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Nonviolent Action Group

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"And while I would apply to and enroll at Howard University, it was NAG I was really joining."

Though Stokely learned immensely from his teachers and peers, perhaps his greatest education came through his involvement with the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG) at Howard. He was first exposed to NAG during a demonstration he went to in high school, an event that sparked his interest in Howard. Though NAG was a group mostly comprised of Howard students, Carmichael makes it quite clear that it was not a "student movement," which he defines as "students acting in self-interest as a class." NAG was only involved in student issues as a means toward its greater goal: organizing the nation in a fight against racism. NAG's philosophy was based on non-violent direct action, of which Carmichael calls Ghandi the "patron saint," and also credits, for this generation in black America, Martin Luther King, Jr. Through non-violent direct action, Dr. King "gave our generation...the means by which to confront an entrenched and violent racism."

This non-violent direct action is what NAG specialized in, both on campus and in the larger community. Inspired by the sit-in movements and the first round of Freedom Rides, Carmichael and NAG became more and more involved in the freedom struggle, in the South, especially. It is with NAG that Carmichael would participate in the second round of Freedom Rides and become more involved with SNCC, the larger Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Howard University

Freedom Rides

Summer of '64

Chairman of SNCC

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Quotations on this page taken from Ready for Revolution.