Introduction Black power can be described as a political slogan that is associated with many black ideologies. It was a slogan used in the 1950’s and the 1960’s in the United States during the black revolution. Black power or black pride during this time centered on racial pride for blacks and emphasized on nurturing and promoting black values and collective interests. This movement had a number of political goals some of which included a fight against racial discrimination, oppression and denial of some rights like those of voting. The black power movement was designed to create pride in black Americans that they were not lesser beings to whites, that they were indeed beautiful.
King’s dedication to the cause is irrefutable as he was arrested at least thirty times, one precise occasion for this occurring during a protest to eliminate segregation in restaurants and eating facilities in Birmingham, Alabama, April 16th. During this period of time in prison, King wrote his famous ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ letter, defending his belief in non-violent protest. King addresses his letter to ‘My Dear Fellow Clergymen’, members of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, an affiliate organisation of the SCLC, of which he was president. The influence of King’s letter can been seen as hugely significant, as it confronted the need for immediate action, honing in on and attacking the belief that King had “yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation”. This phrase, and indeed, his whole letter, instigated the continuation of King’s and his supporter’s direct action campaigns.
Unfortunately, this was not the end of Kings crusade for equality. From then on, King held many protests for groups all over America who were treated unfairly. He lead his final protest in 1969 in Memphis, Tennessee in aid of the African-American garbage workers and their unsuitable working conditions. It was at this protest in which Martin Luther King was shot by a man by the name of James Earl Ray which lead to King reign as an inspirational leader for American people. He is recognized for his efforts every third Monday in January on ‘Martin Luther King Jr. Day.’ This day is celebrated in recognition for his crusade for equality for the African-American and ethnic communities in
At that meeting Martin Luther King gave an inspiring speech that spread the boycott further among blacks. On December 8th, Martin Luther King held a meeting with bus officials and lawyers. He and the MIA appealed for the desegregation of the service, but were denied. During the boycott, blacks walked, biked, carpooled(private black drivers transported passengers) and hitchhiked to get around. Black taxi drivers offered discounts to black passengers.
Malcolm X preached Black supremacy and Black Nationalism. Propaganda was used all throughout Malcolm X’s fight for Civil Rights during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Propaganda in the form of utilising speeches and having the ability to persuade people through these speeches, With this great ability he was able to gain mass following and become very popular and power full within the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X was a member of the NOI until 1962, when, allegedly, following a fallout with Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X formed his own organization, the black nationalist Organization for Afro-American Unity. He said he had formed the new organization because there were many African American people who were not religiously inclined to accept the Muslim faith, but were interested in active participation in the political, economic and social program of the black nationalists. (BLACK NATIONALISM An all-Negro Nation is one of the principal goals by Gary Allen, 1967)With preaching to his followers of a new way of life by living without the White Americans temptations, these temptations were put in place to get the African Americans to become out of order and become divided with this happening the White Americans would be able to sneak their was in a diminish the want for the
Du Bois stated this due to his, “observation over the last 10-15 years” and had noted years after the Emancipation Proclamation that, “the occurrence of Black disenfranchisement, the creation of distinct status of civil inferiority for Negros, and the withdrawal of aid to institutions educating Blacks” (Du Bois). Regardless of how well Washington’s speech may have been to his “intended audience”, Du Bois view of Blacks being passive, in regards to Washington’s speech, showed that little or if any consideration were given to Blacks in return of them giving up, “political power, insistence of civil rights, and higher education of Negro youth” (Du Bois). The action of Blacks giving what little they had to begin with, in order to pacify and fit in with his oppressor did not benefit them and seem very illogical to Du Bois during this time. Du Bois’ emotion is prevalent throughout his essay and also carried with it the feeling and emotions of many of Black Americans during that time. One must note that Du Bois’ critique of Washington’s address came only after the Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Speech and also that change was still a constant throughout the states at that time.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, black Americans faced a number of civil rights problems. These problems included segregation, black voter – registration as well as poverty which began to become Martin Luther Kings focus after major civil rights legislation. Martin Luther King responded to these issues by organising a successful boycott to end segregation on transport, a march in Selma and his Poor People’s campaign. During the 1950’s and 1960’s one of the problems blacks faced was segregation. After the 1896 ‘Plessy vs. Ferguson’ ruling on ‘separate but equal’ everything was segregated.
They protested, marched, wrote letters to Congress, wrote letters to the President, etc. On May 17, 1954, The US Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This decision declared that separate but equal educational facilities were unconstitutional. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015) A form of legislation to alleviate race within prejudicial boundaries was the Voting Rights Act of 1965; this law prohibits racial discrimination in voting. This year commemorates 50 years since the infamous march in Selma, Alabama.
The American Civil War 1861 to 1865 was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy"); the other 25 states supported the federal government called the Union. After four years of warfare, mostly within the Southern states, the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was outlawed everywhere in the nation. Issues that led to war were partially resolved in the Reconstruction Era that followed, though others remained unresolved. As African Americans we should know the history of the civil War and what he has really done for us.
They put their life on the line and stood against the wrong boldly and fearlessly . Many leaders such as, anti apartheid leader, Mandela spent over twenty years in prison for opposing the racist apartheid, which excluded blacks from many different fields in the society he later than was elected as the first democratic president of South Africa in 1994 . Mandela's leadership helped South Africa to soar high to greater height, Mahatma Gandhi, who was one of the main figurehead in India's fight in self determination and independence. Gandhi influenced millions of people through his nonviolent acts and gained independence, Martin Luther King nonviolent civil rights leader inspired American civil right movement to achieve greater equality within US and Ang Sang Su Kyi , Burmese opposition leader was offered Nobel peace prize for opposing to the military government and was house arrest for many years . (http://www.biographyonline.net/people/famous/leaders.html) These heroes defied the people trying to pull them down and stayed put to their visions and change the life of millions of people and their country