The Brighter Side
By: Alvin Batiller
1960 to 1976, the black power movement was a battle to free the blacks from the white political, social, and cultural authority. The Black Power Movement’s aim was to advocate ethnic pride, self reliance, self assertion, and to maximize opportunities of black individuals. Stokley Carmichael is believed to be the founder of the Black Power Movement.
Martin Luther King Jr., and his beliefs of non-violence and brotherhood, succeeded in the war of inequality. Although the successes of Martin Luther King Jr. were vast, blacks still felt as if they were discriminated in many social institutions. King’s approach and disappointment lead other leaders such as, Huey Newton, Malcolm X, and Stokley Carmichael to look for a different approach. They suggested that the only way to win freedom, is by force.
Some African Americans sought cultural heritage and history and the true roots of black identity as their part of the movement. This was thought of as the "consciousness" aspect of the Black Power Movement. The classic phrases belonged to the musicians: "Free your mind and your ass will follow" (George Clinton/Funkadelic) and "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud" (James Brown). The recognition that standards of beauty and self-esteem were integral to power relations was also a significant aspect of the movement.
One main point of the Black Power Concept was the necessity for Black people to define the world in their own terms. At times this included a call for revolutionary political struggle to reject racism and imperialism in the United States. As the Black Power Concept began to grow, it also began to build resistance and condemnation from whites and from several African American organizations, including the NAACP, because of the anti-white message associated (often unfairly) with Black Power. When the Black Panther Party began to grow in the late 1960s, it became the largest Black...