UNIT IX. The Black Power Movement II: African American Cultural Expressions of Black Power / Gender & Black Nationalism
A. Black Power Themes: Assertion of black pride and beauty, black masculinity and consciousness, desire for economic power and to control African American communities, and to end of police brutality.
B. Various Manifestation of Black Power: Definitions & Expressions of Black Power: In his seminal work, New Day in Babylon William L. Van DeBurg argues that the Black Power movements, although short-lived, succeed in creating a cultural revolution and raised and transformed the consciousness of African American men and women. Van DeBurg asserts that Black Power was “manifested in a variety of forms and intensities, and is best understood as a broad, adaptive, cultural term serving to connect and illuminate the differing ideological orientations of the movement’s supporters.” Many African Americans appropriated, subscribed, borrowed, and reconstructed black-nationalist themes of social, political, and economic independence to fit their socio-economic realities. They subscribed to black power discourse that espoused themes of empowerment, autonomy, and the idea of black autonomous communities.
C. Organized Crime / Drug Rackets of the 1960s: Frank Lucas & Nick Barnes; Drug racketeers appropriate of Black Power themes and sell to drugs to African American communities.
D. Black Entertainment & Political & Cultural Activism
1. Black entertainment had a sense of obligation to the African American community and the black freedom struggle.
2. Historical Examples of black entertainers as activists
a. Actress Hattie McDaniel: Chairman of the Negro Division of the Hollywood Victory Committee; member of Sigma Gamma Rho, an African American Greek letter sorority.
b. Josephine Baker: Refused to performed in segregated audiences; worked the NAACP, and spoke at the March on Washington in August 1963