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Mainstreaming Black Power


Book Discussion



Dr Tom A. Davies (Lecturer in American History, University of Sussex).


Dr Tom Adam Davies will be talking about his recent book, Mainstreaming Black Power, which upends the narrative that the Black Power Movement was just a catharsis for black rage, but short on institutional transformation or black uplift. Retelling the story of these decades across the United States in New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, his book reveals how the War on Poverty cultivated black self-determination politics, and how economic, social and educational institutions for black control were bolstered by federal, state and local funds in this period.  Mainstreaming Black Power shows more powerfully than ever before that white power structures did engage with Black Power in specific ways which tended to reinforce rather than challenge the status quo, and it emphasizes that we must understand Black Power’s reach and legacies in the prism of an ideologically diverse black community.


Tom Adam Davies is a Lecturer in American History at the University of Sussex whose research focuses on the history of race in the United States and the relationship between public policy, mainstream political institutions, and movements for social, economic and political change. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History, The Sixties, and the Journal of American Studies. His first book, Mainstreaming Black Power (University of California Press, 2017), examines how both grassroots black community activists and mainstream white politicians and institutions understood Black Power, and the impact of mainstream whites’ efforts to negotiate Black Power’s meaning in the longer term. Follow him on Twitter @Tomadamdavies.

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When and where

5.30pm - 7.00pmTuesday 24th April 2018

AG07b College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

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