Black Power Fist Salute:
Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico Olympics
Johnson was the 36th American President who served in
office from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969. One
of the important events during his presidency was the
rise of Black Power movement.
Facts: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
about Black Power.
What was the Black Power movement? The
Black Power Movement began in 1966
emphasizing racial pride and advocated
militancy, self-reliance and independence to
achieve social equality with whites
Who coined the term Black Power? The
term "Black Power" was coined by Civil
Rights activist, Stokely Carmichael
What is the Black Power salute?
The Black Power salute, known as the Black
Power fist, was a raised, clenched fist as a
symbol of solidarity, strength, defiance,
resistance and support. The Black Power fist
salute that was made by Tommie Smith and
John Carlos at the Mexico Olympics in 1968,
shocked the world and drew media attention
to the Black Power movement.
When did the Black Power movement end?
The Black Power movement effectively ended
at the end of the 1960's as the nation
changed its focus to the worsening Vietnam
Facts for kids: The Origin of the Black Power Movement
The origin of the Black
Power movement began as many young black Americans were
impatient with the non-violent protests of Dr. Martin Luther King
and the slow response to injustice towards African Americans in
society. Civil Rights activists Stokely Carmichael, leader of the
SNCC, and Floyd McKissick of CORE had visited Civil Rights activist
James Meredith, after he was wounded on June 5, 1966 during a
peaceful march in Mississippi. Carmichael and McKissick despaired at
the lack of change in the lives of African Americans, despite
federal legislation. Attending a rally at Greenwood, Mississippi,
Stokely Carmichael coined the black nationalism rallying slogan,
“Black Power” when he launched an attack on the Mississippi justice
system and stated "What we need is black power".
Facts for kids: The Black Power Salute at the 1968 Olympics
Black Power movement received world
wide publicity when Black Power fist salute was made by the
African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their
medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
Facts for kids
The following fact
sheet contains interesting facts and information on the movement.
Movement Facts for kids
Facts - 1: Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. and the NAACP denounced the militant Black
Power movement but the message of the movement appealed
to impatient young African Americans in the streets of
the cities, where resentment boiled and tempers flared.
2: The non-violent
preaching of the peaceful leaders of the Civil Rights
Movement were perceived as being slow and ineffective.
Facts - 3: The
14th and 15th Amendments
addressing Civil rights, equal protection and
voting rights had been ratified in 1868 and 1870 respectively but
after nearly 100 years were still being flouted.
Facts - 4: The
Codes and segregation policies of the
restricted the rights of African
denying the right to vote and travel freely. These laws segregated
whites and blacks in education, housing, transport, rest rooms and
Facts - 5:
The Jim Crow laws and the Black
Codes were sanctioned by the federal government as a result of the
Supreme Court decision in the 1896
Plessy vs. Ferguson Case.
Facts - 6:
African Americans in the
were denied the right to a fair trial and were subject
to extreme violence and lynchings by supremacist groups
such as the
Facts - 7:
African Americans in the cities in the
also suffered from prejudice and racial discrimination.
In 1964 approximately 70% of African Americans lived in
cities. They were banned from living in white
neighborhoods and forced to live in the crowded
conditions of the ghettoes.
Facts - 8: In 1964 only 15%
Americans held professional positions or were employed
in managerial or clerical jobs. The majority were forced
to work in low paid, menial jobs and 50% of African
American families lived in poverty.
Facts - 9: Tension in the
inner cities grew and exploded into violent
demonstrations during 1964. The Harlem race riot was
followed by other riots in cities such as Chicago;
Philadelphia, Rochester and Jersey City. Many more race
riots would follow including the infamous Watts Riot
(1965) and Detroit riot (1967).
Facts - 10: The desperation of
poverty stricken people, with no real prospect of
change, fueled the Black Power Movement.
Facts - 11: The Black Power Movement began in 1966
emphasizing racial pride and advocated militancy, self-reliance and
independence to achieve social equality with whites
Facts - 12: In 1966, against
the backdrop of racial tension, protests and
demonstrations in the United States, Stokely Carmichael
used the famous term and the Black Power Movement
Movement Facts for kids
Facts for kids:
Who was Stokely Carmichael?
coined the term "Black Power" in the summer of 1966 in a speech
he made at a Civil Rights rally at Greenwood,
Mississippi. Stokely Carmichael
(June 29, 1941 – November 15, 1998), a Howard University
graduate in philosophy, was a Civil Rights activist who as a
student worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC). In the SNCC, he worked to get African-Americans in
Mississippi and Alabama registered to vote in the face of
massive, often violent resistance from white supremacists and
segregationists. Stokely Carmichael expelled white members from
the SNCC in 1966 and called for self-reliance, independence and
black nationalism in his 1967 book 'Black Power'.
about Black Power for kids
The following fact
sheet continues with facts about the Black Power movement.
Movement Facts for kids
Facts - 13: Many Civil Rights
leaders became increasingly critical of the slow,
non-violent strategy of Dr. Martin Luther King and their
focus began to shift to address poverty and economic
rights as they called for more aggressive forms of
Facts - 14: The Black Power
Movement aimed to achieve social equality with
whites, emphasizing racial pride and advocating
militancy, self-reliance and independence.
Facts - 15:
African Heritage was embraced and the movement focused on racial distinctiveness rather than
assimilation. African Americans demonstrated pride in
their racial heritage by wearing African-style clothing
and adopting Afro hairstyles.
Facts - 16:
Young African Americans became increasingly interested
in the black-only religion and organization known as the
Nation of Islam.
The followers of the Nation of Islam (NOI) became
known as the Black Muslims and changed their American
identity and adopted Muslim names.
Facts - 17:
The Nation of Islam (NOI) was founded in the 1930's
by Wallace D. Fard, later known as Farrad Muhammad, who
taught a unique form of Islam based on the teachings of
the Quran but preaching Black Nationalism.
Facts - 18:
Elijah Muhammad, previously known as Robert Poole,
became the leader of the Nation of Islam from 1934 to
1975, advocating black nationalism that called for
the creation of a separate black nation in America and
Black separatism that aimed to create separate
institutions for African Americans.
Facts - 19: New strategies
emerged that ranged from the use of armed self-defense
to the black separatist notion that the government
should establish a number of black-only states where
African Americans could live free from the presence of
Facts - 20:
The most famous follower of Elijah
Muhammad was Malcolm X and he, like many other Civil
Rights activists, were inspired by the beliefs of Elijah
Muhammad and joined the Nation of Islam. Members of the
organization also supported the concept of what would
become known as Black Power.
Facts - 21: The charismatic
Malcolm X, formerly known as Malcolm Little, became a
powerful symbol of the Black Power movement and the
Black Muslims. His criticisms of white society and the
slow progress made by the leaders of the Civil Rights
movement gained massive media attention.
Facts - 22: In 1964 Malcolm X
broke with the Black Muslims and went on to found the
Organization of Afro-American Unity, that advocated
black-identity and held that racism, not the white race,
was the greatest enemy of African Americans. Malcolm X
Muhammad and the Nation of Islam and, on
February 21, 1965,
Malcolm X was
assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam (NOI)
Facts - 23: Despite the
assassination of Malcolm X the Nation of Islam (NOI)
and the Black Power movement continued to gain support.
In 1967 Muhammad Ali,
formerly Cassius Clay, became a Muslim minister in the
Nation of Islam and was stripped of his heavyweight
boxing title for resisting military draft to fight in
the Vietnam War.
The movement also included organizations such as the
Black Panthers who advocated the
strategy of violent revolution by African Americans.
Many of its members were arrested as they became
involved in violent confrontations with the police.
25: Angela Davis, an
author, radical Civil Rights activist and educator
became closely associated with the Black Power movement
in the 1960's. Angela Davis was a graduate of the
University of California, San Diego and joined several
groups, including the Black Panthers and was
a member of the Che-Lumumba Club (CRC), an all-black
branch of the Communist Party.
26: The Che-Lumumba
Club (CRC), the all-black collective of the Communist
Party of Southern California, was named after the
revolutionary hero "Che" Guevara and Patrice Lumumba,
the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo,
who symbolized the struggle for African nations to unite
and to break free of the influence of the white powers
27: The Communist
Party had lent its backing to African American liberation causes
since the 1930's and the Black Power movement of the
1960's revitalized its black membership. It must be
remembered that this was the era of the high tension,
mistrust and paranoia of the Cold War when
anti-communism hysteria swept the nation.
28: The Black Power
fist salute given by John Carlos and Tommie Smith during
the medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico Olympics shocked
and embarrassed the nation.
The violence of the race riots in American cities, the
death of Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, and the
rise of the militants and black revolutionaries
effectively ended the power of the movement by the end of
30: The Black Power
movement gave rise to massive media attention that
highlighted the problems of African Americans and the
ultimate goal was achieved when,
on January 20, 2009,
Barack Obama became the first black President of the
Movement Facts for kids
Black Power Movement - President Lyndon Johnson Video
The article on
Black Power Movement provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following
Lyndon Johnson video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 36th American President whose presidency spanned from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969.
Black Power Movement
Interesting Facts about Black Power Movement for kids and schools
Summary of Black Power Movement in US history
Black Power Movement, a major
event in US history
Lyndon Johnson from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969
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Foreign & Domestic
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