Black Power: It’s Need and Substance

Text: Black Power by Stokley Carmichael & Charles Hamilton.

“A new group may have to fight for reorientation of many of the values of the old order.” V.O. Key, Jr.

Since society was not created for us we must ask the questions, they cannot ask, only answer.

Redefine Ourselves

  • Reclaim history + identity
    • This gives us a starting point for our place.
    • We can then create terms for our society, once we understand what it was.

The oppressor forces his world upon us, and we, the oppressed, have to accept it; in return, losing grip of our own. It begins with wordings.

Ex. English:Victory::Indian:Massacre or White:Celebration::Black:Riot

Labeling the fight is half of the battle.

WE must define our image and destroy the stereotype. If we conform to what the oppressor wants us to do, then we have failed ourselves. We must know our roots and culture, beginning in Africa.

As black Americans, we are able to sympathize with other colored races. We can serve as the bridge between others, since we all have similar backstories. Does it make immigration a black issue? Yes! Does it make unfair labor a black issue? Yes! Does it make xenophobia and religious prejudice a black issue? Yes! We have the ability to unite the other races, because we understand, to a degree, their struggles as oppressed individuals.

Political Modernization:

  1. Questioning old values and institutions.
  2. Searching for new forms of political structure.
  3. Broadening the base to include more, politically.

Why the middle class won’t work for blacks? It is only a mindset without the true values of the aristocrats. People hope to achieve a life based on the material goods they possess, and the closed communities that they inhabit. They’d rather live isolated than exposed to the truth, trading their right to “true liberation” for “safety and false comfort”.

Why we must question the middle class? Because it has become the backbone of the institutions.

Vocabulary

System: The entire American complex of basic institutions.

Structure: Specific institutions which exist to conduct the system.

“We must devise new structures, new institutions to replace these forms. ” (Carmichael, 42.)

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