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Black Power
     

Black Power

by David Aretha
 

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, two American sprinters climbed atop the medal stands and shocked the world with a Black Power salute. Tommie Smith and John Carlos each thrust a black-gloved fist into the air. "People thought the victory stand [salute] was a hate message," Smith said. "But it wasn't. It was a cry for freedom."

The Black Power movement of the 1960s

Overview

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, two American sprinters climbed atop the medal stands and shocked the world with a Black Power salute. Tommie Smith and John Carlos each thrust a black-gloved fist into the air. "People thought the victory stand [salute] was a hate message," Smith said. "But it wasn't. It was a cry for freedom."

The Black Power movement of the 1960s and '70s was admired by many black and left-leaning Americans but feared by mainstream citizens. Then as now, it was often misunderstood.

The movement took off in 1966. Frustrated by the lack of progress of the nonviolent civil rights movement, assertive African Americans followed Stokely Carmichael's call for "Black Power." Leaders of the movement advocated community organizing and a national black agenda. An inspiring black pride movement, under the credo "black is beautiful," flourished as well. But Black Power was sometimes militant in nature, contributing to the notorious race riots of the late 1960s. The result was white back-lash, including crackdowns against the Black Panthers and "white flight" from the northern cities.

Black Power stirred powerful emotions among blacks and whites alike. The result is one of the most controversial, important, and fascinating movements in American history.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Aretha's history of the Black Power movement begins where many Civil Rights accounts leave off, with the formation of organizations that rejected nonviolence as too slow and ineffectual a means of achieving racial equality. Black Power is often associated with militancy, and both sides of that image are presented here. Aretha examines the foundations of the movement and the backlash against it, the Black Pride and Black Arts movements, and the state of Black Power in the age of Obama. Illustrations are mainly photographs, both historical and contemporary; the one exception is a page from a coloring book put out by the FBI to discredit the Black Panthers. The caption is slightly unclear, but the text resolves the matter. This is a solid introduction to a subject that teens may have read about in fiction like Kekla Magoon's The Rock and the River (S & S, 2009).—Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599351643
Publisher:
Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Series:
Morgan Reynolds Civil Rights Movement Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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