2. 1 L: a shift of Radicalism

Download 8.31 Kb.
Size8.31 Kb.
2.1 L: A Shift of Radicalism

  • Radicalism—During the late 1960s, the character of the civil rights movement began to change. Fewer black workers were interested in cooperating with federal officials or white community leaders, as they increasing felt that whites’ participation in the movement was ineffective and underlined the goal of integration rather than black pride. Instead, many African Americans embraced separatism, or the racial separation of blacks and whites. Some of these freedom fighters saw Malcolm X as a hero, since he had promoted black separatism. They also embraced the new SNCC chairman, Stokely Carmichael, who later took the name of Kwame-Toure. Carmichael sought to exclude white from SNCC’s work in black communities beginning around 1966. He explained, “[White civil rights workers] run from Berkeley to tell us [blacks] what to do in Mississippi; let them look instead at Berkeley. They admonish blacks to be nonviolent; let them preach nonviolence in the white community.”

  • Black Power—During a march in June 1966, Carmichael passionately addressed a Greenwood, Mississippi, audience saying, “We been saying freedom for six years and we ain’t got nothin’. What we gonna start saying now is black power.” Overnight, “Black Power” became the slogan of militant blacks who agreed with Carmichael. Rather than seeking racial integration, as earlier demonstrators had done in bus boycotts and sit-ins, black advocates sought justice, economic power, and African-American representation in positions of political power, and African-American representation in positions of political power, federal leadership, and law enforcement. Black power supporters also emphasized “Black Pride,” or blacks’ positive self-image.

  • The Black Panther Party---One of the key organizations promoting black power was the Black Panther Party. Founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale lifted the party’s name from a southern black political party’s Black Panther emblem, which symbolized dignity and strength. The Black Panthers began in Oakland, California, and attracted mostly poor, urban blacks from northern cities who were willing to “pick up the gun” and other weapons as self-defense. Armed Black Panthers traveled in groups and followed police officers’ activities to ensure that white police did not harass black men, women, and children. The most daring Panthers openly confronted police. During one tense encounter in front of a journalism office, Newton walked up to a large white policeman who was making gestures to reach for his gun. “You big fat racist pig, draw your gun!’ he yelled, and when the cop did not draw, Newton walked away laughing. The Black Panthers also outlined a 10-point program for gaining justice and better education for African Americans. The federal government, however, viewed the Panthers’ military style fierceness as too threatening. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) organized COINTELPRO, a covert operation that raced the Black Panthers’ activities, raided the Panthers’ office, and published derogatory cartoons discrediting the party. Ultimately, the FBI and the Panthers’ violent tactics brought about the unraveling of the Black Panther Party.

  • The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement—Although incidents of violence between whites and blacks continued to erupt in prisons, in public arenas, and on college campuses, they declined in frequency by the early 1970s, Civil rights activists then focused on integrating schools by busing mostly black students into higher-quality schools in white neighborhoods. By 1974, over 75 percent of black students in the South were enrolled in integrated schools. Black students’ achievements continued to improve in the 1970s; whereas in 1950 only 13% of black students completed high school and 2.2 % completed college, in 1982, 58% completed high school and 12.4 completed college. Demands for black studies departments, black faculty, and black student unions rose on college campuses, and despite some resistance, Afro-American and African studies sprung up nationwide. While poverty, imprisonment, and fractured families continued to trouble many African-American communities, the civil rights movement marked a dramatic change in American society. No longer did the majority of whites or blacks accept that only native-born white Americans deserved first-class citizenship. Nor did most people accept the racial stereotype that African Americans should be “quietly obedient” to their government or peers in the face of discrimination. ON the contrary, blacks’ courage inspired others’ freedom struggles against racial and sexual oppression, creating long lasting change.


  1. What new movement did Stokely Carmichael embrace as leader of the SNCC?

  1. What did the term “Black Power” symbolize?

  1. What types of things did Huey newton and the Black Panther party do to push their agenda?

  1. Steps forward in the civil rights movement:

    1. By 1974:

    2. In 1982:

Download 8.31 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©de.originaldll.com 2023
send message

    Main page