Right now I’m reading Kwame Ture’s (Stokely Carmichael) autobiography, “Ready For Revolution.” It’s a pretty amazing first hand account of the civil rights movement. I’ve always admired him for his activism and his philosophical writings, so it was nice to read a more personal account from him on his experiences.
I also love history, and autobiographies are a great source of anecdotes and information that one may miss in a more general history book. This is one of my favorite historical bits that Toure recalls, totally LOL (on page 227):
“Engaged in a desperate exercise in diplomatic damage control, U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson piously announced he deplored ‘the betrayal of the Cuban Revolution,’ and he reserved his government’s right and affirmed its will to send assistance – military when necessary – to any people struggling anywhere for human rights and democratic freedroms…
At the end of which, the Cuban representative, Ambassador Raul Roa, rose to read a letter he’d just received. Apparently, he’d been asked by the representative of another people struggling against oppression to convey an appeal for just such American military assistance. To wit:
Please convey the following appeal to Mr. Adlai Stevenson: Now that the United States has proclaimed military support for people willing to rebel against oppression, oppressed Negroes in the [American] South urgently request tanks, artillery, bombs, money, and the use of American airfields and white mercenaries to crush the racist tyrants who have betrayed the American Revolution and the Civil War.
We request the world’s prayers for this noble undertaking.
Robert Williams, President, NAACP
Union County, Monroe, North Carolina
Neither the United States government nor the NAACP were amused at the time, but student activists all over the country howled with laughter, including Toure and his comrades at Howard. The notes IS a pretty brilliant way to highlight the hypocrisy so prevalent in American politics, and I would have loved to have been there to see the reaction on Adlai Stevenson’s face when Ambassador Roa read the note.