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THE MOST POWERFUL BLACK MEN OF THE 60S 

The Civil Writer Magazine

When we think of the 1960s era Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind. Honorable mentioned were Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Ture was a prominent American socialist organizer in the civil rights movement, Honorable Elijah Muhammad head of the Nation of Islam, and Medgar Evers civil rights activist in Mississippi, and the state's field secretary for the NAACP; Black servants of the 60s who were moreso despised rather than feared because they were regionally powerful men. But Sam Cooke, Jim Brown, Malcolm X and Cassius Clay better known as Muhammad Ali had national influence with power to actually change beliefs, attitudes, behavior, emotions, and so on because of their advocacy for civil rights using their money and success.

On August 28, 1955, a black boy from Chicago was beaten and murdered after reportedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. His name was Emmet Till, and he was only 14. Many felt this to be the spark that started the civil rights movement. A few months later in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused a bus driver's orders to give her seat up to a white passenger, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott followed. That woke up the consciousness of Black athletes, entertainers, and ministers.

Out of this branch of devoted servants of the Black cause there presented on a national scale was the most feared like Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali. Why were they the most feared rather than Dr. King? They had a national impact, money and could integrate an audience whether on the stage, boxing ring or on the football field. They became acceptable to the white society but a strong voice for their people, the exception for acceptance was Malcolm X. Malcolm X a radical minister opposite of Dr. King had one of the most feared establishments behind him called the Nation of Islam. Dr. King was considered passive because of his nonviolence stance and no money to empower his passive organization the SCLC.