Black Power By the mid-1960s, a number of African American leaders were becoming increasingly critical of Martin Luther King’s nonviolent strategy.
Black Power Rather than advocating nonviolence and integration, many young African Americans began to call for black power1, a term that had many different meanings.
“This is the 27th time I have been arrested—and I ain’t going to jail no more!…We been saying freedom for six years- and we ain’t got nothin’. What we’re gonna start saying now is Black Power.” ~Stokely Carmichael Stokely Carmichael of the SNCC
Black Power African Americans showed pride in their racial heritage by adopting new Afro hairstyles and African-style clothing.
Black Power By the early 1960s, Malcolm X3had become a symbol of the black power movement. Born Malcolm Little, he experienced a difficult childhood and drifted into a life of crime as a teenager.
Black Power In prison on burglary charges at age 21, Malcolm became a convert to the Nation of Islam, a Muslim sect that preached black nationalism. The group believed that African Americans should separate themselves from whites and form their own self-governing communities.
Muhammed Ali was a prominent figure in the movement, changing his name from Cassius Clay and refusing to fight in Vietnam on moral grounds. Black Power After his release from prison, Malcolm X became the Nation of Islam’s most prominent minister.
Black Power However, in 1964 he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city of Islam. His days at the Hajj changed his views on race. "Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.”
"We were truly all the same (brothers) - because their belief in one God had removed the white from their minds, the white from their behavior, and the white from their attitude.“ "I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the Oneness of Man - and cease to measure, and hinder, and harm others in terms of their 'differences' in color." Black Power
Black Power In February 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed by members of the Nation of Islam that were upset with his departure and criticisms of the organization.
Black Power In 1966 in Oakland, California, an organized group of armed, African Americans whom protected their neighborhoods from police abuse became known as the Black Panthers.
Black Power The group was a social welfare group dedicated to helping the community through free clinics, food pantries and education. They also believed that a revolution was necessary and they armed themselves in order to defend their rights!
Black Power By the late 1960s, the civil rights movement had fragmented into dozens of competing organizations reaching for equality.
Black Power In this atmosphere, Dr. King went to Memphis, Tennessee to support a strike of African American sanitation workers in March 1968.
Black Power On the evening of April 4, as he stood on his hotel balcony, Dr. King was assassinated by a sniper. Dr. King’s assassination touched off both national mourning and riots in more than 100 cities, including Washington D.C.
Black Power • James Earl Ray was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Black Power Dr. King’s death marked the end of an era in American history.
The Election of 1968 • In late January, 1968, during the lunar new year (or “Tet”) holiday, North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated attack against a number of targets in South Vietnam. The U.S. and South Vietnamese militaries sustained heavy losses before finally repelling the communist assault. The Tet Offensive played an important role in weakening U.S. public support for the war in Vietnam. • Only 28% of the American people were satisfied with President Johnson's handling of the war. The Tet Offensive convinced many Americans that government statements about the war being nearly over were false. After three years of intense bombing, billions of dollars and 500,000 troops, the VC proved themselves capable of attacking anywhere they chose. The message was simple: this war was not almost over. The end was nowhere in sight.
The Election of 1968 In March, President Johnson declared he would not run for reelection. People had begun to see the Vietnam War as unwinnable.
"Report from Vietnam" Walter Cronkite Broadcast February 27, 1968 To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could. This is Walter Cronkite. Good night. If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, then it’s over. I’ve lost Mr. Average Citizen.” ~LBJ
After the Tet Offensive, American public opinion bout the war in Vietnam drastically changed. Many Americans now detested the war and their leader, Lyndon Johnson.
Robert Kennedy • Robert Kennedy was the favorite to run on the Democratic ticket in 1968. • He was assassinated in Los Angeles on June 5th after giving a speech. • His assassin was SirhanSirhan, a Palestinian and was furious at the complete support given by RFK to Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • It was in the 90s, 80% humidity, the power grid was browning out, the phone operators and the taxi drivers were on strike. Chicago was on edge, with student protesters, Hippies, Black Panthers and anarchists descending on the city. • Vice President Humphrey had 561.5 delegates, Robert Kennedy 393.5, Senator Eugene McCarthy 258. Kennedy's murder left his delegates uncommitted. • Humphrey was seen as the more conservative candidate, a continuance of President Johnson’s policies. Kennedy had been the candidate that seemed most likely to stop the war and continue liberal social programs. With his death, the liberals in the party supported Senator McCarthy.
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • YIPPIES- Youth International Party, radical students, kind of anarchist and ridiculous for the sake of being counter culture. • Pigasus was their candidate for the presidency in 1968 • They camped out in Lincoln Park, Had a giant “love in” and terrified and annoyed the police and mayor
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • SDS- Students for a Democratic Society • Student political organization against nuclear war, Vietnam, racism • "We regard men as infinitely precious and possessed of unfulfilled capacities for reason, freedom, and love.“ • Were there as representatives of youth movements at the Convention.
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • They were a hybrid group—radicals, hippies, yippies, moderates—representing myriad issues and a wide range of philosophies, but they were united behind an encompassing cause: ending the long war in Vietnam and challenging Democratic Party leaders and their delegates to break with the past
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • The police and security guards at the Convention Center were on guard and started by roughing up Dan Rather , who was reporting for CBS. • 10,000 demonstrators gathered in Chicago for the convention, where they were met by 23,000 police and National Guardsmen. • The police used so much tear gas to break up the kids in Grant Park that it wafted all the way into the Hilton Hotel where the Vice President was staying.
The Democratic Convention in Chicago • The police arrested hundreds of kids, using brutal police tactics. • Kids were beaten with batons, kicked, punched, gassed and threatened. • Eventually, the “leaders of the movement “ were arrested for inciting riots. • Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Bobby Seale, Lee Weiner, John Froines and David Dellinger were arrested.
The Chicago 8 • Seven of the defendants were represented by William Kunstler. Charles Garry was Bobby Seale’s attorney. He was in the hospital and the judge overseeing the trial would not postpone. • When Bobby Seale tried to defend himself in court the Judge, Julius Hoffman had him BOUND AND GAGGED IN COURT.
Chicago 8 • Bobby Seale’s case was then declared a mistrial, and he was sentenced to four years for contempt of court. The Chicago Eight thus became the Chicago Seven. In February 1970, five of the seven were found guilty, but an appeals court overturned the convictions in the fall of 1972, citing Judge Hoffman’s procedural errors and his overt hostility to the defendants. • Bobby Seale was the only one to serve time. All the cases were overturned.