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7 Places Around the World That Had Black Power Movements

Montreal Black Power

Canada

In his book, Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex and Security in Sixties Montreal, David Austin outlines the Black Power Movement in Montreal. The movement was highlighted by two primary events: the Congress of Black Writers and the Sir George Williams Affair. The Congress of Black Writers, which was held in 1968, focused on the subject of global Black Power and Black Nationalism. “Radical and nationalist figures,” such as Kwame Nkrumah, C.L.R. James, and Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, were a few of the Black “radicals” involved in the congress. The second landmark event was that of the 1969 Sir George Williams Affair. The protest began when Black students opposed Professor Perry Anderson’s racist system of grading. When the students’ grievances were not taken seriously by school administrators, they began to hold meetings, protests, and sit-ins. In February of 1969, the student’s peaceful occupation of Sir George Williams University’s computer center took the form of a riot when school administrators called the police. Their occupation is what led to the riot that received national attention. Around the world, more people were aware of Canada’s Black Power Movement.

Walter Rodney

Jamaica

Reggae, Rastafari, and the Rhetoric of Social Control, a book written by Stephen A. King, Barry T. Bays III, P. Renee, states that “the Black Power Movement in Jamaica coincided with the publication of several Black power newspapers, national strikes, violent demonstrations, and labour disputes.”  Jamaica’s Black Power Movement was supported by the Rastafarian movement and reggae music at the time. Walter Rodney, a young Guyanese scholar of African history and a professor at the University of the West Indies, was perhaps the most vocal proponent of Black Power in Jamaica. He taught lectures that pushed for Black consciousness and self-determination. These lectures eventually led many, including the conservative Jamaica Labour Party, to believe that he was a threat to the stability of the country. As a result, he was deported upon his arrival home from the Black Writer’s Congress in Montreal. After hearing of Rodney’s deportation to Canada, the students a faculty orchestrated a peaceful protest to speak out against the governmental decision. The protest soon “turned into a full-scale riot.” The 1698 Rodney Riots left three dead, an estimated one hundred people arrested, fifty damaged buses, and property damages totaling over one million Jamaican dollars.

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