The Black Power Movement/Civil Rights Movement/Black Liberation Movement/Black Lives Matter Movement are all movements that are fighting for the same thing no matter what color you put in the name or what you call it. Black people were not and are not only fighting for Black people to have an equal platform in the united states of america, but it is an entire national and international movement. There is a common misconception in the media, and in the minds of those who have not read the history of the Black movements in the past, that Black movements are only about Black people and that everyone else should take a seat and wait their turn.
The Black Lives Matter movement is for amplifying the voices of Black people, yes. The movement is for uniting the Black community against a fight against white supremacy, systemic racism, white washed history, unjust murders etc, yes. However, there is a critical point being missed. What is today called the Black Lives Matter movement is not solely about not killing Black people in cold blood, ending voting suppression, or respecting Black women. It is not only about an equal platform for Black people in this country and all around the world. It’s about reminding the people in this world that don’t think they came from a Black woman ages ago that they do. We are all brothers and sisters in the blood of the race that is treated so poorly, thus, we are the fight for humanity.
The Proof is in the History
Take a look at the 50s, 60s and 70s Black Power Movement/Civil Rights movement. This movement consisted of some well known activists, such as Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton, Assata Shakur, Nina Simone, Kathleen Cleaver and many others.
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale dropped out of college because they wanted to take action, not just sit around and talk about what’s happening according to Seize the Time.
They founded the Black Panther Party (BPP) for Self Defense where their initial goal was to politically educate the people especially Black people, marginalized groups, and poor people, and follow a 10-point platform that covered the needs and wants of the Black community. This platform also expresses the basic needs and wants of all human beings. They did things like founded their own free breakfast program that provided hot meals for the youth of neighborhoods. They had goals of opening free clinics to tackle the government created diseases planted in Black people such as syphilis. Both things that align with the issues that many people all around the world face. Yemen is currently in famine right now. There are many people who suffer from economic oppression, which prevents them from being able to access medical resources.
These acts of action are similar to acts of the Black Lives Matter organization, who spends time in the streets protesting while also spending time volunteering in the community. They run an official organization that fights the fight for basic human rights through liberating the Black community because historically our movement has had all people in mind one way or another.
This is not to say that the BPP or the Black Power Movement/Civil Rights Movement was perfect and completely inclusive. Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, and Kathleen Cleaver were all Black Panthers as well, and they always had points to raise as to how to improve the Black Panther Party’s chauvinistic, arrogant, and misogynistic ways, which is another critical part of how our system works in the united states. Angela Davis has always been a voice for the beauty of Black women and how the feminist movement should include more Black women and women of color.These are voices that would bring nothing but value and more power to the movement. She also is a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community and a professor of intersectionality and its importance in understanding people’s identity.
Assata Shakur was and still is a fiery activist who was never afraid to put a man in his place while also caring for and educating the youth with knowledge that she had to learn in her hard walk of life. Kathleen Cleaver broke the silence of Black women being questioned about what their role is in the movement by pointing out that no one ever asks the same question to men. Their role is known while women in the movement were putting in a hefty amount of the work and getting little to no credit. When the BPP seemed to be a place of misogyny and bigotry, subconscious and conscious, these women saw the potential in the organization and decided this was the kind of work they wanted to do, which women of all skin color have to do when deciding to anything outside of the stereotypical women’s role.
The Rainbow Coalition
Fred Hampton was the chairman of the Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party. He had an intellect that matched his ability to public speak and always moved the people, all people. Fred Hampton was a believer of the rainbow coalition, which was an alliance of all oppressed people. This rainbow ranged from poor white people to Hispanic/Latinx people to Native American people to people of Asian descent. He saw that we all had something in common, which is oppression, and we can not work against that oppression unless we work together as a rainbow coalition. The overall goal is to liberate all people while working with the people that set the blueprint for the revolution, Black people.
The rainbow coalition is something that the Black movements have always had in our Agenda. Therefore, when people say something like everything has to take a back seat when the Black Lives Matter movement is trending on Twitter, it’s misrepresenting the goal of the movement. Yes, Black people want and need to be heard, but not just to tell the racists to stop being racist, but it’s because the Black race, the Nubian race, has something valuable to say that could revolutionize the way people are treated all around the world not because we don’t like all lives matter.
Once you hear us you have to hear everyone. We not only fight for those outside of our community to be liberated, but we work within our own community to combat bigotry and miseducation. When you hear the Black movement’s shouts in the streets, you hear all the children of the original Black woman. You hear the torture this country and countries around the world have put poor people, LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, people of color, and all other marginalized groups through. So the next time we raise our fists in Black Power, know it