©2006 Peniel E. Joseph; (P)2007 Recorded Books
"Vividly illuminates the personalities and politics of a turbulent time." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Once in a while a book comes along that projects the spirit of an era; this is one of them....Vibrant and expressive....A well-researched and well-written work." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
A book about Black Power that spends hardly any time on George Padmore, James Boggs, Franz Fanon or the Revolutionary Action Movements is pretty surprising. On the whole, this book is just barely deeper than the last chapter of most books on the civil rights movement. For the most part, the book focused on the big luminaries and their personal political trajectory rather than the practical application of Black Power in communities across the country. Why dedicate a chapter to Huey P Newton's trial, while barely touching on the work done by the BPP in the community.
This book is a great introduction to the casual reader who has no knowledge of the Black Power movement, but will be a very unsatisfactory read for any student of Black Power, Civil Rights, or the era in general.
To write a book about the black power movement and not even mention Assata Shukur is mind boggling. How do you mention Tupac Shakur and not his Aunt Assata? And Mumia Abu-Jamal, also absent. A very brief mention of Fred Hampton in regards to his assassination is a disservice. The BPP's stance on capitalism and imperialism was not explored nearly enough. Much more attention to the tremendously successful social programs implemented by the BPP was necessary. Also, COINTELPRO and its pivotal role was glossed over. Not enough time was given to the misogyny and patriarchy the Black Power movement was steeped in, as well as homophobia. Elaine Brown deserved more attention and Eldridge Cleaver less. His unapologetic stance on the women he raped should never be overlooked. What about MOVE? The book started out on the right path but veered off around the Black Panthers. The book ended up being a disappointment.
Fantastic historic timeline of the events and personalities of the Black Power Movement. The Movement is placed into detailed social, political, cultural and historical context providing amazing insight!
There are far too few audiobooks addressing African-American history, especially those not focused on Dr. King and the mid 60s era. For me, who is coming to this genre with only general knowledge, it really whets my appetite for more. I was afraid that by calling it a "narrative history," that the author would more or less just link quotes together, but it is presented as a chronological history that is more helpful to novices such as myself. The author presents the material in a relatively objective manner, which adds to the book's accessibility. A very valuable work.
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