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I Am Black And I Am Proud: Malcom X

3026 words - 12 pages

The words of ‘I am Black and I am proud’ was an anthem that filled the 1960s. A time period which saw the militancy of Malcolm X, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and a student movement that would push forward an agenda of black culture empowerment that would change America. This movement arose from civil activism of the 1950s with leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and then Stokely Carmichael. The Black Power Movement arose from males who had grown weary of mistreatment and of the broken promises of the equality within American. This movement also arose from the males whose views would change after the Civil Rights Movement. Stokely Carmichael had grown weary of emphasizing nonviolence and decided to move towards more forceful actions in civil liberties. The Black Panther Party was created and the group emphasized ‘black power’. The Black Power movement empowered the black male voice. A voice that grew from the whimpers of the Jim Crow Era to a loud roar heard from the White House. Black Power inspired many black Americans to be able to look Americans in the face without fear and to fight for their rights no matter what obstacles they may face.
Incidentally, blacks did not suddenly fathom the idea of wanting equal rights and freedoms, the desire came from centuries of oppression. People of African descent, were not truly American, they were not treated as American citizens. ‘All men were created equal,’ defined America yet, people of African descent suffered from the infamous human brutality known as slavery. Abraham Lincoln used ‘colored’ people as political pawns notably when he ‘freed the slaves’ in his Emancipation Proclamation speech in 1863 which provided the enslaved population with a sense of security and protection, along with their supposed innate rights. This led to Jim Crow laws in the South, chiefly because the Southern whites were desperate to hold onto the Blacks who had brought them so much power and wealth. The Jim Crow laws and etiquettes emphasized on making blacks seem and act culturally, politically, and socially inferior to whites. Lynching was also a common threat when blacks gained an inkling of freedom. This was used especially when blacks went to register for voting or did something that southern whites found offensive, such as when a black person looked at a white person. Southern whites used this threat to keep their terrorous reign over blacks. The Scottsboro Boys were a prime example of how black males struggled for the elusive dream of equality in the South. Two white women who were on the same train as nine black teenagers, who would later become known as the Scottsboro Boys, were accused of raping these women. Consequently the nine boys were found guilty of rape, in a speedy and unfair trial. This is one of the significant events that describe the treatment of black men in the Jim Crow Era. Many African-American males began to rise up and demand racial, political, and social equality in...

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