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Black Power Impact

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Black Power, the seemingly ubiquitous term that is ever-so-often referenced when one deals with the topic of Black equality in the United States. While progress, or at least the illusion of progress, has occurred over the past century, many of the issues that continue to plague the Black (as well as other minority) communities have yet to be truly addressed. Although African-American writers and politicians used the term “Black Power” for years, the expression first entered the lexicon of the Civil Rights Movement during the Meredith March Against Fear in the summer of 1966. On that day, Stokely Carmichael rallied a crowd in Greenwood, Mississippi, with the cry, “We want Black Power!” Thenceforth, controversy has shrouded the term, reflecting…show more content…
In his 2009 article titled “The Black Power Movement, Democracy, and America in the King Years”, author Peniel E. Joseph offers the contributions of Black Power:
Black Power offered new words, images, and political frameworks that impacted and influenced a wide spectrum of American and global society. The movement’s breadth spanned continents and crossed oceans but indelibly shaped local struggles at the grassroots level in urban and rural communities across the nation. Before contemporary discussion of multiculturalism and diversity entered America's national lexicon, Black Power promoted new definitions of citizenship, identity, and democracy that, although racially specific, inspired a variety of multiracial groups in their efforts to shape a new
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Each definition brings with it its own set of experiences, ideologies, and perceptions. Carmichael defined Black Power as a movement of black people who, furious with their circumstances, decided that they and they alone would determine the outcome of their lives. King had a similar definition of Black Power stating that “Power is not the white man’s birthright; it will not be legislated for us and delivered in neat government packages. It is social force any group can utilize by accumulation its elements in a planned deliberate campaign to organized it under its own control.” King simply thought that Black Power as a slogan was too forceful and created a negative connotation. Peniel E. Joseph defined Black Power as a constructive force, advancing the cause of black people everywhere. It is clear that everyone has a different way of defining Black Power from Malcolm X and The Nation of Islam to Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to Stokely Carmichael and SNCC, each definition is different. At this point in American history, it is time for the downtrodden people of this nation to decide how to move forward in accomplishing their goals. Whether or not this movement mirrors the Civil Rights or Black Power will be a pertinent choice. Remembering the negative repercussions of Black Power, Americans must weight their options before the fight for change. The only thing that is clear is
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