"It was the era of Black Power... Discovering that they were not going to win any important gains by carrying picket signs and coaching people for literacy tests, they declared their independence from white society in every way... This struck a deep chord in the soul of black Americans, whose great need is to believe in their worth and dignity, their selfhood, after generations of having been beaten, sold, murdered, exploited and demeaned. They have been told in the most direct, brutal ways that they are worthless, and there are deep psychic wounds in the minds of all black Americans. A few hard-won gains in status have not healed them, and healing them is the most important priority for blacks."
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