English Across the Curriculum

African Americans

Black Power Movement

While Martin Luther King and wanted to improve the situation of Blacks in a non-violent way, others were more violent and militant. In the 1960s Malcolm X preached that Blacks should use force and violence to achieve equal rights. Stokley Carmichael coined the term "Black Power".

During this decade the country was hit by a series of riots, mostly in big cities. Blacks protested against bad schools, poor housing, high prices and unequal treatment by the police.

In the 1968 Olympic Games two American medal winners held their closed fist in the air and in protest, turned away from the American flag during the ceremony. In the same year the most respected leader of the American Blacks, Martin Luther King, was assassinated by a white man in Memphis, Tennessee.

John Carlos and Tommie Smith raise their fists during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City
Image : Angelo Cozzi (Mondadori Publishers) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons