"For historians and social scientists alike, this book should play a significant role in the ongoing reevaluation of a transformative social movement, one that re-shaped our political life, our academic institutions, and youth culture, here and abroad."—Charles Payne, Contemporary Sociology"Peniel E. Joseph carefully escorts readers through a written history that is as rich as it is complete, and is as complete as it is complicated . . . A thorough resource, readers will refer (and scholars will defer) to Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour."—Nicole Sealey, Mosaic Magazine"The book is remarkably well researched and documented and provides a strong basis for further reading and discussion of the era. Joseph admirably strives to incorporate many strands of Black thought and activism circulating and competing during this period....His work adds new energy to an important period in U.S. Black history, opening points of entry from which to bring new readers to the history of Black Power."—Rachel Herzing, Left Turn"Scholar Peniel Joseph provides such a rich history and analysis that anyone reading this book will immediately want to challenge the wrong-headed, yet widespread, good-activists/bad-activists stereotype. Joseph provides a complex and engaging picture of both movements and the inseparable relationship between the two."—Rethinking Schools"Peniel E. Joseph, one of the most talented and refreshing historians of our time, has impressively achieved the near impossible—managed the rather unwieldy history of the Black Power Movement. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour delivers the reader inside the domestic and global reverberations of the Black Power Movement in painstaking, meticulous detail. Joseph's work accurately situates the intellectual and purposeful protest of the Black Power Movement and black power ideology within the larger debates on civil rights progressing American and international history. Insightful, informative, and interdisciplinary,Waiting begs for attention in the university classroom, and is tailor-made for students at all levels of learning and in all disciplines. Students are especially attracted to the richly woven tapestry of characters, ideology, and international events of one of the world's most important struggles for racial equality. Simply put, Waiting is a brilliant, eloquent, and balanced exposition on Civil Rights and Black Power in post-war America. Its versatility allows for use as either a primary or supplemental text but, nonetheless, is required reading for any serious study of race, class, and gender in the struggle for black equality."—Donald F. Tibbs, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Civil Rights and Justice, Southern University Law Center"Within the pages of Waiting 'Til The Midnight Hour a journey in chronological reverence is mapped out with such clarity that students of history, as well as those interested in the tenacity of the human spirit, will not be able to raise their gaze from its pages. Dr. Joseph presents the Black Power Movement with all the passion of the era. His tone and pace not only immerses the reader into the not so distant past, but will cause a rattling in the back of the mind. Write On Brother Peniel, Write On!—Gregory M. Singer, Instructor, Hofstra University, and Author of Poeartistry"Insightful, provocative and engaging, Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour is tailor made for classroom use in teaching the Civil Rights, Black Power, and, indeed, twentieth century American history. The book's eloquent, balanced, and brilliant examination of Civil Rights and Black Power in post-war America inspired my students to think critically about issues of race, class and gender as they relate to the struggle for Black equality and American democracy. Students especially appreciated the richly woven narrative which allowed them to delve more deeply into the politics and personalities that shaped the civil rights and black power eras, which otherwise would not have been possible in a one semester course. All of this makes Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour an outstanding and indispensible classroom reading, either as a primary or supplemental text, especially for instructors eager to generate debate and discussion."—Dr. Yohuru Williams, Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the Black Studies Program, Fairfield University"In writing this wise and dazzling display of literary elegance and expert excavation, Peniel Joseph has vaulted into the front ranks of interpreters of this nation’s most explosive era: the 1960s."—Gerald Horne, Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of Red Seas: Ferdinand Smith and Radical Black Sailors in the United States and Jamaica"With rigorous scholarship, Peniel E. Joseph has done a great service toward the understanding of this complex history, enabling the spirit of those times to reach into the present through the voices of those who participated."—Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor, Temple University, and Coeditor of Not Only the Master's Tools and A Companion to African-American Studies"The challenge in writing a history of Black Power rests in negotiating a maze of political, social, and economic forces, balancing the interplay of local, national, and international events, respecting the influence of big and small actors, and appreciating the rich intellectual inheritance that informed this movement. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour tells this story with sensitivity to the connection between the smallest historical detail and the broad sweep of black struggle."—Craig Steven Wilder, Professor of History, Dartmouth College, and author of In The Company of Black Men"From Malcolm X's Harlem, through Stokely Carmichael's Mississippi, to the San Francisco of Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour is a mesmerizing journey through the radical wing of America's civil rights revolution. In vivid, moving prose Peniel Joseph re-creates the fierce passion and prophetic anger that made Black Power one of the nation's most explosive political movements."—Kevin Boyle, Professor of History, Ohio State University, and author of the National Book Award-winning Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age"This fresh, powerful, and passionate history captures the complexity and reveals the often misunderstood character and impact of the Black Power movement. Wide in scope and richly researched, it complements more familiar studies of civil rights with a sympathetic account of the politics of culture, identity, and pride."—Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University, and author of When Affirmative Action was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America"Not since Clayborne Carson's In Struggle over two decades ago have I read such a rich, theoretically grounded narrative of the origins and evolution of the Black Freedom movement. Peniel Joseph's Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour marks the dawn of a new black narrative history: nuanced, deeply researched, and brilliantly insightful. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour will become a new standard interpretation of black political culture in the 1960s."—Manning Marable, Professor of Public Affairs, History and African-American Studies, Columbia University, and author of Living Black History"Eloquent and scenic, Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour has just the sweep, force, and drama appropriate to its subject, the foundations and the course of Black Power. At home with discussing great leaders in the context of the mass activity that made their history making possible, the book moves—as the movement itself did in its best moments—easily and aptly back and forth between North and South, the local and the global, the political and popular."—David Roediger, Kendrick C. Babcock Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author of Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White"Peniel Joseph takes us beyond the simplistic and superficial treatments of the Black Power movement to present that movement in all its complexity, and in its historical context. It is a dramatic story, carefully researched, and deserving of our attention."—Howard Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Boston University, and author of A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present"Peniel Joseph represents the best of a new generation of scholars whose work will substantially revise our understanding of the Black Freedom Movement. Provocative and masterfully written, Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour not only reveals the radical roots of Black Power but places the key activists and struggles within a global framework. It is one of those critically important books that will be read and debated for many years to come."—Robin D. G. Kelley, William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies, Columbia University, and author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination"The rise, fall and legacy of the Black Power movement, traced from its roots in 1950s Harlem through its explosion and fadeout in the following two decades. In his well-paced debut, Joseph gets beyond Black Power symbolism—afros, shades, black-gloved fists raised in the air—to examine the movement's origins, ideologies and key players. As he tells it, Black Power sprang from the intellectual tumult in northern cities like New York and Detroit, where writers and activists such as James Baldwin and Malcolm X sought to define a new, more assertive African-American identity at the same time that Martin Luther King Jr. was leading marches and sit-ins in the South. This new identity, based on black pride and awareness of history, was linked to world events such as the Cuban revolution and Ghanaian independence. As the civil-rights movement won landmark legislative victories, including the 1965 Voting Rights Act, African-Americans split on how to push toward full political and economic equality. In 1966, the young activist Stokely Carmichael coined the phrase 'Black Power,' calling for self-sufficiency and distancing himself from King's nonviolent approach. With the Vietnam war raging and American society in turmoil, race-related violence broke out in dozens of U.S. cities. This mayhem, combined with the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy, fueled the rise of the Black Panthers, a militant group eventually done in by the FBI and its own poor leadership. By the 1970s, the movement's energy had splintered into other efforts, such as abortion rights, women's rights and school desegregation. Many people today, Joseph writes, associate Black Power solely with gun-toting revolutionaries. He believes it should be recognized for fostering among African-Americans an assertive identity and cultural pride. Vividly illuminates the personalities and politics of a turbulent time."—Kirkus Reviews"Joseph . . . surveys the full geographic and political panorama of the black power movement . . . [He gives] a more complete overview of this era."—Vernon Ford, Booklist"Joseph offers an eloquent and accessible history of the large-scale political developments that shaped the course of the Black Power movement . . . Enthusiastically recommended."—Emily-Jane Dawson, Library Journal"Sure to prove indispensable for the study of Black Power."—Herb Boyd, The Black World Today (tbwt.org)"For those who don't know this history, this book is a great narrative, and it is especially important for the hip hop generation to understand that Black Power was a movement of young people . . . prisoners and poets, all dedicated to the dream of freedom and power, Black Power."—Marvin X, ChickenBones: A Journal "Sweeping . . . nuanced. This is the first comprehensive history of the American Black Power movement, and Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour is a solid important book."—Rebeccah Oppenheimer, Columbia Flier "Waiting Til the Midnight Hour is . . . filled with serious scholarship presented in a manner that makes the book a real page-turner as well. I coudn't put it down and recommend it highly."—Michael B. Moore, AfricanAmerica.org "By maintaining a deft balance of engaging prose and analytical rigor, he proves a first-rate interpreter of Black Power’s rise and fall. Moreover, given the prodigious research he has conducted (the extensive endnotes and bibliography, which encompass almost seventy pages of the book, are worth the price of admission alone), it must be said that Joseph’s talents of synthesis are not only commendable but also remarkable. And in leaving almost no stone unturned in pursuing the full arc of the Black Power saga, Joseph provides a valuable resource for both teaching and future scholarship."—Douglas Sherry, H-NET "This accessible survey looks at 'the murky depths of a movement that paralleled, and at times overlapped, the heroic civil rights era,' beginning in the late 1950s, with the rise of the Black Muslims, and ending in 1975. Joseph, who teaches Africana studies at SUNY-Stony Brook, brings to light less-known characters like the Rev. Albert Cleage Jr. of Detroit, who helped organize the 1963 Walk for Freedom a month before the March on Washington, as well as fresh judgments on figures like Malcolm X, 'black America's prosecuting attorney.' He analyzes the negative media coverage of Black Power, offers a discerning take on Carmichael and Charles Hamilton's 1967 book, Black Power, and recounts the emergence of the Black Arts movement. The Black Panthers also get consistent attention, in rise and decline. Drawing on a rich set of sources, including interviews and oral histories, the book also illuminates flash points in Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; and the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Dar es Salaam in 1974 . . . [A] good introduction to the topic."—Publishers Weekly
Peniel E. Joseph teaches in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. The recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Ford Foundation, his work has appeared in Souls, New Formations, and The Black Scholar, and he is editor of a forthcoming anthology entitled The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. He can be reached online at www.penielejoseph.com.