Mugshot of Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, after his arrest in Jackson, Mississippi in 1961 during the Freedom Rides. Carmichael would spend two months in the notorious Parchman Prison. He became Chairman of SNCC in May 1966., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Hell Yes, We are going to Libya!
A Declaration to Africa and the World
By Kwame Ture (formerly known as Stokely Carmichael)
(Originally published on November 15, 1998 - Reprinted on April 4, 2011)
Kwame was arrested in June 1961 for participating in the Freedom Ride from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jackson, Mississippi. He, and more than 300 other people, spent the Summer in the notorious Parchman Pennitentiary.
We know that one of the greatest crimes an individual can commit is that of being ungrateful. I have made many errors, but of one thing I am certain, my ability to continue serving in the African and World Revolution is greatly attributed to a number of contributions that I have received from the masses of African and other Oppressed Peoples worldwide. We cite here just a few examples.
In 1966, when I had just been elected Chairperson of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, my first official act was to visit the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. It is then that he ordered all members of the Fruit of Islam to protect me wherever I traveled, anywhere in the world. I am still under that umbrella of protection today, here in Africa, in Guinea. I could never be ungrateful to the Nation of Islam, to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, nor to his incarnation—Minister Louis Farrakhan.
In 1967, United State’s imperialism was seriously planning to assassinate me. It still is, this time by an FBI-induced cancer, the latest in the white man's arsenal of chemical and biological warfare, as I am more determined to destroy it today than in 1967. It was Fidel Castro who before the OLAS Conference said "if imperialism touches one grain of hair on his head, we shall not let the fact pass without retaliation." It was he, who on his own behalf, asked [revolutionary movements worldwide] to stay in contact with me when I returned to the United States to offer me protection. I could never be ungrateful to the People of Cuba nor to Cuba's incarnation—Fidel Castro.
In 1967, Presidents Ahmed Sekou Toure and Kwame Nkrumah, through the intercession of Shirley Graham DuBois, invited me to attend the Eighth Congress of the Democratic Party of Guinea (RDA). They invited me to live, work, study, and struggle here in Guinea, an invitation which I readily accepted, despite tremendous criticism from almost every quarter. Thirty years later, I still live in Guinea, working, studying, and struggling for the African Revolution. And I will continue to do so until the last second, of the last minute, of the last hour, of the last day. And it is my wish to sleep here in Guinea, eternally. I could never be ungrateful to the People of Guinea, nor Guinea's and Africa's incarnations—Ahmed Sekou Toure and Kwame Nkrumah.
Today, on behalf of the All-African People's Revolutionary Party (A-APRP), I am honored to accept an invitation that has been extended by Brother Muammar Al Quaddafi and the People of the Libyan Jamahiriya to travel to Tripoli, which is in Africa, so that they might assist me in my eternal fight, against an unyielding enemy. It would be ungrateful, and un-African for me to refuse.
We wish to thank Brother Muammar and the People of the Libyan Jamahiriya for sending us this hospital plane which I, and members of my biological, ideological, and social family now board. This act is just one more act of an infinite number of Brother Muammar's and the Libyan People's contributions to African and World Humanity. I am sure I will never be ungrateful to the revolutionary People of the Libyan Jamahiriya as long as I live, as I shall remain eternally steadfast and faithful to revolutionary principles. And I know that my biological and ideological family will remain steadfast and faithful as well.
Sisters and Brother, Comrades, we know that the Cuban and Libyan Revolutions have a base of solid support among the Africans in United States and around the world.
Imperialism also knows this. This support has been earned by Cuba and Libya, at great sacrifice. All Africans in the United States know anytime imperialism is hunting an African Revolutionary, if they make it to Cuba, as in baseball, they are home safe. From Robert Williams to Assata Shakur, Cuba has paid a heavy price as a haven for Revolutionaries throughout the world. We also know, firsthand, Libya's contributions to, and protection of African and other Revolutionaries worldwide. U.S. imperialism is doing everything possible to corrode Cuba's and Libya's support among the Africans in the United States and the World.
Today, we board a hospital plane to travel nonstop from Conakry, Guinea to Tripoli, Libya, revolutionary countries, an African countries. All of our Brothers, Sisters, and Allied Organizations, worldwide, have been requested by our Party, the All-African People's Revolutionary Party, to join us in Tripoli; and on our return from Tripoli to Conakry. Travel to a revolutionary country, especially one in Africa, must lead to concrete action to advance the African and World Revolution. We have a heightened responsibility to help protect Cuba and Libya at this time. We must move before United State imperialism is strengthened and attacks, not after, by strengthening our people ideologically and practically now. We must cement Cuba and Libya to Africa, and to African People worldwide, and vice versa.
We must make it clear that an embargo and travel ban against Cuba and Libya is an embargo and travel ban against Africa and against one billion African People who are scattered, suffering, and struggling in every corner of the world. We must make it crystal clear that if you attack Cuba and Libya, you attack all African People worldwide, and we must break United States imperialism's hands off Cuba, Libya and Africa. We must end this illegal and immoral embargo and travel ban now. And with this act, by our example of boarding this hospital plane, we declare an end, once and for all, to this illegal and immoral embargo and travel ban, an end to this latest crime against African and World Humanity.
As children, we joined the Freedom Rides to break the back of segregation and apartheid in interstate transportation in the United States.
Today, we ride on the front of the bus, we charter buses to take one million men, women, and children to marches in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta. And we will never turn back.
In the 1960s, we said "Hell No, we won't go" to Vietnam, to fight against a people who never called us a nigger, and we didn't go. We said that they would defeat U.S. imperialism, and the heroic Vietnamese People, under the sterling example and leadership of the eternal Ho Chi Minh did.
Today, we say "Hell yes, we are going to Libya." We are traveling nonstop, all the way, from Conakry to Tripoli, and we warn the United States government not to interfere. We are certain today, that the people of Cuba and Libya, under the steadfast leadership of Fidel Castro and Muammar Quaddafi, will be victorious. The embargo and travel ban against Libya, Cuba, Sudan, Korea, Iraq, and Iran is finished, as of this day. The All-African People's Revolutionary Party is honored to make our humble contribution towards this inevitable end. We thank you. As African youth worldwide say, "the beat goes on."
As always, we remain Ready for Revolution!