Black Pride

September 11, 1968

Report Outline
Changing Goals of Negroes in America
Decline of the Negro Rights Movement
Image of Negro in Arts and Education

Changing Goals of Negroes in America

The negro revolution in the United States has acquired a new mood and direction under a new generation of leaders. The old goal of integration—assimilation of Negroes into white American society—is now widely rejected, at least for the time being, as a form of “painless genocide.” The new goals include racial pride, cultural separateness, and economic and political self-sufficiency. The word “Negro” itself is falling into disfavor; “black” or “Afro-American” are often preferred, especially among younger people.

Until around three years ago, the Negro civil rights movement was basically a middle-class movement. The South was the principal battleground. Federal legislation barring racial discrimination in such fields as voting, public accommodations, education, and housing was the major objective. Active participation of white people in the movement was welcomed. The newly emerging Negro leaders, in contrast, seem concerned primarily with problems of the lower-class black ghettos of big cities outside the South. Civil rights laws are generally dismissed as irrelevant to the needs of ghetto blacks. White financial support of the movement is still accepted, but whites are less welcome than formerly in decision-making positions.

Emergence of the Concept of Black Power

The slogan of the Negro revolution today is “black power” —an ill-defined concept that many whites find menacing. LeRoi Jones, the writer, describes it thus: “Black Power, the power to control our lives ourselves. All of our lives. Our laws. Our culture. Our children. Their lives. Our total consciousness, black oriented…. Black power must be spiritually, emotionally, and historically in tune with black people, as well as serving their economic and political ends.” Newspaper columnist Charles Bartlett observed last July 11 that, “stripped of hostile overtones, the concept of black power is simply … that black Americans must create for themselves an environment which is conducive to their psychological health and institutional strength.” He added: “They must narrow the gap between their own sense of inferiority and the white man's sense of superiority before they can hope to live as equals.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: African Americans