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Todd Steven Burroughs

radical prison journalist and author. Mumia Abu-Jamal was born Wesley Cook in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a teenager in the 1960s he was attracted to the Black Panther Party (BPP). Cook—christened “Mumia” by one of his high school teachers—helped form the BPP's Philadelphia chapter in spring 1969 and became the chapter's lieutenant of information. He wrote articles for the Black Panther, the party's national newspaper, and traveled to several cities to perform BPP work. He left the party in the fall of 1970 because of the split between Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton.

After attending Goddard College in Plainfield Vermont Cook now calling himself Mumia Abu Jamal the surname is Arabic for father of Jamal Jamal being his firstborn returned to Philadelphia and began a radio broadcasting career in the early 1970s Abu Jamal was part of the first generation of black journalists to become professional newscasters for ...


The urban uprisings of the late 1960s in the United States brought together black intellectuals and the urban masses, producing a new generation of militant organizations. The 1970s witnessed a resurgence of Pan-Africanism in the Black Power movement. A key group dedicated to the civil rights movement in the United States and the liberation struggle in Africa, the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC), was a united front of black nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and Marxist groups.

At a 1963 meeting, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) declared 25 May African Liberation Day (ALD). In 1971, the African American educator Owusu Saduakai Howard Fuller led a delegation of black nationalists to Africa They met with leaders of the fight against Portuguese colonialism in Angola Guinea Bissau and Mozambique Upon the group s return Saduakai announced the establishment of the African Liberation Day Coordinating Committee whose purpose was to generate support among ...


Eric Young

Born and raised as a Muslim in the northern administrative center of Garoua, Ahmadou Ahidjo attended secondary school and college in Yaoundé. After working for several years as a radio operator, Ahidjo turned to politics. His 1949 election to the Cameroon representative assembly was followed by election in the 1950s to the territorial and union assemblies. He built a strong power base among the northern elite, composed of Fulbé notables and Hausa merchants. As head of the northern Union Camerounaise (UC), Ahidjo became vice prime minister in the pre-independence coalition government with the Union of the Population of Cameroun (UPC). When the coalition collapsed in 1958, Ahidjo formed a new government, calling for immediate independence while reassuring France that close ties would be maintained.

On the first day of 1960, Cameroon became independent with Ahidjo as president He ruled Cameroon for the next twenty two years Realizing ...


Carlos Dalmau

A passionate speaker and outspoken critic of United States imperialism and the 1898 invasion and occupation of Puerto Rico, Pedro Albizu Campos spent many years in prison for his role in the pro-independence nationalist movement, during the turbulent years of the 1930s through the 1950s. He opposed the annexation of Puerto Rico by the United States when the island was ceded by the Spanish after the Spanish-Cuban-American War (1895–1898). For Albizu, Puerto Ricans—ethnically mixed and culturally different—were not, and should not be, Americans. Independence was the only legitimate and anti-imperialist solution to the island's status.

From an early age Albizu stood out as an excellent student He grew up in the city of Ponce a municipality in southern Puerto Rico where he received a grant that gave him the opportunity to study chemical engineering at the University of Vermont He later graduated from the Harvard Law School where ...


Douglas R. Egerton and Judith Mulcahy

[This entry contains two subentries dealing with the American Colonization Society from its establishment in1817 through 1895. The first article discusses reactions and controversy related to the society until1830, while the second article includes discussion of debates within the free black community and attacks on ...

Primary Source

If England's colonies in the New World were forced to decide between willingly participating in a system of governance that appeared to consider them less-than-equal and staging an armed uprising against that system, so too did African Americans face a similar choice in the heyday of the American Civil Rights Movement. The idea of a choice between the “ballot or the bullet” did not originate with Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little, 1925–1965); indeed Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) had penned an essay called “The Ballot and the Bullet” nearly a century earlier in 1859, and Abraham Lincoln had famously insisted to the first Republican convention in Illinois “the ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

Delivered in Cleveland Ohio to a symposium assembled to consider that very theme Malcolm X s Ballot or the Bullet address served as a blueprint for an emerging black nationalism It was not only an expression of frustration ...


The Baltimore chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded in the early 1950s. The chapter was originally composed of a small group of black and white, middle-class members who were dedicated to interracialism and using Gandhian, nonviolent direct action to protest against racially discriminatory public accommodations. Shortly after its founding, the chapter embarked on a sit-in campaign in cooperation with African American students against Jim Crow lunch counters and department stores both in downtown Baltimore and around the campus of Morgan State College, now University, a historically black institution in northeast Baltimore. Using direct action and negotiations, Baltimore CORE, often in conjunction with the Civic Interest Group (CIG), an independent, student-led civil rights organization, successfully desegregated an impressive number of public accommodations in the 1950s and 1960s.

Baltimore CORE received national attention from the 1960 Freedom Rides that challenged Jim Crow practices in establishments located along ...


Magda Romanska

playwright, poet, writer, and one of the leaders of the black revolt of the 1960s. Imamu Amiri Baraka was born Everett Leroy Jones during the Great Depression in Newark, New Jersey. He is credited as one of the most outspoken advocates of a black cultural and political revival in the 1960s. He attended Barringer High School and Rutgers University, where he pursued philosophy and religious studies, before enrolling in Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was then that he changed his name to LeRoi Jones. Baraka graduated from Howard University in 1953, and in 1954 he joined the U S Air Force in which he served for three years When an anonymous tipster suggested that he was a communist sympathizer Baraka s belongings were searched for subversive literature Because some of his books were deemed socialist Baraka was discharged from the military Shortly thereafter he ...


Aaron Myers

The phrase black aesthetic was used informally during the 1960s and adopted as a theoretical concept in 1971, with the publication of African American editor Addison Gayle's The Black Aesthetic, a collection of essays on the characteristics of the black aesthetic in literature and music. The black aesthetic encompasses a body of oral and written nonfiction and fiction that asserts the equality, uniqueness, and sometimes the superiority of African American modes of perception and expression; a set of political principles against inequality; and ethical and artistic criteria outlining what is valid and invalid writing by black Americans. One of the main expectations of a black aesthetic work is that it be politically engaged and socially uplifting.

According to critic Reginald Martin a black aesthetic has existed since the earliest writings by African Americans and its evolution can be divided into three chronological phases The first phase ...


Unlike more established antiapartheid groups, such as the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), or the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) was not a single party. It was instead a philosophy, both political and intellectual, that spawned a loose federation of organizations. Drawing inspiration from independence movements throughout Africa, the postcolonial philosophy of négritude, and the Black Power Movement in the United States, Black Consciousness was one of the more powerful influences in the 1976Soweto uprisings and in subsequent resistance to South Africa’s apartheid system.

For their purposes, Black Consciousness leaders defined black to include not only black Africans but also people of Indian or Coloured descent The way to the future BCM leader Barney Pityana wrote is not through a directionless multiracialism but through a positive unilateral approach BCM leaders believed that only by working without help from ...


One of the most important aspects of the Civil Rights (1945–1965) and Black Power (1966–1975) movements, or simply put, the Movement, was the increasing awareness among contemporary African Americans of the centrality of a positive racial identity. Black Consciousness here refers to how and with what consequences individuals of African descent in the United States have defined themselves as a people.

Since the creation of the American nation, and especially since emancipation during the Civil War and Reconstruction years, each generation of blacks have consistently endeavored to build on the struggles of their forbears. Black Consciousness crystallizes this enduring sensibility of struggle—both failure and achievement. Consequently, it includes how they have collectively viewed their history and culture. Black Consciousness also reflects the relationship between Africans in Africa and those spread throughout the African diaspora, in this case African Americans in the United States.

Black eventually ...


Peter Brush

The Black Liberation Army (BLA) defined itself as a politico-military organization engaged in armed struggle against the U.S. government. Operating from about 1971 to 1981, the BLA used tactics including bombings, robberies, and prison breaks. Although not all its members were Marxists, the BLA considered itself the embryonic form of the people's army of the black nation in America. It compared itself to the National Liberation Front, or Vietcong, of Vietnam. The BLA credited Malcolm X for its ideology and claimed to be the inheritor of Malcolm's legacy.

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was the largest, most important revolutionary organization of the black liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s. By 1968 because of government repression some Panther leaders saw the need for a guerrilla army that would serve as a vanguard revolutionary force According to this concept the force would be the Black Liberation Army It would ...


Gayle T. Tate

When most people, regardless of age, sex, or race, are asked to identify black nationalists, they may mention Marcus Garvey, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), or, more recently, Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. To others, who are aware of the back-to-Africa movements of the late nineteenth century, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner frequently comes to mind. Rarely however, have black women nationalists such as Maria W. Stewart, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Henrietta Vinton Davis, Audley “Queen Mother” Moore, or Amy Jacques Garvey been recognized for their contributions to the history of the black nationalist movement and ideology Other black women through mass movements political organizations church groups female societies and the early women s club movement fueled the movement s growth at different times in African American history Although African American men were in the foreground of the ...


Jeffrey O. Ogbar and Jeffrey O. G.

Black nationalism is the belief system that endorses the creation of a black nation state It also supports the establishment of black controlled institutions to meet the political social educational economic and spiritual needs of black people independent of nonblacks Celebration of African ancestry and territorial separatism are essential components of black nationalism Though not fully developed into a cogent system of beliefs the impulse of black nationalism finds its earliest expression in the resistance of enslaved Africans to the Atlantic slave trade from the sixteenth century Various groups of Africans who felt no particular organic connection as black people were forced into a new racialized identity in a brutal and dehumanizing process of enslavement The transportation and forced amalgamation of hundreds of different African nationalities resulted in Creolized communities in the Americas enslaved Africans revolted and established new societies which functioned autonomously on the outskirts of colonial towns and ...


William L. Van Deburg

An important ideology in African American history black nationalism is grounded in the belief that efforts to operate within a political system deemed racist and unresponsive to black needs are doomed to failure Adapting traditional nationalist tenets to their own situation as members of a racially defined minority population most African American nationalists have equated racial with national identities and goals Joined by ties of history kinship and culture they have viewed themselves as wholly differentiated from competing social and ethnic groups These common racial ties have been manifested in political movements arguing for the creation of an autonomous nation state or a transnational union of states in the creation of race based economic educational and religious entities and in the promotion of distinctive cultural productions Seeking to turn alleged racial deficits skin color cultural traits into wellsprings of strength black nationalists have worked to enhance in group values while ...


James Graham

Formed in California in 1966, the Black Panther Party was a black revolutionary group whose original purpose was to patrol black ghettoes to protect residents from acts of police brutality. The Party was influential in shaping black radicalism in Britain.

Following the separatist black nationalist agenda pioneered by Malcolm X, the Panthers developed into an international Marxist revolutionary group. Among the demands contained within its ten‐point plan was the armed mobilization of Blacks; a radical redistribution of social and economic institutions within black communities; and reparations to Blacks for centuries of exploitation. Membership peaked around 2,000 in the late 1960s, when the Party's activities and influence were such that in 1968 it was declared by the FBI the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States Several shoot outs in the late 1960s and early 1970s led to severe repression from the police and the ...


The Black Panther Party (BPP) was founded in Oakland, California, by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in October 1966. Newton became the party's defense minister, and Seale its chairman. The BPP advocated black self-defense and restructuring American society to make it more politically, economically, and socially equal.

Newton and Seale articulated their goals in a ten-point platform that demanded, among other items, full employment, exemption of black men from military service, and an end to police brutality. They summarized their demands in the final point: “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace.” They adopted the black panther symbol from an independent political party established the previous year by black residents of Lowndes County, Alabama.

Both Newton and Seale were influenced by the black Muslim leader Malcolm X, who called on black people to defend themselves. They also supported the Black Power movement which stressed ...


Jesse J. Esparza

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was one of the most prominent and notorious organizations of black power to emerge during the 1960s. It successfully organized thousands of militant blacks committed to improving the social conditions of their communities. The Panthers’ founders, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, were initially inspired by the work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in conjunction with activists from rural Alabama who formed the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO). But Newton and Seale, attracted also to the revolutionary rhetoric and black nationalistic ideals of Malcolm X, adopted the black panther as a symbol and formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966 in Oakland, California, after they were unsuccessful in their efforts to influence the politics of existing campus organizations. Newton was a former street criminal who had gone on to study at Oakland's Merritt College, and Seale was a ...


Rose C. Thevenin

Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale organized the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) on 15 October 1966, in Oakland, California. They devised a Ten Point Platform and Program to demand self-determination, employment, land, food, and education along with an end to robbery by capitalists in the black community. The BPP Program also insisted upon exemption from military service, an end to police brutality, freedom for all incarcerated men, trials by a jury of peers, and justice and peace for all oppressed minorities.

Although the BPP was founded by men and emphasized some programs directly related to black men, women were integral to the organization and worked for the greater good of their people without regard for gender conventions.


Chike Jeffers

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (later simply the Black Panther Party) was born in Oakland, California, on 15 October 1966, and was a radical anti-oppression organization that became emblematic of the Black Power era. Unimpressed with the results of the Civil Rights movement, founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale came up with the Ten-Point Program.

The Program demands 1 the self determination of the black community 2 full employment 3 reparations 4 decent housing 5 education aiming at knowledge of self 6 exemption from military service 7 an end to police brutality 8 freedom for the incarcerated 9 trials in which the jury is truly made up of the peer group of the accused and finally and in sum 10 land bread housing education clothing justice and peace The Program suggests that the U S government has consistently failed and mistreated black people and that in light ...