This work features legendary moments - the birth, life and death of the black power movement. This is an outstanding narrative history of one of the most influential civil rights movements in modern history - including research based on over 60 original oral histories. In 1966, a group of political activists including Stokely Carmichael and Huey P. Newton turned their backs on Martin Luther King's pacifism and, building on the legacy of Malcolm X, pioneered a radical new approach to the fight for equality. Their rallying cry? "Black Power!" The Black Power movement became an iconography for the American struggle for racial equality. Peniel E. Joseph traces the history of the men and women who made up that movement - many famous, others nameless, all working together to create and sustain the most powerful organisation for change in recent political history. "Waiting 'til the Midnight Hour" begins in Harlem in the 1950s, where - despite the Cold War's hostile climate - black writers, artists and activists built a new urban militancy that was the movement's earliest incarnation.
In a series of character-driven chapters readers witness the rise of Black Power groups (such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers) - and with them, on both coasts of the country, a fundamental change in the way Americans understood the unfinished business of racial equality and integration. Drawing on original and archive research and more than 60 original oral histories, "Waiting 'til the Midnight Hour" vividly invokes the way in which Black Power redefined black identity and culture and in the process redrew the landscape of American race relations.
Peniel E. Joseph is an assistant professor of African studies at SUNY, New York. He lives in Brooklyn.