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political power at the national level held by slave owners in the South Africa

An early manifestation of Black Power in popular culture was the performances given by Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall in March 1964, and the album In Concert which resulted from them. Nina Simone mocked liberal nonviolence (“Go Limp”), and took a vengeful position toward white racists (“Mississippi Goddamn” and her adaptation of “Pirate Jenny“). Historian Ruth Feldstein writes that, “Contrary to the neat historical trajectories which suggest that black power came late in the decade and only after the ‘successes’ of earlier efforts, Simone’s album makes clear that black power perspectives were already taking shape and circulating widely…in the early 1960s.”[28]

By 1966, most of SNCC’s field staff, among them Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), were becoming critical of the nonviolent approach to confronting racism and inequality—articulated and promoted by Martin Luther King, Jr.Roy Wilkins, and other moderates—and they rejected desegregation as a primary objective. King was critical of the black power movement, stating in an August 1967 speech to the SCLC: “Let us be dissatisfied until that day when nobody will shout ‘White Power!’ — when nobody will shout ‘Black Power!’ — but everybody will talk about God’s power and human power.”[29] In his 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, King stated:

In the final analysis the weakness of Black Power is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. However much we may try to romanticize the slogan, there is no separate black path to power and fulfillment that does not intersect white paths, and there is no separate white path to power and fulfillment, short of social disaster, that does not share that power with black aspirations for freedom and human dignity. We are bound together in a single garment of destiny. The language, the cultural patterns, the music, the material prosperity, and even the food of America are an amalgam of black and white.[30]

SNCC’s base of support was generally younger and more working-class than that of the other “Big Five”[31] civil rights organizations and became increasingly more militant and outspoken over time. As a result, as the Civil Rights Movement progressed, increasingly radical, more militant voices came to the fore to aggressively challenge white hegemony. Increasing numbers of black youth, particularly, rejected their elders’ moderate path of cooperation, racial integration and assimilation. They rejected the notion of appealing to the public’s conscience and religious creeds and took the tack articulated by another black activist more than a century before, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who wrote: