AAs: Malcom X & Black Power (1950s-60s)

Social Rights

- In the 50s, Malcom had a considerable reputation as a successful minister and a prominent speaker, putting forward ideas abput black pride and power >>> Malcolm X's influence in Nation of Islam was founder of Muhammad Speaks and appeared on TV programme 'The Hate That Hate Produced' (1959) 

- He also drew attention to urban ghettos and their social problems of crime, prostitution, drugs and unemployment

- He did feel there was little point in trying to integrate with white people feeling that King's dream was in fact a nightmare and believed black development needed to be seperate

- Malcom rejected non-violence and saw self defense against white aggression and oppression as a legitimate weapon 

-Black Muslims were seen as anti-Semetic and preached that men were superior to women >>> Leader Elijah Muhammad said that females were given to evil and sin while men were noble and given to rightousness 

Malcolm organised his own religous organisation: Organisation of Afro-Americaan Unity after becoming disollusionised by Elijah's message >>> but his changing views of rejecting separitist views and now supporting brotherhood proved to be his undoing when he was assassinated in 1965

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Social Rights 2

- June 1966, James Meredith went on a one-man 350km 'March Against Fear'  throughout the southern states from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi >> shot whilst on march

- Slogans and gestures however became identified with Black Power >> the clenched fist 'Black Power, Black Power' 'Burn Baby Burn' 'Get Whitey'

- SNCC new chair >> Stokely Carmichael in 1967 co-wrote Black Power and some key points included:

  • Rejection of non-violence, white people not welcome in movement, black supremacy - idea black people should be in complete control of their own destiny

Black Power was completley different from the disciplined non-violence of SCLC and Martin Luther King >> new emphasis on black consciousness, racial pride and on self-defence

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Black Panthers

- Developed with leaders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale who led a no. of black Californian militants and organised them into the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Initially formed to protect local communities from police brutality and racism 

-Group also ran medical clinics and provided free food for school children  > In Oakland they were feeding over 10,000 children everyday before they went to school 

- Economic in emphasis >> part of 10 point programme

  • full employment for black power
  • an end to robbery of all black people by capitalists and repayment in currency of the debt of forty acres and 2 mules promised as repayment for slave labour after abolition of slavery
  • education - decent education exposing truth about racist society and teaching black history
  • end to acts of brutality and murder by police
  • freedom for all blacks in jail
  • black juries for black people

Flamboyant display of firearms and willingness to meet police brutality with force meant group was viewed as a serious threat by police and FBI

- Over a 6 year period 24 BPs were killed in gunfights with the police > Seale and Newton renounced political violence

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