make a difference, ’cause we’re gonna organize our way, anyway. We gonna do it.”

Wise Stokely Carmichael Quotes That Will Guide You to the Right Decisions

19. “An organization which claims to speak for the needs of a community must speak in the tone of that community.”

20. “One does not fight to influence change and then leave the change to someone else to bring about.”

21. “Racism is both overt and covert.”

22. “The first need of a free people is to define their own terms.”

23. “The Black man is not the sick man, it is the White man who is sick, he’s the one who picked up the gun.”

24. “The knowledge I have now is not the knowledge I had then.”

25. “Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation’s out of breath. We ain’t running no more.”

26. “The masses don’t shed their blood for the benefit of a few individuals.”

27. “I’m convinced that the deck is so stacked that only a certain number can get through. I happened to be one of that certain number. That’s all.”

28. “Reorientation means an emphasis on the dignity of man, not on the sanctity of property. It means the creation of a society where human misery and poverty are repugnant to that society, not an indication of laziness or lack of initiative.”

29. “I do not want to be a part of the American pie.”

Stokely Carmichael Quotes About Equality and Civil Rights

30. “Civil rights leaders who, in the past or at present, rely essentially on ‘national sentiment.’”

31. “We are against the draft. No man has the right to take a man for two years and train him to be a killer. A man should decide what he wants to do with his life.”

32. “Integration is a man’s ability to want to move in there by himself.”

33. “Now then, in order to understand White supremacy, we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom.”

34. “We are going to have to speak to change the foreign policy of this country.”

35. “If someone wants to live in a white neighborhood and he is Black, that is his choice. It should be his right. It is not because white people will not allow him.”

36. “We are revolutionaries.”

37. “In struggle one not only fights against something—injustice, oppression—but one must struggle for something equally real but positive. That’s the other part of the equation.”

Deep Stokely Carmichael Quotes Against Violence

38. “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

39. “Dr. King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for Black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good.” 

40. “We must question whether or not we want this country to continue being the wealthiest country in the world at the price of raping everybody else.”

41. “The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission.”

42. “The American pie means raping South Africa, beating Vietnam, beating South America, raping the Philippines, raping every country you’ve been in.”

43. “The time for running has come to an end. You tell them White folk in Mississippi that all the scared niggers are dead!”

Eye-Opening Stokely Carmichael Quotes on Discrimination 

44. “The fact is that all Black people often question whether or not they are equal to Whites because every time they start to do something, white people are around showing them how to do it.”

45. “If a White man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power.”

46. “It takes two, closely related forms: individual Whites acting against individual Blacks and acts by the total white community against the Black community.”

47. “Seems to me that the institutions that function in this country are clearly racist and that they’re built upon racism.”

48. “Political modernization—a process which must take place if the society is to be rid of racism.”

49. “The problems of the city and of institutional racism are clearly intertwined.”

50. “Racism gets its power from capitalism.”

51. “One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up to now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young Black people in the urban ghetto.”

52. “When White terrorists bomb a Black church and kill five Black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society.”

53. “If you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist.”

54. “It is institutional racism that keeps Black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks, and discriminatory real estate agents.”

55. “When a Black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn—at least in words.”

56. “The Black communities of the United States do not export anything except human labor.”

57. “But when in that same city, Birmingham, Alabama—500 Black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the Black community, that is a function of institutional racism.”

Stokely Carmichael Quotes on Black Empowerment

58. “The call for Black Power was heard by more than a few, Blacks and Whites, as anti-White, defeatist, and bitterly rejecting the civil rights movement’s traditional goal of integration.”

59. “It is a call for Black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for Black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.”

60. “Black Power can be clearly defined for those who do not attach the fears of white America to their questions about it.”

61. “The adoption of the concept of Black Power is one of the most legitimate and healthy developments in American politics and race relations in our time.”

62. “There has been only a civil rights movement whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal Whites.”

63. “We are not going to wait for white people to sanction Black Power.”

Stokely Carmichael Quotes That Talk About Unjust Treatment

64. “I knew that I could vote and that that wasn’t a privilege; it was my right. Every time I tried I was shot, killed or jailed, beaten or economically deprived.”

65. “This Black person is urged to adopt American middle-class standards and values.”

66. “I also know that while I am Black, I am a human being, therefore I have the right to go into any public place. white people didn’t know that. Every time I tried to go into a place they stopped me.”

67. “This is not to say that every single white American consciously oppresses Black people. He does not need to.”

68. “But White liberals never do that. When the man has the gun, they walk around him and they come to the victim, and they say ‘Let me help you,’ and what they mean is ‘Help you adjust to the situation with the man who has the gun on you.’”

Stokely Carmichael Quotes About the American Society

69. “In order for America to really live on a basic principle of human relationships a new society must be born. Racism must die.”

70. “What a liberal really wants is to bring about change that will not in any way endanger his position.”

71. “This country is a nation of thieves. It stole everything it has, beginning with Black people.”

72. “It is impossible for White and Black people to talk about building a relationship based on humanity when the country is the way it is when the institutions are clearly against us.”

73. “You may enslave a man after he is born free. And that is in fact what this country does. It enslaves Black people after they’re born.”

74. “The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.”

75. “White liberals are always saying, ‘What can we do?’ I mean, they’re always coming to help Black people. I thought of an analogy. If you were walking down the street and a man had a gun on another man–let’s say both of them were White–and you had to help somebody, whom would you help?”

76. “We have taken all the myths of the country and we found them to be nothing but downright lies. This country told us that if we worked hard we would succeed, and if that were true we would own this country lock, stock, and barrel.”

77. “Poverty is well calculated in this country. And the reason why the poverty program won’t work is because the calculators of poverty are administering it.”

78. “It is we who have picked the cotton for nothing. It is we who are the maids in the kitchens of liberal white people. It is we who are the janitors, the porters, the elevator men. We who sweep up your college floors. Yes, it is we who are the hardest workers and the lowest paid.”

79. “The United States cannot justify its existence as the policeman of the world any longer.”

80. “I place my own hope for the United States in the growth of belief among the unqualified that they are in fact qualified: they can articulate and be responsible and hold power.”

81. “Frederick Douglass said the youth should fight to be leaders today. And God knows we need to be leaders today because the men who run this country are sick.”

82. “American students are perhaps the most politically unsophisticated students in the world.”

83. “The tragedy of race relations in the United States is that there is no American Dilemma.”

Stokely Carmichael Quotes About the Organization’s Movement

84. “Unlike some other civil rights groups, SNCC saw that such demonstrations were political in character.”

85. “The need for psychological equality is the reason why SNCC today believes that Blacks must organize in the Black community.”

86. “An organization which claims to be working for the needs of a community, as SNCC does, must work to provide that community with a position of strength from which to make its voice heard. This is the significance of Black Power beyond the slogan.”

87. “The only position for women in SNCC is prone.”

88. “It is clear to me that we have to wage a psychological battle on the right for Black people to define their own terms, define themselves as they see fit, and organize themselves as they see it.”

More Stokely Carmichael Quotes That’ll Interest You

89. “The Black community perceives the ‘White power structure’ in very concrete terms.”

90. “This is perfectly understandable in terms of the strategy and goals of the older organizations, the concept of the civil rights movement as a kind of liaison between the powerful white community and the dependent Black community.”

91. “The philosophers Camus and Sartre raise the question whether or not a man can condemn himself.”

92. “We had no more courage than Harriet Tubman or Marcus Garvey had in their times. We just had a more vulnerable enemy.”

93. “They Head Start, Upward Lift, Bootstrap, and Upward Bound us into white society, ’cause they don’t want to face the real problem which is a man is poor for one reason and one reason only: ’cause he does not have money—period.” 

94. “Leaders in Africa are so corrupt that we are certain if we put dogs in uniforms and put guns on their shoulders, we’d be hard put to distinguish them.”

95. “Now we maintain that we cannot afford to be concerned about 6% of the children in this country, Black children, who you allow to come into white schools. We have 94% who still live in shacks. We are going to be concerned about those 94%.”

96. “If you want to get rid of poverty, you give people money—period.”

97. “The White political bosses could rule the Black community in the same fashion that Britain ruled the African colonies—by indirect rule.”

98. “Now you know where I got my name.”

99. “So that the failures to pass a civil rights bill isn’t because of Black Power, isn’t because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; it’s not because of the rebellions that are occurring in the major cities.”

100. “I don’t want any of your blood money. I don’t want to be part of that system.”

How Will You Fight for Your Rights?

Racism is not a new thing in the United States. Up to this day, Black people still feel oppressed and experience injustice in society.

People of any race or status should have equal respect, rights, and privileges as other people. There should never be a restriction of what you are allowed to do just because you are different.

We hope this collection of Stokely Carmichael taught you how unfair life could be and what you could do to overcome it. Let this serve as a reminder to be considerate of others, no matter their race or culture.

Did Stokely Carmichael’s words inspire you to fight for your rights? Which quote is your favorite? Discuss your thoughts with us in the comment below.