PROFILES IN BLACK POWER by James Haskins

PROFILES IN BLACK POWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Haskins' noncommittal biographical sketches of men associated with the black power slogan, from Adam Clayton Powell to Rap Brown, maintain a decidedly low profile. While stressing the slogan's elasticity (""definitions of black power range from simply 'an equal share' to 'armed revolution,'""), Haskins tends to see similarities more than differences--even with Ron Karenga, who receives the harshest judgment here. Haskins accepts the Wall Street Journal's assessment that Karenga is ""typical of many militants. . .eager to gather influence for quiet bargaining with the predominantly white power structure."" For the most part, polemics, allegations and defenses are impartially transcribed (though the more salacious details on the Newton-Cleaver feud are omitted). The summaries give a good overview of each individual's career and will be useful for checking facts, but they are not synthesized to reflect the dynamics of the movement. Finally, while the inclusion of the Reverend Cleage, Floyd McKissick and Dr. Nathan Wright add breadth to the discussion, the omissions--Bobby Scale, George Jackson and Angela Davis--considerably diminish its topical value.

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday