One of the unifying and most important features of the emerging scholarship on Black Power is the recognition that the movement was multidimensional and involved a wide range of activities, organizations, and programs. Refuting popular interpretations of the Black Power era as a destructive, and often violent, deterioration of black political activity, this scholarship is beginning to document the vibrant political, cultural, and intellectual worlds that flourished under the banner of Black Power.1 This work is also painting a richer and more redeeming picture of Black Power than is presented in some histories of the Civil Rights Movement, which have tended to cast Black Power as an unfortunate and misguided departure from civil rights struggles. By uncovering diverse expressions of Black Power politics, scholars are demonstrating how the period’s “cultural and political formations,” in the words of Komozi Woodard, “galvanized millions of black people in the broadest movement in African American history.”2 Although the historical study of Black Power is still in its early stages, and therefore has yet to fully stake out the broad interpretive and historiographical contours of the field,3 this body of recent work (to which the present volume is an important contribution) is

breaking new ground in the study of black politics and culture in postwar America.