Two of the biggest figures in the Black power movement of the late 1960s were Huey P. Newton and Kwame Ture (who was formerly known as Stokely Carmichael).
Ideally, two great forces working together would only push the movement forward but the U.S. government went behind the scenes to spread mistrust among Black activists.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations launched the Counterintelligence Program known as “COINTELPRO” for the purposes of spying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. COINTELPRO was used against such groups as the Black Panther Party.
The relationship between Newton and Ture became strained but did Newton order a hit on Ture?
Allegedly so, tweeted Ghetto Intellectual. “COINTELPRO really had us out here terrorizing each other. No govt official has ever been held accountable for these evil acts.”
Political activist Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale. At the height of its popularity during the late 1960s, the party had 2,000 members in chapters in several cities, according to Biography.com.
Meanwhile, Carmichael was a leader of Black nationalism and is considered the originator of its rallying slogan “Black power,” according to Biography.com. He fought for civil rights for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) before joining the Black Panther party.
However, in 1969 he left the Black Panthers after disagreeing with the party’s new relationships. The Panthers had connected with the Peace and Freedom Party, a mostly white organization. Carmichael accused the Panthers of acting more like a “Salvation Army” than revolutionaries, Macro World History reported.
When the FBI put out misinformation on Carmichael, Newton reportedly believed it and he himself suggested that Carmichael was a CIA agent. There seemed be be no evidence, however, that Newton put a murder hit out on Carmichael.
While the government was pitting the two against each other it also worked to destroy the Panther Party, which was successful. In 1989, Newton was fatally shot in West Oakland, California, by a member of the Black Guerilla Family and drug dealer named Tyrone Robinson.
Carmichael died of cancer in Guinea, where he had moved, in 1998 at the age of 57
Photo: Kwame Toure, left, once known as Stokely Carmichael, smiles as he attends a news conference in the Harlem section of New York City, Feb. 29, 1996, following his release from a local hospital after nearly a month’s treatment for prostate cancer (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)/ Former Black Panther leader Huey Newton talks to a reporter at a rally after his release on bail in Oakland, Calif., July 23, 1977. (AP Photo/John Storey)