Letter From Lowndes County
Stokely Carmichael
November, 1965

Dear Mike,

It was refreshing to hear from you. So many staff people are either leaving or being fired that it is hard to find strength among the few of us that's left. I am so afraid that I no longer ask is so-an-so still on staff. I just wait till I find out. Amidst confusion in Atlanta, we here in Ala. are doing some very exciting things. No more talk about marching as a matter of fact. At our last (Ala.) staff meeting we all agreed to have nothing to do with King's march. We then sent him a letter to that affect with carbon copies to our officers in Atlanta. We then issued a press statement saying that we were working on programs which we felt were long range and that to get involved in the march would hurt our programs.

We are in the middle of A.S.C.S elections and we have good chances of winning some county chairmen. The economic standing of over 40% of Negroes can be improved immediately (with-in a year) if we win. We are setting up REAL LIVE THIRD PARTIES on the county basis and it is scaring the shit out of everybody. In short we are taking over counties. While our staff is small the work is excellent. The transition from heroes to real organizers is not an easy one but I think in Ala. and Ark. we have done well.

While the work we now do will not get national attention it will get local results which we hope we can hook up with other communities and make at first state wide who knows what next. Our shift is entirely different from that of the Atlanta office. As you probably know they are building a mansion in Lowndes County. We have never asked Atlanta for anything. The local people pay for everything including our food and board. The only thing we get from SNCC are the cars. Most of the time they don't work and we have to depend on the community. We have set up in Detroit a "Friends of Lowndes County" group that this group is made- up of people who have left Lowndes County and now live in Detroit. They sent $100 per month to the movement in Lowndes County last month. The chairman went up and spoke to people in Detroit. The group in Detroit paid his expenses. There were a lot of northern Negroes on hand to hear him. He did not make much money compared to what a SNCC fundraising thing would do but he got to Negroes in the city SNCC can't get to.

Yours for freedom

Copyright © Stokely Carmichael, 1965

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