How Accurate Is It to Say That the Black Power Movements of the 1960’s Achieved Nothing for the Black People?

Topics: Black people, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Black Power Pages: 5 (1857 words) Published: February 10, 2013
How accurate is it to say that the Black Power Movements of the 1960’s achieved nothing for the Black people?

In some ways I agree that the Black power Movements of the 1960’s achieved nothing for the Black people because by 1968 little had changed, and it is therefore easy to claim that Black Power movements achieved nothing, and in fact had a negative impact on black Americans. However in some ways I disagree because the Black Power movements in the early 1960s coincided with the peak of success for the Civil Rights campaign such as the freedom cities of 1966 or the Free D.C. movement. Firstly I agree that the Black Power Movements achieved nothing for Black people relations between King and other Civil Rights groups were never entirely secure, and he was often accused of taking credit for the efforts of others, for example in the student sit-ins of 1961. He was criticised for a cynical use of children in the Birmingham campaign of 1963 and for cowardice in halting the first Selma March. These attacks reflect internal rivalries that had nothing to do with Black Power. They increased after 1966 when he moved his focus to the north. The Chicago campaign of 1966 was a dismal failure and also revealed a cultural gap between the respectable bible-belt leaders of the south and the ghetto-based youth of the north, who found Malcolm X a more inspiring figure. The whole situation was made much worse by the war in Vietnam, which diverted money and media attention and created a widening gap between black and white communities. Many black people resented having to fight for a country that valued them so little, while white public opinion saw the refusal of some to serve, like Mohammed Ali, as unpatriotic. The most important point, however, is that once legal equality had been achieved in 1965 and the focus shifted to the social and economic effects of long-term discrimination, King’s methods were ineffective.

Secondly the Chicago campaign. The Albany movement
Thirdly the Memphis Sanitation workers strike. The Mississippi Freedom Summer On the other hand the Freedom cities were aimed to bring ‘home rule’ to the black community of Washington D.C. The project was started with the demonstration against the way the local schools were administered. Towards the end of 1966 the black citizens of Washington D.C. had won the right to elect their own school boards. SNCC gained $3 million worth of government funding to improve community policing. SNCC innovated similar projects for example in New York the campaign saw black people take control of the intermediate School in Harlem as well as in Mississippi set up a Child Development Group in which the group raised $1.5 million from the churches and the federal government in order to set up 85 head start centres to support young children . Furthermore the March on Washington was a massive success groups such as the SCLC.SNCC, CORE and the NAACP were involved it was also to commemorate the 100 years since the Emancipation Proclamation was created the campaigned was initially designed to pass a Civil Rights Bill. 250,000 people marched to the Lincoln memorial to hear Kings famous ‘I have a dream speech’ as well as other figures of the Civil Rights Movement. The March drew a vast amount of media attention. The March ensured support for new civil rights legislation which gave the government power to desegregate southern states. It presented the civil rights movement as a united front. Additionally the Birmingham campaign aimed to desegregate the city’s largest shopping areas schools and public parks as well as demanding an end to racial discrimination in employment. ‘Bull’Connor obtained a court injunction against demonstrations in certain precincts to weaken protests. The 3rd of May the police demonstrators with high pressure fire hoses and arrested and imprisoned 1300 children which caused a media frenzy Kennedy was sickened by the images of police violence from Birmingham. The...
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