The movement for Black Power in the U.S. emerged from the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. Beginning in 1959, Robert F. Willams, president of the Monroe, North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, openly questioned the ideology of nonviolence and its domination of the movement's strategy. Williams was supported by prominent leaders such as Ella Baker and James Forman, and opposed by others, such as Roy Wilkins(the national NAACP chairman) and Martin Luther King. In 1961, Maya Angelou, Leroi Jones, and Mae Mallory led a riotous (and widely-covered) demonstration at the United Nations to protest the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Malcolm X, national representative of the Nation of Islam, also launched an extended critique of nonviolence and integrationism at this time. After seeing the increasing militancy of blacks in the wake of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and wearying of the domination of Elijah Muhammed over the Nation of Islam, Malcolm left that organization and engaged with the mainstream of the Civil Rights Movement. Malcolm was now open to voluntary integration as a long-term goal, but still supported armed self-defense, self-reliance, and black nationalism; he became a simultaneous spokesman for the militant wing of the Civil Rights Movement and the non-separatist wing of the Black Power movement.
An early manifestation of Black Power in popular culture was the performances given by Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall in March 1964, and the album In Concert which resulted from them. Simone mocked liberal nonviolence ("Go Limp"), and took a vengeful position toward white racists ("Mississippi Goddamn" and her adaptation of "Pirate Jenny"). Historian Ruth Feldstein writes that, "Contrary to the neat historical trajectories which suggest that black power came late in the decade and only after the 'successes' of earlier efforts, Simone’s album makes clear that black power perspectives were already taking shape and circulating...
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