The Black Movement: The Beginning Of The Black Power Movement

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The Black Power movement grew out of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT that had steadily gained momentum through the 1950s and 1960s. Although not a formal movement, the Black Power movement marked a turning point in black-white relations in the United States and also in how blacks saw themselves. The movement was hailed by some as a positive and proactive force aimed at helping blacks achieve full equality with whites, but it was reviled by others as a militant, sometimes violent faction whose primary goal was to drive a wedge between whites and blacks. In truth, the Black Power movement was a complex event that took place at a time when society and culture was being transformed throughout the United States, and its legacy reflects that complexity.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (SCLC) worked with blacks and whites to create a desegregated society and eliminate RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. Their efforts generated positive responses from a broad spectrum of people across the country. Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., who headed the SCLC, made significant headway with his adherence to nonviolent tactics. In 1964, President LYNDON B. JOHNSON signed the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT and a year later he signed the VOTING RIGHTS ACT.

CIVIL RIGHTS legislation was an earnest and effective step toward eliminating inequality between blacks and whites. Even with the obvious
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