Cultural influences arising from the Black Power Movement included the embodiment of black identity in unique clothing and hair styles, the concept of "soul" as a social and musical expression, and the adoption of "soul food" as a unique culinary experience. Its artistic expression was in the Black Arts Movement.Continue Reading
The Black Power Movement began politically with the frustration of black leaders such as Stokely Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Floyd McKissick of the Congress of Racial Equality, with the slow pace of racial integration through nonviolent means. The political expression of the Black Power Movement became the Black Panther Party, whose members took up weapons supposedly for self-defense against police brutality. Although many blacks disagreed with the blatant violence of the Black Panthers, the Black Power Movement ignited a spirit of black pride summarized in the phrase "black is beautiful." Instead of regarding black identity and appearance as inherently undesirable, black people flaunted their culture by adopting unique clothing and Afro hair styles.
The musical expression of the Black Power Movement was the genre that became known as soul. The literary expression known as the Black Arts Movement started with Amiri Baraka, also known as LeRoi Jones. In 1965, he moved from Manhattan to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School. Other black workshops and publications sprang up as vehicles of black literary expression. Although the movement fragmented due to ideological differences, it profoundly influenced contemporary and future black artists and writers.Learn more about US History