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Reflections on the Promise and Power of Black Power: 50 Years Later

Sat, March 19, 8:00 to 9:15am, Omni Charlotte Hotel, Floor: Main Floor, Willow Room

Session Submission Type: Roundtable Discussion


“We been saying freedom for six years and we ain’t got nothing. What we gonna start saying now is Black Power!” Thus shouted Stokely Carmichael, flanked by Willie Ricks, nearly fifty years ago on June 16, 1966, during the multi-week March Against Fear. From Greenwood, Mississippi, this catchphrase was blown from the fans of the raging America media into Black rural counties and urban neighborhoods that were politically controlled, economically exploited, and culturally denigrated by powerful Whites (and their Negroes). Black power became the latest and greatest name of an energizing movement, challenging these racist forces disempowering Black people in nearly every sector of American society and around the globe.

This roundtable brings together senior and junior scholars who study the Black power movement. On the fifty year anniversary of the mainstreaming of Black power, these scholars will discuss the achievements and failures of Black power (and its chroniclers), the latest scholarly insights on Black power’s history, the legacies of Black power, the continuities and discontinuities of Black power and Black lives matter, and Black power lessons to Americans fifty years later. But most of all, these scholars will discuss the unfulfilled and fulfilled promise and power of Black power from 1966 to 2016.

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