Black Power & the Slave Trade: How the Memory of Slavery Disrupted White Supremacy, 1959-1989
About the Author
Melanie R. Holmes is a doctoral candidate at Howard University. She is studying the African Diaspora with a minor in U.S. History. Her dissertation research is on Black Power Movement in Barbados. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism from Howard University and a Master of Science degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Melanie has always been highly motivated by her passion for racial justice. She is a middle school history teacher, Social Studies department chair, and creator of/advocate for culturally- responsive curriculum. Prior to teaching, Melanie was a reporter for The Philadelphia Tribune and the Afro-American Newspaper. Her focus as a journalist was to provide a voice for underserved individuals and communities by highlighting their concerns as well as their successes. Melanie hopes to use her doctoral work to inspire young people to continue fighting for racial justice.
Memory is a useful methodology when studying how historical events are currently remembered. Not often has the methodology been applied to the Black Power Movement. However, the public memory of slavery was deeply rooted in the Black Power Movement beginning in the United States and throughout the African diaspora. This paper demonstrates slavery as the root public memory which energized the spirit of resistance within the Black Power Movement. Beginning with the unprecedented work of Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey and his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, this research takes a chronological journey through the lineage of Black Power leaders Garvey inspired between 1959-1989. This period begins with the rise of Malcolm X in 1959 and includes speeches from the transformational activism of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committer chairman Stokely Carmichael; Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense; extends to writings of Obi Egbuna who led the British Black Panthers; and concludes with the artistry of Black Panther descendant TuPac Shakur.
Holmes, Melanie R.
"Black Power & the Slave Trade: How the Memory of Slavery Disrupted White Supremacy, 1959-1989,"
Madison Historical Review: Vol. 20, Article 8.
Available at: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/mhr/vol20/iss1/8