Black Power (1967)

Black Power is now a part of the nomenclature of the national community. To some it is abhorrent, to others dynamic; to some it is repugnant, to oth- ers exhilarating; to some it is destructive, to others it is useful. since Black Power means different things to different people and indeed, being essen- tially an emotional concept, can mean different things to the same person on differing occasions, it is impossible to attribute its ultimate meaning to any single individual or organization. one must look beyond personal styles, verbal flourishes, and the hysteria of the mass media to assess its values, its assets and liabilities honestly.

first, it is necessary to understand that Black Power is a cry of disap- pointment. The Black Power slogan did not spring full grown from the head of some philosophical Zeus. It was born from the wounds of despair and disappointment. It is a cry of daily hurt and persistent pain. for centuries the negro has been caught in the tentacles of white power. many negroes have given up faith in the white majority because “white power” with total control has left them empty-handed. so in reality the call for Black Power is a reaction to the failure of white power.

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