History Discussion Questions

Question 1

Racism is a controversial social aspect that entails the oppression and marginalization of people based on color and biological entities. According to the author of the book Black Power, racism is the prediction of policies, decisions, and power to control and subordinate racial groups. The two main forms of racism outlined are institutional racism, evident through white communities being against black communities. Institution racism has been manifested through the death of five hundred black babies due to lack of shelter, medical facilities, and food brought about by discrimination and poverty in the black community. An example of institutional racism is black people’s exploitation by slumlords, loan sharks and merchants because black people are locked in slum tenements. The other form of racism is present among individual white people being against black people, therefore forming individual racism. Individual racism is observed in incidents when white terrorists bombed and attacked a black church leading to the death of five black children. An example of individual racism was the stoning of black people when they moved into a white neighborhood. Institution racism is considered more detrimental than individual racism.

Question 2

In the book, the author describes colonialism as a form of institutional racism where the black people in the United States of America form a colony making them colonial subjects to the white society. The black people who inhabit the same land as the white people are made subordinates and the sources of cheap labor. Black people in the USA represent a colonized people because they are subjected to offer cheap labor, for example, in the cotton fields, and expected to purchase dresses from the white manufacturers. Decisions and other aspects affecting the black people are made by white people, thus further explaining colonization.

Question 3

According to Carter, the Black identity was impacted by American society through the weak Euro-centric based curriculums. The curriculums did not include any African American culture and history, thus miseducating and indoctrinating the African American students rather than teaching them their culture and history (Givens, 2019). The African American students were not provided with a sense of belonging, thus misleading and conditioning them to be dependent on American society and seek inferior positions. Carmichael argues that black people’s identity was impacted by the American structure, which was evident in schools where historical books did not recognize black people’s achievements. Also, the school was controlled by whites hence school activities were carried out to conform with the white structures and no recognition for the black people. Additionally, black teachers were restricted by the law from identifying with racial groups, making them silent and inactive in civil rights controversies.

Question 4

Malcolm X is recognized as one of the most active leaders in the fight for equality. Malcolm shared the same issues with the civil rights movements, but they differed on direction and strategies to utilize. Both entities aimed at ending racism and empowering black Americans but choose different venues. Malcolm often carried out his rallies at street corners, and he publicly denied that he was an American. However, he chose to be recognized as a black Muslim who sought to create an African American society different from the American. The leader much opposed the integration with the white people hence insisting on the separation. Malcolm advocated for separate integration of African Americans to control their area of residence and their activities. Through separation, the leader encouraged his followers not to vote to not vesting the power to the white people. Malcolm openly opposed non-violence, which was the main tactic upheld by the civil rights movement (Miri, 2016). The leader insisted that African Americans should not surrender their self-defense against white American violence. Malcolm X criticized Martin Luther King, describing him as an advocate for the defenseless movement. The leader believed in violence as a way of attaining equality, especially after the killing of Ronald Stokes, who was the temple secretary. Before his death, Malcolm X had started engaging with the civil rights movement by attending their rallies, and also, he has registered as a voter.




Givens, J. R. (2019). “There Would Be No Lynching If It Did Not Start in the Schoolroom”: Carter G. Woodson and the Occasion of Negro History Week, 1926–1950. American Educational Research Journal56(4), 1457-1494.

Miri, S. J. (2016). Malcolm X on Violence, Religion, and Extremism. Islamic Perspective15, 1.


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