During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Black Power movement provided the dominant ideological framework through which many young, poor, and middle-class blacks made sense of their lives and articulated a political vision for their futures. The legacy of the movement is still very much with us today in the various strands of black nationalism that originated from it; we witnessed its power in the 1995 Million Man March, and we see its more ambiguous effects in the persistent antagonisms among former participants in the civil rights coalition. Yet despite the importance of the Black Power movement, very few in-depth, balanced treatments of it exist. Is It Nation Time? gathers new and classic essays on the Black Power movement and its legacy by renowned thinkers who deal rigorously and unsentimentally with such issues as the commodification of blackness, the piety of cultural recovery, and class tensions within the movement. For anyone who wants to understand the roots of the complex political and cultural desires of contemporary black America, this will be an essential collection.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is associate professor of religion and Africana studies at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America, also published by the University of Chicago Press.