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Ekwueme Mike Thelwell
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(July 25, 1939- ) Born Michael Miles Thelwell in Ulster Spring, Jamaica; moved to U.S. in 1959. Attended Jamaica College and worked as public relations assistant for Jamaica Industrial Development Corp. (1958-59). Later educated at Howard University (B.A., 1964), where he edited the student newspaper, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst (M.F.A., 1969). Beginning in 1963 worked as director of the Washington, D.C., offices of SNCC, recruiting volunteers for Freedom Summer; also worked in Washington for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (1964-65), running congressional challenge campaign. Since 1969 has been professor in the Afro-American Studies department, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (served as founding chairman, 1970-75). Served as senior adviser on television series Eyes on the Prize (part 2). Currently editing the political autobiography of the late Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael). Author of two screenplays (Washington Incident, 1972; Girl Beneath the Lion, 1978, with Paul Carter Harrison); stories and articles in Black Scholar, Negro Digest, Partisan Review, Village Voice, and other publications; a novel (The Harder They Come, 1980); and a collection of essays (Duties, Pleasures, and Conflicts, 1987).

Also see the following articles:

Mary Ann French. "The People's Professor," Boston Globe, September 12, 1999. French writes about Thelwell, his founding of Black Studies at UMass-Amherst, his perspective on the values of the 60s, and an emotional pact Thelwell made with James Baldwin while a student at Howard University not to "ever accept any of the derogatory and reductive and degrading definitions this society [had] prepared for [them]."

Gamal Nkrumah. "Rendezvous with History," Al-Ahram Weekly, 8-14 July 1999, Issue No. 437. During a visit by Thelwell to Cairo, Gamal Nkrumah discussed the political legacy of the Black Power movement with him and wrote about it in this article.