Black Power 50

The fully illustrated companion to a major exhibit at New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a sweeping fiftieth-anniversary retrospective of Black Power in America and around the world

Black Power burst onto the world scene in 1966 with ideas, politics, and fashion that opened the eyes of millions of people across the globe. In the United States, the movement spread like wildfire: high school and college youth organized black student unions; educators created black studies programs; Black Power conventions gathered thousands of people from all walks of life; and books, journals, bookstores, and publishing companies spread Black Power messages and imagery throughout the country and abroad.

The Black Arts Movement inspired the creation of some eight hundred black theaters and cultural centers, where a generation of writers and artists forged a new and enduring cultural vision.

Black Power 50 includes original interviews with key figures from the movement, essays from today’s leading Black Power scholars, and over one hundred stunning images, offering a beautiful and compelling introduction to this pivotal movement.


“This is a remarkable book that re-examines the international dimensions of the Black Power movement in public memory. This edited volume considers the role photography and art played in inspiring communities all over the country to empower disenfranchised neighborhoods. The powerful voices within these pages are known for their social practice and activism. Their voices enliven the efforts of the unknown names lost to history. A must-read.”
—Deborah Willis, author of Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography
Black Power 50 informs, incites and inspires. The clenched Black Power fist is associated with pride and anger. But a journey through the brilliant writing and powerful images of Black Power 50 reveals the fist was tightly clasped around the bold and troubled heart of a movement filled with commitment, tension, intellect, courage, sacrifice and love.”
—Jamal Joseph, professor of film, Columbia University

News and Reviews

The New York Times

The New York Times calls Black Power 50 "a wide-ranging look in text and images at the movement’s political and cultural manifestations" in their "10 New Books We Recommend This Week" feature

Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus calls Black Power 50 "an educational, eye-opening experience."

The New York Times

In his review of the book Rembert Browne says "Black Power 50 serves as an excellent textbook, one that not only covers all the bases but also dives into aspects of the movement that have received scarce attention."

Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus calls Black Power 50 "an educational, eye-opening experience"

Goodreads Reviews