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Black Intellectual Thought in Modern AmericaA Historical Perspective$
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Brian D. Behnken, Gregory D. Smithers, and Simon Wendt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496813657

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496813657.001.0001

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Intellectual Predicaments

Intellectual Predicaments

Black Nationalism in the Civil Rights and Post-Civil Rights Eras

(p.170) Chapter Six Intellectual Predicaments
Black Intellectual Thought in Modern America

Simon Wendt

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter looks at black nationalist thought from the 1950s to the 1990s. It argues that “black nationalism” has been a term fraught with inaccuracies and misconceptions. The term would seem to indicate a desire for a separate nation-state, but this was only one aspect of black nationalism. The chapter adopts an understanding of black nationalism that emerged from the Black Power era, calling for racial solidarity and black self-determination, highlighting its postcolonial or anticolonial nature. It also focuses specifically on “paraintellectuals”: black thinkers who did not necessarily originate in academia and who viewed the lived experience of black people as the best route to overcome the problems of black America.

Keywords:   black nationalism, Black Power, racial solidarity, black self-determination, paraintellectuals, black thinkers, black America

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