Black Power


A movement among Black Americans emphasizing racial pride and social equality through the creation of Black political and cultural institutions: "Black Power . . . calls for black people to consolidate behind their own, so that they can bargain from a position of strength “a movement in support of rights and political power for black people, especially prominent in the US in the 1960s and 1970s.
By the mid-1960s King’s role as the unchallenged leader of the civil rights movement was questioned by many younger blacks. Activists such as Stokely Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) argued that King’s nonviolent protest strategies and appeals to moral idealism were useless in the face of sustained violence by whites. Some also rejected the leadership of ministers. In addition, many SNCC organizers resented King, feeling that often they had put in the hard work of planning and organizing protests, only to have the charismatic King arrive later and receive much of the credit. In 1966 the Black Power movement, advocated most forcefully by Carmichael, captured the nation’s attention and suggested that King’s influence among blacks was waning. Black Power advocates looked more to the beliefs of the recently assassinated black Muslim leader, Malcolm X, whose insistence on black self-reliance and the right of blacks to defend themselves against violent attacks had been embraced by many African Americans.
With internal divisions beginning to divide the civil rights movement, King shifted his focus to racial injustice in the North. Realizing that the economic difficulties of blacks in Northern cities had largely been ignored, SCLC broadened its civil rights agenda by focusing on issues related to black poverty. King established a headquarters in a Chicago apartment in 1966, using that as a base to organize protests against housing and employment discrimination in the city. Black Baptist ministers who disagreed with many of SCLC’s tactics, especially the confrontational act of sending black protesters into all-white neighborhoods, publicly opposed King’s efforts. The protests did not lead to significant gains and were often met with violent counterdemonstrations by whites, including neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a secret terrorist organization that was opposed to integration.



Throughout 1966 and 1967 King increasingly turned the focus of his civil rights activism throughout the country to economic issues. He began to argue for redistribution of the nation’s economic wealth to overcome entrenched black poverty. In 1967 he began planning a Poor People’s Campaign to pressure national lawmakers to address the issue of economic justice.
Summary: a social, economic, and political movement of Black people, esp in the US, to obtain equality with White people,