In 1966, Black Power emerged as a rallying call for African Americans to shift their focus from freedom now to the embrace of black cultural, political, and economic power. In a speech during the March against Fear in Mississippi, Stokely Carmichael made public the phase Black Power and moved the civil rights movement towards a black nationalist agenda. Four months later, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale canvassed their neighborhood inquiring about issues and concerns of black residents. Their efforts created the Ten-Point Platform that became the foundation for the establishment of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Fifty years later, in 2016, Black Lives Matter, co-founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors, has become a movement advocating for dignity, justice, and respect in the wake of social and judicial tragedies occurring in America today.
Where do these two movements meet? What has Black Lives Matter learned from Black Power? And as the nation’s record keeper – how does the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) record the history that has been and is currently being made? To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Black Power movement, Say it Loud! The African-American Employee Affinity Group presents a panel discussion of distinguished guests from revolutionary movements of the past and present on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 7:00pm in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives in Washington, D. C. The moderator for the panel is journalist and author, A’Lelia Bundles. The panelists include former Black Panther member and Congressman, Bobby Rush (D-IL); author of Black Panther Princess and daughter of former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown, Erika Brown-Abram; co-creator of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza; historian and activist, Princess Black; and associate professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington, Dr. Jakobi Williams.
The panel will be followed by an open reception where audience members and panelists may continue the dialogue amongst historically significant records relating to social movements in America. During the reception, history professor Dr. Jakobi Williams will be signing copies of his book From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago.
The Say it Loud! Employee Affinity Group was established in February 2016, to identify specific areas of focus and to develop and implement solutions to ensure a culture of empowerment, openness, and inclusion for African-American employees and allies. The primary goals of Say it Loud! are to enhance professional development of NARA’s African-American employees; inform, educate and share information relating to African Americans, including Federal records that are in the National Archives; and provide the space where stakeholders, or those who take interest in the African-American community, can meet, network and socialize around relative topics.
Special thanks to the “Revolutionary Usher Squad,” who is working hard to make this event a success: Netisha Currie, Tina L. Ligon, Vera Williams, Tiffany Walker, Daniella Furman, Abiola Neptune, Shaina V. Destine, Kathleen Brown, Breana Farrar, Stacey Chandler, Gabrielle Downer, and Tammy Stovall.