There were significant differences between the traditional civil rights movement of Martin Luther and that of the young black power as portrayed in the Selma Montgomery March in 1965.The march was as a result of the need for a federal registration law. Two key personalities took to the stage that is Martin Luther King and Ralph David Abernathy of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The leaders organized a protest march from Selma to the capital in Montgomery, Alabama.
The major differences between the black power and the traditionalists are as follows:
- First the Black power movement was headed or coordinated by Stokely Carmichael who was the leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while on the other hand Traditionalists were headed by Martin Luther of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- Secondly black power movement became prominent in the 1960s and 1970s as opposed to the traditionalism which existed since time immemorial.
- Thirdly the black power movement used the slogan of black pride while traditionalists used the slogan of integration and non violence.
- Fourth the black power movement believed in violence to settle their scores, but traditionalists believed in peaceful demonstrations as portrayed in the life of Jesus Christ.
Black power movement consisted mainly of young students especially from the colleges and Universities while the traditionalist composed of clergymen. The black power movement preached pride and absolute hatred of the whites while the traditionalists preached peace and tranquility while upholding the rule of equality. The black power emphasized on the creation of separate political and cultural institutions for the blacks and thereby developing separation of interests while on the contrary traditionalists nurtured the idea of multiculturalism.
The activities of the Black power movement led to loss of lives as it retorted to a policy of forceful actions as opposed to the Traditionalists who up hold peace bearing in mind the importance of human life. Black power movement brought with it the springing up of ghettos with hooligans residing in them while the Traditionalists being Christians brought about the development of formal settlements along side the growth of churches.