Emergence of Black Power

In July of 2016, SNCC veterans gathered at Duke University to discuss the emergence of Black Power as an idea as well as a framework for SNCC’s political, economic, cultural, and educational organizing. These critical oral history sessions placed SNCC veterans in conversation with scholars and primary source materials to explore the centrality of Black empowerment to the Black Freedom Struggle. In the following selections, SNCC veterans reflect on their understanding of Black Power and SNCC’s fight to end systemic racism and the economic inequality it produced. (Complete recordings of the Critical Oral History sessions will be made available through Duke University Libraries at a later date.)

Shirley Sherrod:

Black Power’s Roots in Southern Black Communities

Jennifer Lawson:

Black Power in Terms of the Self-sufficiency of Your World

Maria Varela:

Resonance of Black Power and Bringing Other People In

Charlie Cobb:

SNCC Redefining Itself through Black Power Post-1964

Gloria House:

Turning Away from the Liberal Establishment & the Growth of Black Consciousness

Courtland Cox:

Developing Political Power in Lowndes County

Jennifer Lawson:

Black Power as Cultural and as a Generational Change

Karen Spellman:

The Energy Around Black Power on the Meredith March

Charles McLaurin:

The Call for Black Power at the Meredith March