The American dream is that anything is possible in the United States of America. This ideal is based in the mythology of America's early white settlers that escaped to the US in search of religious freedom and/or economic riches. As our series on the civil rights movement shows however the American dream was not open to everyone. This has caused a number of at times violent disputes between the various ethnic groups that form the U.S.A.
Samuel P. Huntington's Clash of Civilizations
The Philosophies and Strategies of the Non-Violence and Black Power Movements
Black power in many ways signified everything non-violence was not, racial hatred, violence and extreme self-reliance. However the two approaches did have many similarities in their long-term objectives. Both demanded complete equality not jus in theory but in practice. Where they differed most was in the methods used to achieve this goal and the time they were prepared to wait for progress to be made.
Why Non-Violence Waned and Black Power Gained Popularity after 1965
Non-violence was the dominant form of black protest between the end of world war two and 1965. After the apparent moderate success of the strategy, from 1966 it began to lose widespread support to the more militant black power approach. After this date it became increasingly obvious to blacks that continued advancement was dependent on a black show of force.
American Civil Rights Bibliography
A bibliography of books used in researching and writing the above two articles. The reading list is a useful jump start to your own research efforts.