Theory and Practice of Black Nationalism As Expressed By Stokely Carmichael, Black Panthers, Gary Declaration,1972

African American Studies

In the entire history of Africans who faced hostile experiences in the hostile American shoes, one of the most significant issues that have attracted the attention of majority of historians is Black Nationalism. Black nationalists continued to fight for the rights of blacks as they struggled to seek independence and separation from the American Societies (Digital History, 2014). Stokely Carmichael, Black Panthers, and the Gary Declaration of 1972 are among the most popular Black nationalists in history. All these three Black nationalists had different views and opinions concerning Black Nationalism. Stokely Carmichael was elected the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in May 1966. He transformed SNCC into an all-black organization that demonstrated commitment to ‘black power’. According to Carmichael, integration was unnecessary and black people had to have economic and political power. Carmichael called upon the black people to unite and form their own political organizations (Digital History, 2014).

Like Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers and the Gary Declaration of 1972 also supported Black Nationalism. The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California by Bobby Seal and Huey Newton. The Black Panthers believed that social, political, and economic equality for the working class and ethnic minority groups could only be achieved through militant struggle. They also moved to end police brutality and murder of the black people (Sustar and Maas, 2013). According to the Gary Declaration of 1972, the American system did not work for humanity, particularly for the black people, and it could only be made to work through radical fundamental transformation. The Gary Declaration also pointed out that, American political parties had betrayed the black people and had interests which contradicted those of blacks (1972 Gary, Indiana Convention).

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