Black Politics / White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Black Panthers in New Haven
July 2000, ©2000, Wiley-Blackwell
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The popular media have portrayed the Black Panthers mainly for the rhetoric of violence some members employed and for the associations between the Panthers and a black militancy drawing on racial hostility to whites in general. Overlooked have been the efforts that branches of the organization undertook for practical economic and social progress within African-American neighborhoods, frequently in alliance with whites. Yohuru Williams' study of black politics in New Haven culminating in the arrival of the Panthers argues that the increasing militancy in the black community there was motivated not by abstractions of black cultural integrity but by the continuing frustrations the leadership suffered in its dealings with the city's white liberal establishment. Black Politics/White Power is an important contribution to a discovery of the complexities of racial politics during the angry late sixties and early seventies.