New Day in Babylon

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

A new day in babylon analyzes closely a unique period in american and african american history. The black power movement (1965-1975) was both a political and cultural phenomenon that radicalized the african american community while troubling some black leaders and large segments of the white population. Born out of the ashes of malcolm x’s assassination and the separatism of the nation of islam, the call for black power mobilized students, workers, and black organizations such as the student nonviolent coordinating committee (sncc) and the black panthers. Black power emphasized pluralism and nationalism over assimilation and integration while stressing the positive values of racial pride and black redefinition. An array of programs based on political, economic, and racial independence inspired african americans to change society. Eldridge cleaver, huey newton, fred hampton, angela davis, and many others worked to reeducate black americans, advocating black self-defense and political agitation. Maulana ron karenga sponsored kawaida, a black theory of social change, amiri baraka led the black arts movement, and black studies programs were established in colleges and universities. Black power celebrated blackness through black history, folklore, and popular black culture, urging freedom of choice in clothing, language, hairstyles, and music. Black power was a far-reaching cultural phenomenon which psychologically freed blacks and has left a positive legacy for american society, emphasizing the strengths of african american culture and the african past.