Black Power Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

Black power was a political slogan that originated in the United States and united the various black radical movements. It emphasised racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural organisations. The groups involved in this movement are the Nation of Islam (NOI), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panthers. In this essay, I will argue as to whether these groups’ actions hindered the Black civil rights movement in the 1960s, which was being run alongside Martin Luther King and the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Committee). Overall, I think that these groups did hinder the movement and I will explain why ...view middle of the document...

This made the movement seem dangerous and a harm rather than a good. What’s more is that the Panthers said that blacks shouldn’t fight in the Vietnam War, which enraged the government. This made the government even more reason to not support the movement, which hindered any chance of getting the target achieved.

The Meredith March in 1966 exposed divisions in the movement as well. James Meredith, the first black student to enrol at a university, was shot during the March against Fear. This prompted the SNCC and CORE to argue that this underlined the fact that blacks should use violence to defend themselves. The SCLC and NAACP were heavy believers in non-violence and as a result these two different views exposed divisions in the movement. The movement looked un-organised as they couldn’t agree on the right way themselves. This hindered the movement as it made it look unorganised. The movement also showed geographical divides, with black youths in the north in favour of the campaign due to the leaders often addressing their focus on the ghettos. The south campaigns were focused on social and economic equality and as a result, these two different visions showed divisions. This hindered the movement as it showed divisions and that it was not going in the same direction.

I will now argue as to why it didn’t hinder the movement. The NOI did have some positives and one of these was that it rehabilitated black offenders. The NOI’s message was to ‘clean yourself up, stand up and do something for yourself’ was inspirational to many blacks. Most of the ex-convicts never re-offended once they joined the NOI. This didn’t hinder the movement because it helped blacks put their life back on track and showed that the NOI did want to help. Malcolm X and the movement engaged people in the movement where King didn’t also. King’s Christian message did not work as well in the north and so the NOI engaged people who otherwise would feel disinterested. This didn’t hinder the movement because it got more people involved in it who otherwise...

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