By Hasan Kwame Jeffries

About Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is Associate Professor of History at The Ohio State University. He is the author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt (2009).

Black Freedom Movement

The Black Freedom Movement is a distinct era in the African American struggle for civil and human rights that began in the mid-­1940s with a surge in public protest and ended in the mid-­1970s with a shift in emphasis toward electoral politics. It encompasses two of the most unique and enduring periods of black activism. The first is the civil rights movement, which resulted in the elimination of Jim Crow laws in the South and the upending of Jim Crow customs in the North. The second is the Black Power movement, which not only expanded on the gains of the civil rights movement but also elevated African American racial consciousness, forever changing what it meant to be black.

The three words that compose the phrase “Black Freedom Movement” reflect the term’s core characteristics. “Black” speaks not only to the racial identity of the vast majority of the Black Freedom Movement’s …

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