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U. of I. conference to explore legacy and significance of 'black power'

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor


conference poster displaying three R's: "Race, Roots and Resistance"
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — It was 40 years ago this summer when civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael first uttered the phrase “black power” and sparked a movement that changed the nature of U.S. race relations.

The legacy of that movement will be the subject of a conference March 29 through April 1 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Race, Roots, and Resistance: Revisiting the Legacies of Black Power” will explore the influence of the movement on African-American political, economic and social development.

“The black power movement was one of the most significant developments in the African-American experience,” says Sundiata Cha-Jua, the director of the university’s African American Studies and Research Program, the sponsor of the conference.

“It was perhaps second only to emancipation in its transformation of U.S. race relations,” he said. “It also inspired the most broad-based and significant outpouring of cultural creativity in African-American history.”

More than 100 presentations will deal with topics ranging from blaxploitation films and the roots of hip hop, to perceptions of racism, the media’s influence on the movement, and the movement’s influence abroad. The goal of the conference is to provide a deeper understanding of the movement’s historical significance and its impact, Cha-Jua said.

People planning to attend the free, public conference are asked to register.

For additional information, contact Christopher Benson or Will Patterson at