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Civil Rights Movement 1950 to 1970 essay: Black Power Movement History Grade 12

History Grade 12 Notes and Past Exam Papers for Revision

Civil Rights Movement 1950 to 1970 essay: Black Power Movement History Grade 12

Civil Rights Movement 1950 to 1970 essay: Black Power Movement History Grade 12 memo and answer guide.

CIVIL SOCIETY PROTESTS FROM THE 1950s TO THE 1970s: BLACK POWER MOVEMENT

Explain to what extent did Black Power Movement influence the actions of African Americans in the 1960s. Use relevant examples to support your line of argument.

[Plan and construct an original argument based on relevant evidence using analytical and interpretative skills.]

SYNOPSIS

Candidates should indicate to what extent the Black Power Movement influenced the actions of African Americans in the 1960s. Candidates should use relevant examples to support their line of argument.

MAIN ASPECTS

Candidates should include the following aspects in their response:

Introduction: Candidates should indicate to what extent the Black Power Movement influenced the actions of African Americans in the 1960s.

ELABORATION

Origins of the Movement:

  • The Black Power Movement came out of dissatisfaction with the Civil Rights Movements.
  • The Civil Rights Movement had focused on black and white Americans working together but inequalities remained. African Americans still faced poverty and racial discrimination.
  • Some African American were disappointed with the Civil Rights Movement and believed that King was too moderate
  • They wanted change in the USA to happen faster and they were prepared to use violence to do this.
  • Black Power Movement promoted black pride, unity and self- reliance
  • Black nationalists believed that the use of force was justified in order to gain social, political and economic power for Black Americans

Role of Malcolm X:

  • Malcolm X, leading figure in the Black Power Movement, powerful speaker and dedicated human rights activist
  • In 1952 he became a leading member of the nation of Islam, a black Muslim group which believed that white society was holding African Americans back and they desired separation of races
  • Eloquence and charisma attracted many new members to this organisation membership grew from 500 in 1952 to 30 000 in 1963
  • Promoted the use of violence to achieve the aims of Black Power
  • Challenged the peaceful approach of Martin Luther King Jnr
  • After a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1963-1964, Malcolm X changed his ideas about integration as he had seen how Muslims of all nationalities and races could live together peacefully
  • Founded the Organisation of Afro-American unity in 1964. He became less militant and adopted views that were not popular with black nationalists

The Black Panther

  • Huey Newton and Bobby Searle formed the Black Panther Party (BPP) for Self Defence in 1966
  • They aimed to protect African American neighbourhoods from police brutality and racism
  • The Black Panthers promoted African Americans carrying guns to defend themselves
  • The idea of Black Power scared many white Americans
  • The BPP started programmes to help ease poverty in Black communities such as Free Breakfast for Children, feeding thousands of poor and hungry black children everyday
  • Clinics where adults and children could get free medical care
  • A tutoring scheme to help black children succeed at school
  • The BPP drew up a ten-point programme that included the following demands:
  • Full employment and an end to capitalism that preyed on the African American community
  • Descent housing and education for African Americans
  • An end to police brutality
  • The Black panthers were very popular in the 1960s as they were involved in defending the rights of both workers and ethnic minorities like the African American communities in the ghettoes

The role of Stokely Carmichael

  • Stokely Carmichael joined the Civil Rights Movement when he saw the bravery of those involved in a sit-in
  • Became a member of SNCC and a Freedom Rider
  • His commitment to Martin Luther King’s passive resistance ideals changed in 1966 after James Meredith, a civil rights activist engaged in a peaceful protest march, was shot
  • Carmichael and other activists continued on the march to honour Meredith and during the march he was arrested
  • When he was released from jail, Carmichael made a famous speech using the term ‘Black Power’ for the first time and he urged African Americans to take pride in being black
  • He was in favour of African dress and Afro hairstyles
  • He wanted African Americans to recognise their heritage and build a sense of community
  • He also adopted the slogan ‘Black is beautiful’ which promoted pride in being black
  • Carmichael started to criticise other leaders, like King, and how they wanted to work with whites
  • He later left the SNCC and joined the BPP where he promoted the Black Power Movement as a leader, speaker and writer
  • He later wrote a book linking Black Power to Pan-Africanism
  • Any other relevant answer Conclusion: Candidates should tie up their argument with relevant conclusion

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