black power

noun, often capitalized B&P

Definition of black power

: the mobilization of the political and economic power of American blacks especially to compel respect for their rights and improve their condition

Examples of black power in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By its final lines, thousands of fists are raised in the air in a solidarity salute to black power. Janelle Harris Dixon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why the Black National Anthem Is Lifting Every Voice to Sing," 10 Aug. 2020 Yet the end of the war did not bring peace but only a return to the jittery status quo of plots, uprisings, and white anxieties about black power. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, "Speech and Slavery in the West Indies," 3 Aug. 2020 Charlie Billingsley, artist and founder of the Museum for Black Girls — another partner for the festival, said every piece connects to what’s going on in the world, from slogans and quotes to symbols like records, afros and the black power fist. Catherine Henderson, The Know, "Black Love Mural Festival celebrates Denver’s black artists at Civic Center park," 19 June 2020 His character is hypnotic and riven with contradictions, espousing both black power and Donald Trump, while hurling ethnic slurs at the Vietnamese with abandon. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods Takes On the Black Trauma of Vietnam," 12 June 2020 From John Carlos and Tommie Smith's famous black power salute in 1968 to Peter O'Connor scaling a flagpole to wave the Irish flag in 1906, political statements have been woven into the fabric of the modern Games. Matias Grez, CNN, "Stopping athletes protesting at Tokyo 2020 will 'be impossible,' says Edwin Moses," 25 Jan. 2020 Drugs were flooded into black communities across the country to contain the black power movement, and that’s when mass incarceration stepped up — and many of these people were actually just drug users, not kingpins. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "After decades of addressing racism and black history, Dallas artist Vicki Meek gets her first retrospective," 21 Jan. 2020 Such a schizophrenic reality, in which black power, in the form of a President, and black powerlessness, in the form of state violence and oppression, can coexist would surely bring out the Afro-pessimist in any reasonable man. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, "Darryl Pinckney’s Intimate Study of Black History," 26 Nov. 2019 The first chapter examines the image of the 1968 Olympics black power salute as a moment often read as resistance, although John Carlos and Tommie Smith are silent. Tiffany Y. Ates, Smithsonian, "Why the Newest Works by Amy Sherald Focus on Ordinary People," 19 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black power.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of black power

1954, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of black power was in 1954

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Last Updated

24 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Black power.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for black power

black power


English Language Learners Definition of black power

: the use of political and economic power by African-Americans especially as part of a social movement to promote equality and racial justice in the 1960s

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