Black Nationalism: Toward Black Liberation By Stokely Carmichael

1782 Words 8 Pages
Throughout United States history, slavery, discriminatory laws, and overt institutional racism have forced African Americans to seek alternatives that would empower them to fulfill their highest potential. As a result, the Black Nationalist ideology emerged as a response to the economic exploitation and political abandonment endured by the people of African descent throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Though Black Nationalism developed in the United States it is not a unique phenomenon. In every part of the world, the belief that a people who share a common history, culture, and heritage should determine their own fate has pushed for a united racial consciousness as a way to catalyze and organize for social change. The leading …show more content…
As the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Carmichael was the manifestation of the growing frustration with the lack of progress achieved under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. Carmichael’s political philosophy accentuated the importance of racial solidarity and the development of black social and cultural institutions with the key objective of nurturing and promoting black interests. More importantly, Carmichael called for the reinforcement of black values through the emergence of black pride. He alludes to these principles in Toward Black Liberation insisting that “ Our concern for black power addresses itself directly to this problem, the necessity to reclaim our history and our identity from the cultural terrorism and depredation of self-justifying white guilt”(Jones, 270). Carmichael’s attitude embodies a thoroughly disparate approach towards civil rights activism. His emphasis on “ Black Power” in this passage is a paragon of the growing divergence between the two factions in modern black political thought. Dividing the contemporary black political structure between King’s moderate establishment integrationist partnership strategy and the radical combative advocates of black nationalist separatism. Carmichael’s Black Power manifested into a cultural and political epoch that encapsulated the essence of the African …show more content…
The message of unity, celebrating and preserving the cultural, social, and historical achievements of those of African descent spoke to the hearts and minds of a people who had been subjected to centuries of violence, brutality, and oppression. The leaders of this school of thought explored radical substitutes to remedy racial discrimination against blacks in America. The Nation of Islam led by Malcolm X and The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee spearheaded by Stokely Carmichael called for upholding a distinctive black identity divorced from mainstream white society. While the Black Panther Party ingrained the deep-rooted consciousness of black self-worth and utilized the black nationalist philosophy constructed by Marcus Garvey to address economic austerity and police brutality. In short, Black Nationalism calls on African Americans to take ownership of their lives and communities through collective social action. The notion that black institutions should be the cornerstone of black life was a revolutionary idea that shaped African American culture as we see it

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