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Black Power

Subject History

Place Northern America » United States of America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


A radical movement in the US which rejected the aims and methods of the leaders of the civil rights movement (CRM) like Martin Luther king . He had promoted non-violent agitation to get rid of racial segregation and wanted the integration of white and black societies. Stokely Car-michael, who had worked for several years with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, which organized sit-ins and freedom rides) demanded Black Power in 1966. Influenced by the ideas of the black muslims and malcolm x , he believed that integration was ‘a subterfuge for the maintenance of white supremacy’. Blacks should develop their own cultural identity and run their own communities, electing black officials, forming black businesses and consumer co-operatives and by taking control of black schools. Rejecting non-violence, he said that ‘black people should and must fight back’. The Black Power movement spread throughout the black community and influenced the black ghetto riots . Both CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and the SNCC adopted parts of its programme, while a militant minority (never more than 2,000), the Black Panthers, was involved in shootouts with the police. By promoting African-American values it affected black life-styles in theatre, dance, music and the taking of African surnames and created the demand for black studies at universities. It also spread a black nationalist ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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