Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Black Power in the Bluff City: African American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Black Power in the Bluff City: African American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis

Article excerpt

Kinchen, Shirletta J. Black Power in the Bluff City: African American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis, 1965-1975. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2015, pp. 312, ISNB: 1621901874.

During the civil rights era, Memphis gained a reputation for having one of the South's strongest NAACP branches. But that organization, led by the city's Black elite, was hardly the only driving force in the local struggle against racial injustice. In the late sixties, Black Power proponents advocating economic, political, and cultural self-determination effectively mobilized Memphis's African American youth, using an array of moderate and radical approaches to protest and change conditions on their campuses and in the community. In this work, the author exams how young Memphis activists that were dissatisfied by the pace of progress in a city emerging from the Jim Crow era, embraced Black Power ideology to confront such challenges as gross disparities in housing, education, and employment as well as police brutality and harassment. Thus two closely related Black Power organizations, the Black Organizing Project and the Invaders, became central to the local Black youth movement in the late 1960s. …

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