When SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael first called for "Black Power" on a Civil Rights march in 1966 he not only gave name to a movement that shaped one of the most significant periods of the African American struggle for freedom in the USA. His background as a son of migrants from Trinidad and Tobago also gives an indication on the international dimension of the Black Power movement. Black Power was informed by the ideas of Afro-diasporic intellectuals and Pan-Africanists such as W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Frantz Fanon, and Malcolm X. Deeply rooted in practices of Black transnationalism, Black Power heralded a new era of African American defiance, militancy, and cultural awareness, which transcended the U.S. and left its footprints throughout the Hemisphere, providing marginalized communities beyond national and cultural boundaries with meaningful symbols of resistance and self-affirmation in the face of racial oppression. Black Powers hemispheric impact encouraged the emergence of musical genres, antiracist movements, and border-crossing networks of solidarity among Afro-descendants in the Caribbean, Latin and North America, and continues to be a source of inspiration for the political and cultural expressions of the Black Americas in the 21st century as manifested by the Black Lives Matter movement. This compilation of essays by scholars and activists intends to fill an important gap by addressing Black Power within a historical, polyvocal and multi-locational approach shedding light on manifestations of Black Power from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, the United States and their entanglements.
Wilfried Raussert is chair of North American and Inter-American Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany. He is director of the International Association of Inter-American Studies and founder of the Black Americas Network. Matti Steinitz is a Ph.D. student at the Center for InterAmerican Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany. He is also co-founder and coordinator of a transdisciplinary network on the Black Americas.