The Black Power: Along the Road to Independence
The Black Power: Along the Road to Independence
The Black Power movement sought to instill racial pride, and self-esteem among the African American people. During the years from 1968 through 1979 African American people struggled to not only find themselves but also seeking racial independence. Black Americans were not looking for hand outs by any means, knowing they needed to seek reform in order to acquire the changes and improvements in their lives that they desired. For years African Americans had lived according to the ideals of whites Americans. This would become the time for blacks to secure their own power and change the mindset of African Americans without reliance on the white power structure. It was a time for the Black Society to do anything and everything they could to raise awareness and acceptance of the culture, whether through protests, riots or even the creation of activist groups. The desire to raise awareness is interesting in the approaches and philosophical differences of the organizations and as a means to share in the struggle that lay ahead in the fight to achieve racial equality.

One positive development generated by the Black Power Movement was its influence on the black culture, particularly amongst college students. For the first time African Americans were curious about their heritage and were they came from. This curiosity was partially the result of public addresses by Malcolm X, “You cannot change yourself until you know where you came from!” While Malcolm X was not a leader in the black power movement, he was an influential, charismatic and moving speaker who encouraged a self assessment and non-violent approach to the issue. He inspired people to think for themselves and motivated Black Americans to seek change. Across the United States students wanted to learn about their heritage and the history of blacks. For years blacks were thought to have come from backwards people, but with the study of their heritage it became apparent that their culture was one that was as rich and diverse as any other. Black American students demonstrated through sit ins, protests and picketing that in order to acquire an appreciation of the culture, college and university curriculums would need to offer courses in racial awareness. On Wednesday January 10th 1968 African American students were told that youth were the voice of the future and should support the Black Power Movement. On this day at the University of California, Adam Clayton Powell spoke to six thousand students. During his speech Powell told the audience. “One day black and white young people are going to walk the streets of America and say, this is our land and it does not belong to those senile people in Washington!” Powell went on to add that the youth is going to be the saving grace of America and that the movement is no longer about legislative bills that had been passed but instead about seeking full equality.

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Black Power And African American People. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from