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Black Power

In 1965, one of the last traceable remnants of Jim Crow ideology were thought to be taken off the books with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Despite the implementation of the legislation, racial tension remained. Less than a week into the new law, riots broke out in the predominately black neighborhood of Watts after an altercation between a black man and the police.

On a quest to re-frame and ignite the Civil Rights movement, Stokely Carmichael rallied people and brought the phrase “Black Power” to life. Seeking more measurable progress, Carmichael and his followers were not afraid or ashamed to require progress. Black Power spread across the US like wildfire, and people felt charged and empowered to cultivate a new vision.

In this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., with additional commentary from Peniel Joseph of the University of Texas, Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton, and Farah Griffin of Columbia University, we celebrate a phrase that made blackness our superpower overnight.

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