Black Power as an Alternative to the Non-violent Civil Rights Movement in The USA

Topics: Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil disobedience, Nonviolent resistance Pages: 50 (18837 words) Published: February 11, 2014


English Language and Literature
Teaching English Language and Literature for Secondary Schools

Black Power as an Alternative to the Non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the USA

Master’s Diploma Thesis

Acknowledgement

1. INTRODUCTION

African American civil rights movement and African American studies in general have been a field of a great scholarly interest in the last decades. Various courses on African American studies have been taught at American as well as European universities, and numerous academic works have been published. So it was no coincidence that a course titled The Politics of Race and Gender in American Culture: African American Writers captured my attention when I was an exchange student at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece in the 2007-2008 academic year. The course was designed to provide an overview of African American literature and culture and various works were analyzed from the perspective of gender and race. Ms. Domna Pastourmatzi, PhD. was a wonderful lecturer and it was right in her course when I chose to write a comparative essay on the rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X as my final assignment. Years later, that assignment inspired me to explore the area of the American civil rights movement more in depth, focusing on different ideological streams within it. I clearly remember that reading of Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, and especially the story of Kiswana Browne, helped me understand that not all the black people shared the same view about how the protest movement for civil rights should operate and what campaigns and activities it should involve. It also made me consider what the main differences between the non-violent generation and the Black Power generation of the movement were, and why the young Black Power generation was critical of the prior non-violent movement. Based on these findings, I decided to analyze in my master’s thesis if the Black Power movement, which partly based its ideology and program on the criticism and a supposed failure of the non-violent civil rights movement, achieved any significant goals, and therefore if it could be considered more successful and influential than the non-violent movement. To do this, I am going to analyze both the movements’ programs and the most significant and illustrative campaigns that brought about some impact, no matter if positive or negative. The thesis is divided into six chapters, with the first one and the last one being the Introduction and Conclusion, respectively. The second chapter titled “Non-violent Civil Rights Movement” first surveys the most important milestones of the African American civil rights struggle from the 1860s up to the 1950s, and consequently concentrates on some of the civil rights cases and campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s that I find most important and representative. Important personalities such as Martin Luther King, Jr. are not left out of this chapter, either. The third chapter, as its title “Formation of the Black Power Movement as an Alternative” suggests, is concerned with the creation of the Black Power movement as the young generation’s preferred alternative to the already existing non-violent movement. Moreover, it also attempts to explain what is usually understood by the term Black Power, and to sketch the life conditions of the black U.S. population in the 1960s and 1970s, since these played an important role in the emergence of Black Power. The forth chapter provides an overview of Black Power’s objectives and ideology, as they were set forth by the Black Power advocates such as Stokely Carmichael and interpreted by various scholars. Among these objectives there are calls for black people’s redefinition of themselves, for...

Cited: Baskerville, John D. “Free Jazz: A Reflection of Black Power Ideology”. Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Jun., 1994). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1994: 484-497. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2012.
Bates, Daisy
Blaustein, Albert P., and Robert L. Zangrando, ed. Civil Rights and the American Negro: A Documentary History. New York: Washington Square Press, 1968. Print.
“Both Parties Have Betrayed Us, 1972”. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985. PBS Online. Web. 4 April 2012.
Branton, Wiley A
Brown, Lloyd W. “The Cultural Revolution in Black Theatre”. Negro American Literature Forum, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Spring, 1974): 159-165. Saint Louis: Saint Louis University, 1974. JSTOR. Web. 29 April 2012.
Brownlee, Kimberley
Carmichael, Stokely, and Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967. Print.
Dudziak, Mary L. “Birmingham, Addis Ababa and the Image of America”. Window on Freedom. Ed. Plummer, Brenda Gayle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. 181-199. Print.
Estes, Steve. I Am a Man!: Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. Print.
Fairclough, Adam. “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Quest for Nonviolent Social Change”. Phylon (1960-), Vol. 47, No. 1 (1st Qtr., 1986): 1-15. Atlanta: Clark Atlanta University, 1986. JSTOR. Web. 3 March 2012.
“Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948)”
--- . The Impossible Revolution? New York: Random House, 1968. Print.
Kennedy, Randall
King, Martin Luther, Jr. Stride toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1958. Print.
Larson, Calvin J., and Richard J. Hill. “Segregation, Community Consciousness, and Black Power”. Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Mar., 1972): 263-276. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1972. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2012.
Malcolm X. “The Ballot or the Bullet”. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton & Company, 2004. 116-128. Print.
McCartney, John T. Black Power Ideologies. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993. Google Books. Web. 16 March 2012.
Mithun, Jacqueline S. “Black Power and Community Change: An Assessment”. Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Mar., 1977): 263-280. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1977. JSTOR. Web. 16 March 2012.
“Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)”. King Institute Home. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Web. 25 February 2012.
“NAACP: 100 Years of History”
Naylor, Gloria. The Women of Brewster Place. New York: Penguin, 1982. Print.
Ogbar, Jeffrey O
Plummer, Brenda Gayle. “Brown Babies”. Window on Freedom. Ed. Plummer, Brenda Gayle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. 67-91. Print.
Rysková, Světlana. Martin Luther King. Praha: Horizont, 1988. Print.
Sewell, Stacy Kinlock
Smith, Jessie Carnie, ed.. Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture. 4 vols. Greenwood: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2011. Google Books. Web. 16 March 2012.
Steele, Vincent
Van Deburg, William L. New Day in Babylon: the Black Power Movement and American Culture, 1965-1975. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Google Books. Web. 16 March 2012.
Walton, Hanes Jr., and C. Vernon Gray. “Black Politics at the National Republican and Democratic Conventions, 1868-1972”. Phylon (1960-), Vol. 36, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1975): 269-278.. Atlanta: Clark Atlanta University, 1975. JSTOR. Web. 29 April 2012.
“Watts Rebellion (Los Angeles, 1965)”. King Institute Home. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. Web. 29 April 2012. < http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/>
“What We Want”
Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1988. Print.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Black Civil Rights Movement Research Paper
  • Black Power Movement Usa Essay
  • Black Power and Civil Rights Essay
  • civil rights movement essay
  • Essay on Leaders and Legislation of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement
  • Civil Rights Movement and Black Nationalism Essay
  • Civil Right Movement Essay
  • Civil Rights Movement Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free