History of the Civil Rights movement By Cristina Vignone
IThe slogan 'Black Power' was introduced in 1966 during the March Against Fear initiated by James Meredith, the first black student to attend Mississippi State University.
After Meredith was shot on the second day of his solitary walk various civil rights organizations, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, continued it in his stead. Together with other participants, SNCC activists Willie Ricks and Stokley Carmichael protested racism from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi and promulgated 'Black Power.'
During an evening rally on June 16, 1966 in Greenwood, Mississippi, Carmichael gave a speech that made the slogan famous:
The rise of ‘Black Power’s’ significance coincided with a shift away from the moderate call of ‘Freedom Now’ that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference advocated to a more aggressive stance on attaining black liberation. 'Black Power' also “became a symbol of African American unity in the mid-1960s, stressing group strength, independent action, and racial pride.” In the following audio clip, Carmichael addresses how white and black citizens can combat racism in the United States and how ‘Black Power’ can help people “think politically” and “question the values” of American society to make “real changes.”
Black Power Address at UC Berkeley