In a white turtleneck and khaki trousers, Kwame Toure, who used to be known as Stokely Charmichael, stood behind the pulpit at Howard University's Rankin Chapel. He gestured broadly as he predicted the death of capitalism, and quoted approvingly from Lenin and Marx.

"The process of liberation is a scientific process," declared Toure, who headed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and leads the All-African People's Revolutionary Party today. "We {blacks} have to critically organize ourselves. We have to study."

Meanwhile, in a modern meeting room in the university library, Paul Pryde, who was a classmate of Toure's at Howard two decades ago, explained a very different way for blacks to move ahead.

"We can't rely on government. We have to rely on ourselves," said Pryde, dressed in the gray suit and gray tie of an economic consultant. "White folks are not going to take care of us. They didn't like to in the beginning and they're less able to do it now. We all have to compete. And we can . . . . It starts with saving, forgoing pleasure today for gain tomorrow."

The students at the second annual National Black Student Unity Conference applauded both speakers Friday, but in discussions later seemed more interested in business than in revolution. "I agree with the idea that blacks need to develop our own economic base," said Gerald Cooper, a junior at the College of Wooster in Ohio. "But it ought to be a vehicle toward a larger goal."

About 1,000 students from more than 60 colleges registered for the three-day conference, which ends today. The roster of speakers included Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam; Rep. Mervyn Dymally (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; and Arthur Fletcher, an undersecretary of labor in the Nixon administration and a former Republican candidate for mayor of the District of Columbia.

"We wanted to make sure that we had a broad cross section of the opinions in the black community," said Conrad Tillard, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania who is executive director of the conference organizing committee.

"This represents a new day and a new level of sophistication among black students," said Tillard, who graduated from Washington's Cardozo High School. "It's the genius of the black community that we can have a wide range of views with a unity of purpose."

At the conference's awards banquet last night, the main figure honored was the late Marcus Garvey, the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, a "Back to Africa" movement that flourished in the 1920s. Garvey was born in Jamaica 100 years ago.

At a session on "Male-Female Relationships: the Key to Strong Families," Nia Kondo, who teaches at Ujamaa Shule, a Black Muslim school in the District, urged the students to "look to your parents" as an example. "They may not have the same ideas as us. But they have the right ideas about love . . . . Not all of them, but some of them do."

At a session on the "political game," Wardell Townsend, legislative director for Rep. Mike Espy (D-Miss.), said black political power is the way "we will get the economic power we want . . . . The equitable and fair distribution of resources is the end . . . . At the local level you have mayors who direct contracts."

But one student questioner remarked, "We have more black mayors and we have the political positions, but I still don't see the gains being made by many black people."