The Attitudes of Black People and Achievement of Racial Equality


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The Attitudes of Black People and Achievement of Racial Equality

During the 1960s and 1970s, different black groups had different
opinions about how to achieve racial equality. After justifying each
point I will link it back to the question. The term 'racial equality'
means despite race, people have same rights and opportunities as
others. In this assignment I will attempt to explain why the attitude
of Black people differed on how to achieve racial equality.

The first Civil Rights group I will look at is the NAACP which was
lead by Martin Luther King. They believed racial equality could be
achieved by peaceful but powerful means, such as protests and
lobbying. They believed this was the way to achieve racial equality
because peaceful protesting and pressure had achieved so much for them
so far. For example, the Montgomery bus boycott. This was a peaceful
method of protesting and proved successful. If it proved successful
once, then the NAACP's beliefs must prove right again. They wished for
integration to take place throughout the USA. Martin Luther King used
a peaceful method to ensure that the integration of the buses was
undergone; this was called a 'Freedom Ride.' The majority of the NAACP
members were strong and devoted Christians. They followed the beliefs
of non-violence which was encouraged by their religion.

The second Civil Rights group I will look at is the Black Panthers who
were led by Stokeley Carmichael. Stokeley Carmichael was a previous
follower of the NAACP and ensured that the Freedom Rides were working
correctly. After being arrested several times he resorted to the use
of violence. After his release from jail he began to adopt the
traditional African dress and dismissed the western culture. This
change changed him into a violent protestor. They believed that using
violence would teach white America that there was still black pride
within them even after being held as slaves. Those who supported the
Black Panthers were usually young black students from college and
university. These students mostly came from the west and witnessed

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police brutality and would like to take revenge against the injustice
of white police officers. In order to do so, they turned to the Black
Panthers. Many riots broke out amongst the police and the Black
Panthers which led to many losses of lives.

The Black Panthers got their views on independence from Malcolm X.
Malcolm X had negative views towards white people. Even from when he
was a child he faced racism by a white school teacher. He was told
that he could not be a lawyer as he was a black skinned person and
then he faced violent attacks from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). He got into
a lot of trouble with the police when he found out about his father's
death. In jail he met a member of a group called The Nation of Islam
(NOI), led by a man called Elijah Muhammad. He underwent a great
change and became a member. His group wished to achieve racial
equality by the use of violence. A famous quote of his was that
"non-violence is a delayed solution to racial equality. To me, a
delayed solution is no solution." This led to him and the rest of the
NOI to believe that this was their only choice to get themselves
heard. The carried guns on themselves if any white attacked them. This
is how they are different to The Black Panthers, as they believe in
attacking if they are attacked. However, the Black Panthers used
extreme violence against white Americans. After many differences with
Elijah Muhammad he split from the NOI and went on a pilgrimage to
Mecca. During this spiritual visit, he saw different types of Muslims
with all different types of skin colours and realized that integration
was possible. Therefore, after realizing the hateful past he had, he
accepted the path of peace and non-violence

During the 1960s and 1970s some blacks began to think using violence
was the way to achieve racial equality because whites only understood
violent attacks. They used violence as they were fed up at the lack of
progress with the non-violent approach. This was partly due to the
failing Civil Rights Act which was not making much progress. After the
loss of Martin Luther King, the non-violent approach was less promoted
and the two remaining groups capitalized this. They encouraged blacks
to defend themselves against violent attacks.

In conclusion black people had different opinions on how to achieve
racial equality because of the impact that the three major groups had.
All of the leaders of the groups were brought up as Christians but had
experiences in life which led to them converting their religion. This
is seen in Malcolm X and Stokeley Carmichael who became an
anti-religion believer. The leaders had major experiences, such as
being arrested, which change their views on the use of violence.


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