In the 1960s, the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther Party gave voice to many economically disadvantaged and politically isolated African Americans, especially outside the South. Though vilified as extremist and marginal, they were formidable agents of influence and change during the civil rights era and ultimately shaped the Black Power movement. In this fresh study, drawing on deep archival research and interviews with key participants, Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar reconsiders the commingled stories of-and popular reactions to-the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, and mainstream civil rights leaders. Ogbar finds that many African Americans embraced the seemingly contradictory political agenda of desegregation and nationalism. Indeed, black nationalism was far more favorably received among African Americans than historians have previously acknowledged. Black Power reveals a civil rights movement in which the ideals of desegregation through nonviolence and black nationalism marched side by side. Ogbar concludes that Black Power had more lasting cultural consequences among African Americans and others than did the civil rights movement, engendering minority pride and influencing the political, cultural, and religious spheres of mainstream African American life for the next three decades.
The best account of the Black Panther Party in print... this is an outstanding work. Choice 2005 This book will be the standard-bearer on the subject for years to come. -- Judson L. Jeffries Journal of American History 2005 An intriguing foray into a time and place in American history that has been visited far too infrequently by historians and others. -- Claude A. Clegg III Journal of Southern History 2006 Black Power is an intellectual triumph... well organized. Rhetoric and Public Affairs 2006 An important contribution to the growing field of Black Power Studies. Journal of African American History 2006 Ambitious, challenging, and, ultimately, rewarding book. -- Patrick D. Jones Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 2005 As an introduction to the history of black power and black nationalism in the mid-to-late twentieth century America, this book provides a valuable overview of the sources, central issues, and influences of those movements. -- Richard H. King American Historical Review 2006