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The Black Power movement was dispersed throughout the United States. The civil rights movement, on the other hand, was to a large extent a southern-based movement. Unlike the civil rights movement, whites were prohibited from joining any of the Black Power organizations. With the exception of the Black Panther Party, Black Power organizations did not form alliances with white groups. Black Powerites sought to be free of any white influence or interference.
While all of the Black Power organizations believed in black control of their communities, they were not monolithic in their approach to that end. The civil rights movement sought to dismantle desegregation in public accommodations and to exercise the right of black Americans to vote. For many Black Powerites, integration was a nonissue and nonviolence was out of the question. The political philosophy of the organizations that comprised the Black Power movement ran the gamut. Some were black nationalist, others were cultural nationalist, while still others considered themselves Marxist-Leninist.Black Power advocates felt little need to prove to whites that they were deserving of the same rights. From their standpoint, to whom were whites to be equal? They believed that their time would be better spent educating the community, building institutions, and meeting the daily needs of the people by providing protection, food, shelter, and clothing.The Black Power movement did not grow out of a vacuum; it was firmly rooted in the rich tradition of black protest. Like the slave rebellions and the Garvey movement, it was extensively organized. Its use of the written word, art, and culture to heighten the consciousness of the black community also linked the movement to the Harlem Renaissance (or the New Negro Renaissance), which relied heavily on these black expressive endeavors.The Black Power movement also heightened the consciousness of other oppressed peoples throughout the world and greatly influenced the direction of their movements. The Black Power movement had a profound impact, for example, on the struggle for equality in the Caribbean, where freedom fighters started the Afro-Caribbean movement, activists in Barbados formed the People’s Progressive Movement
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