Malcolm X and Black Power, 1960–1980
in The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America
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The achievements of race leaders like Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael generally took more subtle, less tangible, forms. These included community empowerment, heightened racial pride and consciousness, and a decolonization of the black ghetto mind, rather than specific political initiatives to address the physical problems of the inner cities. Thus scholars in the 1960s and 1970s concluded that the Black Power Movement was lacking in any true substance, meaning or accomplishments, and was therefore not worthy of serious study. Transcribed and edited with the assistance of African American journalist Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X quickly became regarded as the authoritative account of his life and became an inspirational text for Black Power leaders of the late 1960s and early 1970s. By the 1970s and 1980s academics were beginning to make a welcome, if overdue, contribution to the understanding of Black Nationalism of the 1960s.

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