"Pledge Allegiance to the People": The History of the Forgotten Black Power Movement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1968-1977

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Kamara, Deasia
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Middle Tennessee State University
Much of what is currently written about the Black Power movement in America focuses on organization going on in the West and North in major cities such as Oakland, Chicago, New York, etc. Very little scholarship has examined what Black Power organization looked like in the Southern United States. The goal of this thesis is to add to the geographical diversity of the historiography on Black Power movements in the United States by analyzing the different Black Power organizations and leaders in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Public history interpretation and memorialization of Black Power organizations and leaders is also severely lacking in scholarship. This is especially true in the Southern United States as Black Power organization has been largely erased from the public landscape as commemoration of non-violent Civil Rights organizations and leaders is proliferated in the South. Many of these Black Power and Civil Rights organizations and leaders would have existed at the same time and even worked together on issues. Therefore, to try to help combat the erasure of Black Power history in the South, this thesis will also address some ways that Black Power organization can be preserved and commemorated in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Black Panther Party, Black Power, Collective Memory, Public History, Tennessee History, Black history, African American studies