Epilogue  pp. 225-231


By Alphonso Pinkney

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This book is an attempt to describe and analyze the black nationalist movement in the United States, beginning with its earliest manifestations but concentrating primarily on the contemporary movement, especially during the period of its greatest impact on the black community in the decade of 1963–1973. As was noted in the Preface, it makes no attempt to be comprehensive; rather, emphasis is placed on the most consequential and noteworthy expressions, both collective and individual. It is difficult to write about a movement during its zenith, especially one involving black people in the United States, because circumstances often force changes in ideology and strategy. This has been the case with the black nationalist movement, and, as the manuscript goes to press in 1975, it is necessary to chronicle some of the most important events bearing on the movement, particularly those which have altered the character of what is written in the preceding chapters. Although these events do not necessarily invalidate what has been written or the conclusions drawn, it is necessary to record them in order to put the material into current perspective, and, to a lesser extent, to bring the record of the movement up to date. The black nationalist movement, although in a state of flux and apparent decline, continues to be a vital force for Afro-Americans.

In the summer of 1974 Amiri Baraka and the organization he formed, the Congress of African Peoples, announced a change in ideological position from cultural nationalism to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung thought as the most logical means for analyzing the black liberation struggle.