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How far do you agree that the black power movement achieved little for black Americans Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > History > How far do you agree that the black power movement achieved little for black Americans

How far do you agree that the black power movement achieved little for black Americans

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This essay examines the effectiveness of the Black Power Movement in helping black Americans gain civil rights.


A prominent figure which ultimately led to the rise of the black power movement was Malcolm X and some of his achievements were certainly beneficial to the African Americans. Malcolm X’s beliefs were orientated with Black Nationalism and also based on the teachings of Islam. He was a largely influential figure, particularly to the working class black people living in poor conditions; his ideas were distinctive and opposing to Martin Luther King, which further heightened the public’s interest in him. However Malcolm was often criticised for promoting violence as he preached that black people should use ‘self-defence by all means necessary’. He also believed that black citizens should have their own separate community which excluded white people and this clearly opposed the main aims of the civil rights movement; to make America a more just society, where its citizens should be integrated with equal rights. Malcolm’s leadership and radical speeches often provoked opposition from the white Americans. Blacks who were once servile and inferior to whites were beginning to show many force and anger with increasingly violent protests; whites would have felt threatened by this and thus would have lost sympathy for the blacks. This particular affect of the black power movement was definitely a limitation to the civil rights movement because blacks needed the white support, not only would this lead to de jure change but would also help de facto change to be achieved.
Malcolm X, in spite of the various problems which arose out of his initiatives, was successful in helping young black people to stay pure and work hard. He guaranteed this was the only way that dignity would be achieved, and this was essential in pursuing equal rights. Malcolm eventually went on to create a new group, OOAU which drew a link the struggle against white oppression and the anti-colonial struggle in Africa. The OOAU encouraged re-education through publishing new text books and developing home schooling methods to emphasize self-reliance, black pride and solidify the dignity of African American. Malcolm X is renowned for helping the black population to gain a sense of pride and to value their identity as African. Malcolm X’s significance lay in his ability to express the feelings of the black working class population; he was very truthful and largely realistic which helped America to become informed of the uncomfortable truths that lay in a discriminative society. In exposing these horrific truths, Malcolm X was able to motivate the government and President to address these issues in their proposals.

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