In the history of the United States, the black power movement was a persistent effort by the black Americans to obtain control of institutions that affected their lives. By 1954, it was estimated that 65% of the back Americans lived in the urban areas. This was the first time in the America’s history that a large number of the blacks lived outside the south, and marked the completion of the population shift that began in the period of the Great Migration.
The blacks’ leaving the south was never an assurance that discrimination against them would stop. The status of the blacks facing discrimination on a daily basis remained unchanged. They lived in substandard housing, concentrated in less skilled jobs and were the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Their average income was only three fifth of that of the white families. This state catalyzed the riots in urban areas experienced in the 1960’s. The need of achieving their domestic rights was conceded by violence. Many blacks opposed the courage and patience shown by Dr. Martin Luther King in his non-violent to injustice in the American society. King laid out a vision of America that will rise and live out the meaning of its creed; he said that the blacks held this truth as self-evidence; that all men were created equally (Egbuna 1971).
The blacks needed to get an independent economy, social and political power. Stoke Carmichael, who was a leader of the student non-violent coordinating committee (SNCC), was the first to use the phrase “black power”, which became a political slogan in that time. The movement got intense power in 1960’s. This is when a group of black activists were not contented with the progress and goals of the civil rights movement that they considered limited. The black power movement welcomed different groups, among them SNCC, the Congress of Racial equity, the Black Panthers, and the Black Muslims (Egbuna 1971).
The black power exercise took several forms, like committing militant actions of defiance, developing businesses owned by blacks, putting pressure on colleges and schools to come up with a program in the black studies, electing blacks in to the office and organizing black community groups. However, the Landmark Brown v. Board of education and the Supreme Court reversed Plessey v. Ferguson, and declared that separate but equal public education was unconstitutional. By 1970’s, the movement had for the most part done away with many of its goals since they were adopted by the civil rights movement as a whole (Ogbar 2009).
The embodiment of the black power movement was the Black Panther party, which was established by Newton, Bobby S, Huey P. and others. The party embraced violence to accomplish justice for blacks and, ultimately, Seale and Newton were beleaguered by police. Newton was condemned of killing a police. SNCC rejected its historical strategy of non-violence and embraced the doctrine of the Black Power. The movement caused a numerical of black people to talk out that the protests extended even in writing and sports. In the year 1968, Black Panther wrote his bestselling biography Soul on Ice. The composer Amira Baraka distributed an anthology of protests writing known as Black Fire, and in the year 1970, Stalely Carmichael and Charles wrote the book Black Power that identifies the movement. In the year 1967, heavy weight champion Muhammad Ali turned down his induction in the army on the basis of his religion and political grounds. Tommie smith and John Carlos uplifted their gloved fist to salute the black power after their victory stand at the Olympic Games in Mexico City.