The Civil Rights Movement: The Black Power Movement

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How accurate is it to say that the growth of the black power movement was the most important factor in the weakening of the civil rights movement?
Black power is an umbrella term given to a movement for the support of rights and political power for black people in America during the 1960’s. Unlike Civil Rights, its motives weren’t necessarily complete equality between American citizens, but rather the goal and belief of black supremacy. Black Power is generally associated with figures such as Malcom X, who’s condoning of the use of violence in order to achieve one’s objectives made him very popular, particularly within America’s Northern ghettoes. The movement had many issues however, ranging from no clear understanding of what black power
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However, after the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights acts were passed by congress, unity between the groups began to crumble. The radicalisation of SNCC and CORE resulted in their refusing to admit white Americans, which was quite clearly a mistake, as liberal white support has always been necessary. By separating potential allies, the Civil Rights movement weakened itself, due to the fact that the newly extremist groups were unlikely to ever gain support from the Supreme Court, meaning that no further acts would be passed through congress. The March on Washington was the last instance in which all of the Civil Rights groups (NAACP, SCLC, SNCC and Core) worked together, and its success was primarily due to the cooperation between the groups. With each group now fundamentally disagreeing on so many points, from the use of violence to admissions policies, cohesion was no longer possible, ultimately leading to the decline of the effectiveness of the Civil Rights …show more content…
Fundamentally, Civil Rights has always been about ensuring complete equality between citizens of a county. Black Power on the other hand, takes this one step further, and considers black people to be superior to whites. Suggested policies such as ‘back to Africa’ and ‘complete segregation of black and white people’ were quite clearly utterly unrealistic. This therefore demeaned the Civil Rights movement, as, to liberal whites, it may well appear that all African-Americans endorsed the unrealistic suggestions of Black

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