… In 1960, when Carmichael attended his senior year at Bronx Science, the sit-in movement broke out throwing the spotlight on racial segregation that still persisted in the South.
When Carmichaell heard about it in the beginning he was quite skeptical towards the young black activists who carried out the first sit-ins:
“when I first heard about the Negroes sitting-in at lunch counters down South, I thought they were just a bunch of publicity hounds.”
After a few weeks Stokely Carmichael changed his opinion:
“[...] but one night when I saw those kids on TV, getting back up on the lunch counter stools after being knocked off them, sugar in their eyes, catsup in their hair – well, something happened to me. Suddenly I was burning“.
Carmichael decided to get involved. Together with other New Yorkers, he joined a boycott of a Washington D.C Woolworth store. Shortly afterwards Carmichael accompanied a youth division of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) on a trip to Virginia where, during a sit-in, he met members of the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), a student group from Howard University, affiliated to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
In this occasion Carmichael was profoundly “impressed by the way they conducted themselves, the way they sat there and took the punishment,” to the point that he decided to decline various scholarship offers from prestigious universities in order to enroll to Howard University, a well known Negro School located in Washington D.C. , where Carmichael intended to join the Nonviolent Action Group.
To be continued…