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Stokely Carmichael and Black Power

  • 1965-67 there were riots in many cities across the USA
  • The Black Power movement began at the same time
  • Covered a wide range of activities aimed at increasing the power of black people
  • Stokely Carmichael wanted blacks to take responsibility for their own lives and rejected white help
  • He wanted them to create their own political force and have pride in their heritage
  • Carmichael and his followers promoted African forms of dress and started the slogan ‘Black is beautiful’
  • He was criticised because of his aggressive attitude and was attacked when he spoke against the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War
  • Black Power gained a lot of publicity in the 1968 Mexico Olympics – winning black athletes wore part of the Black power uniform – a single white glove or a black beret and wore black socks with no shoes to symbolise the poverty of black people in racist America
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