Monday, July 19, 2010

The Black Power Movement

By Simon Waker Haughtone

The black power movement is considered a consequence of the movement for civil rights. It is a culmination of various ideologies which gives it a political meaning, mostly through African Americans in the United States. It wasn't started as such, but was a reaction to give an identity to the people of African origin.

No doubt it is a political theory, but it is considered mostly a concept and an accumulation of various ideas through which black people would fight against racial oppression. Separatism theory was part of it but the main motto was to arouse racial pride, which eventually lead to the creation of black social and political institutions rendering cultural interests.

Richard Wright is credited for the usage of the theory in his book titled 'Black Power' which had some interesting reviews and was the base of many social and political ideologies. The concept gained popularity through the famous 'March Against Fear' in 1966. There were some differences in ideologies which resulted in two groups being formed, one who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr (their slogan being 'freedom now') and the rest who aligned with Stokely Carmichael. The latter had a different slogan called 'black power' during the march.

Kwame Ture (earlier known as Stokely Carmichael) and Mukasa Dada (Willie Ricks) are considered pioneers through their efforts resulting in the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The SNCC was known to be an extremist organization which was outspoken enough to criticize non-violent ways of confronting inequality and racism in particular.

There were many Black Power advocates who did not favor the concept of black separatism and black nationalism, prominent among them were Bayard Rustin and Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was of the opinion that the black power movement was like a struggle against class and not against race. His thoughts are covered in his book, 'Seize the Time' which blames economic exploitation for the oppression of black people in United States of America. Bayard Rustin believed that the black power struggle diverted energy from a meaningful debate to a mere struggle for power.

Still, it is considered that the fight was not against any community or race; it was a struggle against policies and people in power, more so a combined movement against the government.

The black power movement has been a significant event giving rise to many modern socio-economic philosophies, so people who want to get more information about the movement can check information database.

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