How accurate is it to say that the Black Power movements of the 1960s achieved nothing for Black Americans?

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How accurate is it to say that the Black Power movements of the 1960s achieved nothing for Black Americans?

In the 1960s different Black Power movements, such as the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers, grew up partly because many black people were dissatisfied with Martin Luther King’s policies of peaceful protest. However, Black Power collapsed in the 1970s and achieved very little for black people, apart from improving their self-esteem. An important black power organisation was the Nation of Islam. This was led by Elijah Muhammad, who took over the movement in 1934 and built temples in black ghettos in the northern cities. Elijah Muhammad believed in a strong moral code, and disapproved of drinking, gambling and abusing women. He believed that black people should be completely independent from white people, and that blacks should protect themselves with force against whites. This attitude divided the NOI from King (who was called an ‘Uncle Tom’ by the NOI) and from the civil rights movement. This division made the civil rights movement as a whole much less effective and meant that all blacks could not work together. The NOI did not achieve very much at all, but it did inspire many blacks in the poor parts of the cities. Malcolm X became a member of the NOI while he was in prison for burglary. He was an important speaker for the movement until he left it in 1964 because he did not like the corruption and expensive lifestyles of its leaders. Malcolm was an inspiring orator who criticised King and advocated racial hatred and violence. He persuaded Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) to become a member of the NOI. In 1964 he went on the Haj, where he saw all Muslims behaving as equals, and he realised that Islam could bring people of different races together. This experience made him change some of his more extreme views. Malcolm X was murdered by the NOI in 1965 just when he was making his moderate views known. He did not achieve much for black Americans, but he did increase the profile of Black Power by appearing on television and in the press. He also highlighted the problems of the inner cities, and he became a role model for many young blacks to follow.

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Black Power became very radical in the mid-1960s because the problems in the inner-city ghettos became more widely known in the USA. Every summer there were inner-city riots when many people died and houses and stores were set on fire. King wanted to help these people, but he was unable to achieve very much, and so the blacks who lived in the ghettos turned against the civil rights movement. This led to the development of Black Power. Black Power rejected King’s peaceful policies, and made blacks believe that they could control their own communities. One aspect of Black Power ...

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