Black Power’s Antecedents● A. Phillip Randolph○ Led the March on Washington Movement in 1941 for wartimejobs in the defense industries and to desegregate the military.○ Believed in this idea of black self-empowerment/self-reliance.○ He was seen as the very beginning of black power being formedbecause later on he encouraged his black readers in themagazine, “The Black Worker” and told them “you possesspower, great power”.
Black Power’s Antecedents● Malcolm X○ Considered a more aggressive leader of the movement.○ Learned of the Nation of Islam while he was in prison andbecame one of the most prominent speakers from it.○ Usually spoke directly to specifically black men and tried to lighta fire that would get them to fight in defense of not onlythemselves but for everyone in the black community.○ Believed that there was no point in being a passive to theaggression and hate that they experienced from white peopleand that violence should be met with violence.○ Assassinated ion February 21, 1965 as he was about to deliveranother speech
Black Power’s Antecedents● Malcolm’s Internationalism Result○ Bandung Conference● in 1955 which had leaders from 29 different nations to “discusspolitlical self-determination, national sovereignty, non-aggression,non-interference in internal affairs, and equality as it applied tocolonialism, racial discrimination, religion, peace, and economicdevelopment.”
Black Power’s Antecedents● Paramilitary Defense Units● Organization of the Deacons of Defense and Justice● Were seen as a “police system” that provided protection by use ofcarrying rifles, handguns, and sometimes walkie-talkies.● Were seen as needed to balance out the ideology of the nonviolentmovement because otherwise “there [was] no telling how manykillings there would have been” according to the president of theDeacons, Charles Sims
"Proclaiming" Black Power● At a freedom rally in Mississippi, Stokely Carmichael firstproclaimed the words, "Black Power!"○ Carmichael decided it was time for blacks to take over in order to stopsome of the oppression.● Gave blacks the ability to feel like they could integrate into society
The Black Panther Party● Founded in Oakland, California in 1966 by HueyNewton, it was a revolutionary socialist organization thatgained popularity in the 60s because of its involvementin US politics and numerous social/community programsaimed at helping inner-city blacks.● Their aim was to alleviate poverty and improve livingconditions among those groups of African Americans.
The Black Panther Party● Oftentimes used forceful means to fight oppression,which eventually led to the party becoming notorious forviolence against police.● According to J. Edgar Hoover, then FBI director, theBPP was "the greatest threat to the internal security ofthe country."● Oftentimes took advantage ofCalifornia law that allowed thecarrying of loaded rifles as long asthey were not hidden or pointedat anyone.
A Dissident Youth Culture● In the 1970s, African American attendance of collegesand universities across the country began to increasedramatically.● This, along with the introduction of Black Studies as apath of education, gave them a new means for activismand became their "academic manifestation" of blackpower.● African American students began to demand morecourses specifically designed for their history andliterature, as well as for the hiring of more blackprofessors and staff at higher learning institutions.
A Dissident Youth Culture● The Afro hairstyle itself was actually born as a counter-culture statement against traditional, "white" definitionsof beauty that valued straight, long hair. It was anotheroutlet for black youth to show its displeasure with theestablished norm.● Black women chose to wear their hair in this waybecause "Our desire to be free has to manifest itself ineverything we do..."- Assata Shakur,Black Panther.
Black Artistic Power-Black Arts Movement established artistic aesthetic expression of black powerthrough its community based cultural production through intelletcual literarywork through the perspective of African Americans-1960 On Guard for Freedom; a black nationalist literary circle formed in NY-The Umbra Workshop; a distinct race-conscious group formed in 1962 whichincluded NY literary and visual artists/musicians who argued that art couldbe an agent of social change-NY literary group; Harlem Writers Guild included John Oliver Killens and MayaAngelou.-July 2, 1966 John Oliver Killens published an article in a white orientedmagazine entitled "Speaking OUt: Negroes Have a Right Fight Back"advocating black power and arguing "moral suasion alone had neverbrought about a revolution"
Black Artistic Power-The Black Arts Movement combined politics and art in a manner of expressionof aesthetic values-Two of the most poignant anthologies produced during the black power eraare Black Fire (1968) edited by Baraka and Larry Neal, and The BlackAesthetic (1971) by Addison Gayle.-The Black Aesthetic provided a cultural glimpse of the black power movementincorporating drama, poetry, music, and literature into the development oftheories of independent black culture through contemporary and historicalwritings-This anthology unified contemporary political and cultural figures such asRichard Wright, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B. Du Bois-The rapidly grown widespread mantra "black is beautiful" increased rejectionof cultural assimilation including the rejection of integrational oriented civilrights organizations such as the NAACP, SCLC, and the Urban League
Black Artistic Power-The new aesthetic not only corrected the American perspective throughliterary writings, but also in music.-1963 Baraka established Blues People during the Black Arts Movementthrough its folk roots featuring the blues, jazz and soul-The Black Arts Movement adopted free jazz based on its highly skilledimprovisation using unstructured melodic inflections and rhythmic lines thatchallenged constraint and approximated vocal effects.-1970s "blaxploitation" --another style of film emerged during this era. Thisstyle included a mix of gangsterism, drug culture, sex, and violence.-During this time period, black women writers such as Toni Morrison, GaylJones, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou projected their feelings aboutoppression and sexism.-Through gender perspective of black experience, African American womenwriters argued against submission to the demands of a polite society thatwished them to be silent.
Black Feminism-In 1965 Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan reported "TheNegro Family: The Case for National Action"; a highly publicized case thatexamined the continued racial disparities between black and whites duringthe decade of the Brown decision in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964-This report included the blatant identification of racial discriminationreponsible for the growing problem that placed the black family out of thenorm of the stable white family-Moynihan also blamed the growing number of black female-headedhouseholds for the "tangle of pathology" within the black communityMoynihans report created rage among black feminists; female writer MichelleWallace described it as "a brain-shattering explosion upon the heads ofblack women, the accumuation of over 300 years of rage."-During the late 1960s and 1970s, gender-conscious black women struggled tofit between the black-power and feminist movements.
Black Feminism-In 1972 congresswoman Shirley Chisholm responded to critics of the AfricanAmerican womens movement as "in many respects, it was more difficult tobe a woman than a black"-The Third World Womens Alliance (TWWA) considered to be the most radicalof the black power womens organizations, formed in 1968 in New York afterthe SNCC shifted to black power.-The TWWA main concerns primarily focused on the same social problems asthe National Black Feminist Organization-"Free Angela Davis" was one of the organizations most publicized campaignthat occured after Davis was arrested and charged in a Marin County (CA)courthouse.
Social and Political Realities● Riots began to grow and kept growing to the pointwhere "neither congressional legislation nor executiveaction could stem the violence."● Riots broke out all across America○ Los Angeles, Detroit, Newark, Watts, etc.○ Even more riots broke out at the news of Dr. Martin LutherKings assassination.● Massive migration/movement seen in an attempt tohave their voices be heard.○ As a result, their voices began to be heard and blacks becamemore prevalent in the government.● Though there were rising levels of black unemployment,by the end of the movement, there had been a drasticchange in the black voice as a whole.