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Charles V. Hamilton, an Apostle of ‘Black Power,’ Dies at 94

He popularized the term “institutional racism" and, with Stokely Carmichael, wrote a book in 1967 that was seen as a radical manifesto.

Charles V. Hamilton in 1981 at Columbia University, where he taught from 1969 until his retirement in 1998.,Jack Manning/The New York Times

Charles V. Hamilton, a philosophical godfather of the Black Power movement, which he envisioned as the means to subvert what he stigmatized as America’s “institutional racism,” died on Nov. 18 in Chicago, it was recently confirmed. He was 94.

A friend and colleague, the South African educator Wilmot James, said he learned of the death from a representative of Dr. Hamilton’s bank. Dr. Hamilton’s nephew Kevin Lacey said it had not been previously announced because Dr. Hamilton was a private and modest man and was “concerned about what would and would not happen upon his passing.”

In 1967, Dr. Hamilton, a political scientist at historically Black colleges, and Stokely Carmichael (who later adopted the name Kwame Ture), a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, discombobulated the multiracial anti-discrimination crusade that was radiating from the South to Northern cities at the time by publishing the manifesto “Black Power: The Politics of Liberation.”