The Black Power Movement

The Black Power Movement

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According to the book review at Barnes and Nobel.com,
“Black Power was one of the clearest manifestations of the
movement's change of direction in the late 1960s.” Black Power
was a change set out by one man to give rights back to black
people and put an end to prejudice and imperialism. One of the
goals set out by Kwame Ture and Charles Hamilton, the authors of
Black Power was to make black people stronger and overcome the
subjection of a white society. Suppression by whites was the
central problem trying to be solved. Attempting to achieve a new
consciousness of the problem, by responding in their own way to
a white society, was the overall goal of the movement.
The main idea behind Black Power was to address the
problems at hand and find solutions to them in order to find
economic, political, and social justice. “It is about black
people taking care of business—the business of and for black
people” (Ture and Hamilton, 1967, XV). Economic problems
included not being able to afford a good education because of
low incomes and unemployment for months at a time. Social
problems such as lack of civil rights were the key motivator in
the Black Power movement. White extremist groups targeting black
people, such as the Klu Klux Klan, also fueled the ambition of
liberation of suppression. Politically, black men and women had
virtually no rights, they could not vote, or be elected into
office in a predominantly white political system. As Black Power
infiltrated itself into society, however, more and more
political groups were being heard across the nation.
Politics was the best used method of spreading the goals
and intents of Black Power. Through political groups, like the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or the SNCC, and
later the Black Panther Party, the idea was made known publicly.
The SNCC was one of the first organizations to promote Black
Power in the mid-1960s. “Many SNCC workers came to believe that
further progress depended on independent black political power.”
(Microsoft Encarta Online, 1999). Organizations such as these
gave people political power and helped the economic movement.
Through politics, the economic problems of education and jobs
could be attended to. Politics lead to giving more black people
civil rights, allowing such things as a wider range of public
school access (blacks and whites, not segregated). With black
people beginning to have a voice, it would be easier to get a
job when people saw you as someone who may be “important” to the
community. There would, however, still be discrimination in the
work place as well as everywhere else, increased by
organizations like the Black Panthers.

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According to Black Power, the people must put this
discrimination and prejudice behind them and move on to achieve
their own hopes and goals so they may rise up above the hatred.
Many of the political organizations strived in the 1960s, and
the goal of establishing a voice in the public’s eye was
achieved. Economically some differences were made in education
and employment, but these were not the main issues of the
movement. Gaining civil rights and fighting for freedom was the
main goal of Black Power. Through the use of politics, new civil
liberties were instituted for black people helping to achieve
many of the goals of the movement. While the movement may not
have succeeded in all aspects such as economically, and
racially, it was a pivotal action during the civil rights
movement and allowed many new civil liberties given to the
people and a halt to many injustices suppressing black people.
Black Power attempts to resolve the problems of the black
people by promoting to take action into their own hands and
overwrite the order of white male domination over society. It
stresses that black people cannot wait for help and must do for
themselves. These ideas were carried out with political, social,
and economic standpoints. Politics carried the Black Power
movement and allowed social goals to be set as well. Through
these three positions, Black Power centered on overcoming white
suppression and achieving a consciousness that there is a
problem and in order to solve that problem the enemy must in
turn be suppressed by them. Black Power was created to spread
the idea that black people must become stronger and unite to put
an end to prejudice, racism, and injustice in the black
community.
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