Black Power as Interpreted by Stokely Carmichael

Powerful Essays
Black Power, the seemingly omnipresent term that is ever-so-often referenced when one deals with the topic of Black equality in the U.S. While progress, or at least the illusion of progress, has occurred over the past century, many of the issues that continue to plague the Black (as well as other minority) communities have yet to be truly addressed. The dark cloud of rampant individual racism may have passed from a general perspective, but many sociologists, including Stokely Carmichael; the author of “Black Power: the Politics of Liberation in America”, have and continue to argue that the oppressive hand of “institutional racism” still holds down the Black community from making any true progress.

Carmichael views America as a system that refuses to acknowledge the issue of race in an honest fashion. Because the holders of the country’s power, Whites, have no sense of urgency in the matter, it is comfortable taking its time in addressing such “inconvenient” problems. When the current power structure leaves those at the top of it in a particularly comfortable state, the desire to make changes that would only allow for others to have equal chance to take such a seat is unlikely.

This state of push-and-pull is far from one that would allow any sort of true social progress for Blacks, and when the power holding demographic does see fit to establish a state that coincides with the favor of the minority, it is rarely for the express purpose of allowing further rights for the population of people that they hold such power over. In all likelihood, as discussed by Carmichael and his colleagues, the power structure is merely making effort in order to adjust for a less submissive subservient population. While claims such as this are easy ...

... middle of paper ... least be considered.

The concepts of Reform and Revolution are nearly polarizing by their very nature, with one seeking to modify, and the other seeking to destroy and rebuild. If an organized Black movement was to find itself in an opportunistic position -whatever that may be- with which to attempt a radical movement (in either case; reform or revolution, the resulting movement would need to be large and radical if it would hope to accomplish its goals before the opportunity for change ceases to present itself) it would only serve to befall their efforts if they found themselves in a splintered state of conflicting ideologies. But, in either case, be it reform or revolution, a reconfiguring of the thought processes behind how one looks at the nature of American politics is undoubtedly necessary in order to look into the potential for future Black liberation.
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