BLACK POWER MOVEMENT: Militancy vs. Compromise in the Fight for Rights
By the late 1960s, some black activists had grown frustrated by the slow pace of the civil rights movement and began urging more extreme measures. Their efforts gave rise to the black power movement. Mainstream civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King were too quick to compromise, supporters of black power charged, and needed to adopt more militant tactics—including arming themselves—to combat racism and end discrimination. Opponents of the black power movement, however, argued that such tactics would backfire and undermine the cause of civil rights and integration. The black power movement, they added, would also promote violence. Black power challenged the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, dividing both the African-American community and the rest of American society.
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Were the black power movement’s militant stance and tactics against racism a positive force? Or did they steer the civil rights movement in the wrong direction? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies in American History‘s clear and unbiased examination of the black power movement this month.
Issues & Controversies in American History is an accessible educational database that delivers dynamic, concise, and balanced coverage providing the background, outcome, and contemporary points of view for every major debate and conflict in American history.