What was the Purpose of the Black Power Movement

This article explains,

     1. What is Black Power Movement?
          – Introduction to Black Power Movement

     2. The Purpose of the Black Power Movement?
          – Goals of the Movement
          – Consequences of the Movement

What is Black Power Movement

Black power movement was a movement among African Americans originating in the 1960s and emphasizing racial pride and social equality through the creation of black political and cultural institutions. This movement grew out of the Civil Rights Movement which had gained momentum in the mid-twentieth century. The Black Power Movement had a range of goals, from defense against racial discrimination to the establishment of social institutions and a self-sufficient economy. However, it is not considered as a formal movement as the Civil Rights movement.

Although the Civil Rights Movements aimed to eliminate racial discrimination and disparity between black and white people, not all black people, especially students were content with it. Despite the Civil Rights Movements, African Americans experienced various injustices such as racial discrimination, lower wages, and higher crime rates in their neighborhoods. Some African-Americans, especially the young generation felt that the Civil Rights movement was based on the white perceptions of civil rights, not on the black perceptions. The Black Power Movement arose out of this dissatisfaction. Thus, it can be said that the Black Power Movement was a continuation of the struggle commenced by the Civil Rights Movement. This movement had various forms of activism – some peaceful and some violent.

 The term Black Power was a popular slogan of this campaign, and it was popularized by Stokely Carmichael.

What was the Purpose of the  Black Power Movement

What was the Purpose of the Black Power Movement

Stokely Carmichael defined Black Power as “a call for black people… to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community.” The main purpose of the Black Power Movement was to create and express a new racial consciousness among African Americans and to unite them in solidarity and make them self-reliant. Self- reliance was, in fact, a main feature of this movement; this movement did not allow any white people to join, unlike the Civil Rights Movement.

Goals of the Black Power Movement

The goals of the Black Power Movement can be listed as follows;

  • Obtaining freedom from white authority in both politics and economics
  • Exploring and expressing black identity, cultural heritage and history (known as Black consciousness)
  • Defining the world in their own terms, not by the terms dictated by the white people

Consequences of the Black Power Movement

The black power movement can be termed as a political and cultural revolution that changed the African American society.  This movement encouraged black people to be proud of their skin color, history, culture and heritage and challenged the accepted white notions. It did not only change the mindsets of people, it also changed the lifestyles of people. 

Read more about the Cultural Influence of Black Power Movement

Image Courtesy 

“Symbol-black-power” By Joekilil – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.