Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Black Nationalism and Independence Movements

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Stokely Carmichael

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Although he did not coin the phrase "Black Power," the civil rights activist and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chairperson Stokely Carmichael is widely credited for popularizing it. "Black Power" became the battle cry for black nationalist groups of the late-1960s and the 1970s. On 16 June 1966, in response to being arrested for trespassing at the March Against Fear, Carmichael proclaimed, "This is the twenty-seventh time I've been arrested, and I ain't going to jail no more. The only way we gonna stop them white men from whupping us is to take over. We been saying freedom for six years and we ain't got nothing. What we gonna start saying now is Black Power!" Black Power soon became a household term as well as an indication of the shifting approaches of how to fight for equal rights. In June 1967, Carmichael was asked to become the prime minister of the burgeoning black nationalist organization, the Black Panther Party.

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