Black pride

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Black Pride in the United States is a movement which encourages black people to celebrate African-American culture and embrace their African heritage.[1] In the United States, it was a direct response to white racism especially during the Civil Rights Movement.[2] Stemming from the idea of Black Power, this movement emphasizes racial pride, economic empowerment, and the creation of political and cultural institutions.[3] Related movements include black power,[2] black nationalism,[2] Black Panthers and Afrocentrism.

Arts and music[edit]

Black pride is a major theme in some works by African American popular musicians. Civil Rights Movement era songs such as The Impressions's hit songs "We're a Winner"[4] and "Keep on Pushing"[5] and James Brown's "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud"[5][6] celebrated black pride. Beyoncé's half-time performance at Super Bowl 50, which included homages to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, has been described by the media as a display of black pride.[7][8]

Dating back to the 1960's, there was a push for people of color to be heard. Artists, like James Brown, won over the respect of the United States through their art and music. Creating movements like "Black is Beautiful," a movement where the features of black women were highlighted in picture form, allowed black people to emphasize their beauty and further emphasize the idea of Black Pride.[9]

Beauty and fashion[edit]

Beauty standards are a major theme of black pride. Black pride was represented in slogans such as "black is beautiful"[10][11] which challenged white beauty standards.[12] Prior to the black pride movement, the majority of black people straightened their hair or wore wigs.[11] The return to natural hair styles such as the afro, cornrows, and dreadlocks were seen as expressions of black pride.[11][12][13][14]

In the 1960s to 1970s, kente cloth and the Black Panthers uniform were worn in the U.S. as expressions of black pride.[11] Headscarves were sometimes worn by Nation of Islam and other Black Muslim Movement members as an expression of black pride and a symbol of faith.[13] Other women used scarves with African prints to cover their hair.[11]

Maxine Leeds Craig argues that all-black beauty pageants such as Miss Black America were institutionalized forms of black pride created in response to exclusion from white beauty pageants.[13]



The black pride movement is very popular in Brazil, especially among poorer members of the country's population, and it is found in the Brazilian funk music genre which arose in the late 1960s, as well as in funk carioca, which emerged in the late 1980s. The origin of Brazilian funk and the origin of funk carioca both reflect Brazilian black resistance. Ethnomusicologist George Yúdice states that youths who embraced a black culture which was being mediated by a U.S. culture industry were met with many arguments against their susceptibility to cultural colonization. Although it borrows some ingredients from hip hop, its style still remains unique to Brazil (mainly Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo).[15]


Black pride has been a central theme of the originally Jamaican Rastafari movement since the second half of the 20th century. It has been described as "a rock in the face of expressions of white superiority."[16]

United States[edit]

In the United States, African Americans have used the slogan to celebrate their heritage[1] and personal pride. The black pride movement is closely linked to the history of the civil rights and Black Power movements[2][17] which opposed the conditions which existed in the United States' segregated society, and lobbied for better treatment of members of all races.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lois Tyson (2001). Learning for a Diverse World: Using Critical Theory to Read and Write about Literature. Psychology Press. pp. 208–209. ISBN 978-0-8153-3774-4. Because the dominant white culture in America treated African Americans as subalterns rather than full American citizens and full human beings, the Black Pride movement encouraged black Americans to look to Africa for their cultural origins.
  2. ^ a b c d Wayne C. Glasker (1 June 2009). Black Students in the Ivory Tower: African American Student Activism at the University of Pennsylvania, 1967-1990. Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-55849-756-6. In 1966 the Black Power-black nationalist-black pride movements emerged as equal and opposite reactions to white racism as a reaction of the biracial civil rights movement.
  3. ^ "Black Power". National Archives. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  4. ^ Pruter, Robert (1991). Chicago Soul. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06259-0.
  5. ^ a b Koskoff, Ellen (2005). Music Cultures in the United States: An Introduction. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-96589-6.
  6. ^ Jones, Melvyn "Deacon" (2008). The Blues Man: 40 Years with the Blues Legends. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4343-7571-1.
  7. ^ Ex, Kris (10 February 2016). "Why Are People Suddenly Afraid of Beyonce's Black Pride?". Billboard. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  8. ^ Gass, Henry (8 February 2016). "Beyoncé's black pride moment at the Super Bowl". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  9. ^ "21st Century Black Pride | Youth Collaboratory". Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  10. ^ Meeta Jha (16 September 2015). The Global Beauty Industry: Colorism, Racism, and the National Body. Taylor & Francis. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-317-55795-1.
  11. ^ a b c d e José Blanco F.; Mary Doering; Patricia Kay Hunt-Hurst; Heather Vaughan Lee, eds. (2016). Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe. ABC-CLIO. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-61069-310-3.
  12. ^ a b Noliwe M. Rooks (1996). Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-2312-5.
  13. ^ a b c Maxine Leeds Craig (24 May 2002). Ain't I a Beauty Queen? : Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race: Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-803255-7.
  14. ^ Victoria Sherrow (January 2006). Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33145-9.
  15. ^ Yúdice 1994
  16. ^ Rastafari and slavery
  17. ^ "Rising Black Consciousness". Virginia Historical Society. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016. As the civil rights movement gained ground, the stigma of black inferiority was removed, not only in schools but throughout society, and black pride increased.

Further reading[edit]

  • Yúdice, George (1994), "The Funkification of Rio", in Ross, Andrew; Rose, Tricia (eds.), Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture, London: Routledge, pp. 193–220, ISBN 978-0-415-90907-5