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Monday, November 16, 1998 Published at 05:25 GMT

World: Americas

Black Panther leader dies

Mr Ture was jailed more than 30 times

The Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael, who made "black power" a rallying cry in America, has died of cancer at the age of 57.

He died at his home in Guinea where he lived under his African name, Kwame Ture.

As leader of the Black Panther Party, Mr Ture was one of the most fiery and visible activists in the American black rights movement in the 1960s.

US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who visited Mr Ture last week, described him as a committed opponent of racial apartheid.

"He wanted for his last days to be in Guinea ... amongst the people of Africa,'' Mr Jackson said.

[ image: Mr Ture made ''black power'' a rallying cry]
Mr Ture made ''black power'' a rallying cry
"He was one of our generation who was determined to give his life to transforming America and Africa.

"He was committed to ending racial apartheid in our country. He helped to bring those walls down."

Mr Ture was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996.

An ardent socialist, he was treated in Cuba and received financial help for his treatment from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Freedom ride to prison

Mr Ture was born in Trinidad on 29 June, 1941, but moved to New York with his parents when he was 11 where he moved in middle-class white circles.

In 1960 he enrolled at Howard University in Washington, where he studied philosophy and plunged into the civil rights revolution.

At that time black college students were being beaten and arrested for daring to sit at whites-only Southern lunch counters.

Mr Ture joined the first of the freedom rides - bus trips aimed at desegregating public transport.

And he suffered the first of about three dozen jailings when he reached Mississippi.

He was elected national chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1966.

Mr Ture raised the cry of "black power", meaning political and economic empowerment, as he led a freedom march in Mississippi.

"We want control of the institutions of the communities where we live and we want to stop the exploitation of non white people around the world," he explained.

In 1968, he left the SNCC for the Black Panthers, but broke with that urban-guerrilla movement the following year because it favoured working with radical whites.

He said history showed such alliances had "led to complete subversion of the blacks by the whites''.

Mr Ture moved to Guinea with his then-wife, South African-born singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

There, with a new name taken from the African leaders Kwame Nkrumah and Ahmed Sekou Toure, he organised the All-African People's Revolutionary Party.

He continued preaching black power and championing socialism while condemning America, capitalism and Zionism.

Banned from Trinidad

Mr Ture was banned from Trinidad and Tobago in 1970 by a black-led government which feared he would further the islands' own "Black Power" revolt.

The government eventually quelled the uprising after jailing several black activists.

One of those activists, Khafre Kambon said: "He lived a life of poverty although he raised millions of dollars for his party."

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