Aerious Jeffery
Mrs. Murphy
US History 1023.10
19 April 2016
The Black Power Movement
Through the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum which spark ed th e beginning of the Black Power m ovem ent. The Black Power m ovement was a turning point in black and white relations in America and a turning point on how blacks opinionated themselves. Even though this movement was not a "formal" movement, some saw it as a positive thing used to help the black society reach full equality with whites and other races. Reviled by others as a militant, the movement was destroying plans to keep separation and segregation between blacks and whites without equality. The term "black power" had been around since the 1950s, but head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Stokely Carmichael, popularized the term in 1966. However, America was experiencing society and cultural changes , and the Black Power m ovement was a complex event taking place and its legacy would soon reflect that complexity.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) worked to eliminate racial discrimination between blacks and whites throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. People across the country were releasing positive responses because of their effort they put into the movement . The leader of the SCLC, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., received great praise from his adherence to nonviolent tactics. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and a year later he signed the Voting Rights Act. In late 1966, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP), which was initially a group to track police violence but turned into a civil rights group. Within a short period of time, these groups and people gained momentum and by t he late 1960s, the Black Power m ovement had made a definite mark on the American society and culture.

The civi l rights legislation was a effective step taken toward eliminating inequality between blacks and whites. Even though the progress of the Black Power Movement was very well obvious, reality was taking over. Blacks still faced the same problems: lower wages than whites, higher crime rates in their neighborhoods, and unspoken racial discrimination. On the other hand, younger blacks wanted something that would speed up the process of equality: socially, economically, and politically. Overall, they felt as if the civil rights movement was based more on white's opinions rather than blacks.

The movement created a sense of racial pride and self-esteem in blacks. They were told that it was up to themselves to improve the black society and views on them from others. Black Power advocates encouraged blacks to form, and/or join black political parties that could improve the power of the blacks and offer a foundation for real socioeconomic progress. For years, the blacks were trying to be what the whites wanted them to be, but the movement's leaders began to tell them that it was time for them to set their own ground and be what or who they want to be.

The Black Power movement had numerous of positive outcomes, mostly on the black culture. The word "Negro", which was associated with slavery, was replaced with the word "black". Black study programs and black study departments were being formed throughout colleges and universities. Young black poets, authors, and visual artists found their voices and shared those voices with others. Although, the same racial unity and pride that made the Black Power movement so dynamic, also made it problematic. Whites, and some blacks, thought the movement was trying to segregate blacks and whites and undoing the important work of the civil rights movement.

Also, because the Black Power movement was not a "formal organized" movement, there was really no central leadership. This meant that different organizations with divergent agendas often couldn't agree on the best action to take. The more radical groups accused the more mainstream groups of going against blacks and with whites, while the more mainstream groups accused the more radical groups of becoming violent. Most of the formal organizations had come into prominence with the Black Power movement had