Black Power is an interesting documentary about the fight against racism in England. It has parallels and major differences from the experience in the U.S. The main divergence was that the film deals with Asians, African and West Indians many of which were immigrants. The country also skipped the civil rights era of America and went straight for black power and revolution like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers talked about. The similarities are many. Like in America whites blamed this new wave of arrivals for taking their job. They came to England and faced institutional racism in schools and by the police, and racist politicians. They were persecuted by the government. Americans had Soul and Funk to go along with their movement, the English had Reggae.
I think the most interesting thing about the documentary is that like the American Black Power movement it can’t point to major, concrete changes that it made. Black people became proud of themselves and their culture. People stood up to the police and protested. But as the documentary admits at the end the biggest problems like the lack of adequate housing, the police, etc were never resolved and many of them continue to this day. The Civil Rights Movement in America by contrast ended legal segregation in America. The Black Power movement in both countries led to personal liberation but did it liberate the community?