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Crucibles of Black EmpowermentChicago’s Neighborhood Politics from the New Deal to Harold Washington$
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Jeffrey Helgeson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226130699

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226130729.001.0001

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Sources of Black Nationalism from the 1950s to the 1970s

Sources of Black Nationalism from the 1950s to the 1970s

(p.201) Chapter Six Sources of Black Nationalism from the 1950s to the 1970s
Crucibles of Black Empowerment

Jeffrey Helgeson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that the growing radicalism of black urban politics in the 1950s and 1960s reflected the long-term development of black nationalism as a product of direct experiences of persistent racial exclusion and the limits of urban liberalism. The chapter highlights the long and complex history of black nationalism as it played out in institutions as different as the proudly interracial Roosevelt University, the Nation of Islam, and the Black Power neighborhood group known as the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. Such institutions created points of convention for a new generation of progressive activists whose idiosyncratic, dynamic collaborations created a political culture in which movements for self-help and black power were never wholly divorced from a pragmatic willingness to work across ideological and racial lines, and to continue to make demands on the state in the cause of racial advancement.

Keywords:   Black Power, Black Nationalism, Nation of Islam, Roosevelt University, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Self-help, Black Power, Urban Liberalism, 1950s, 1960s

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