Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


  About Scott Purchase Book Speaking Engagements   The Blog                     
Solving Poverty
Order direct from
Paradigm Publishers and receive a 15% discount
Invite Scott Myers-Lipton for a speaking engagement

Email Now>>





In 1964, Malcolm X offered black Americans a different vision for ending

poverty. By this time, Malcolm was no longer associated with the Nation of

Islam and had created his own organization entitled the Muslim Mosque,

which was open to both blacks and whites.


Malcolm X’s solution to poverty was black nationalism. Since white liberals could not be counted on to end oppression of the black community, he felt that the way to uplift the community was to have blacks control the local economy and politics. This involved owning and supporting black businesses as well as electing black politicians who promoted black interests.


Malcolm also believed that the civil rights movement needed to be taken to the level of human rights, since he argued that so long as Americans called it civil rights, it was confined to the jurisdiction of the United States, whereas human rights made it an international issue. Malcolm wanted to take the case of black oppression to the General Assembly of the United Nations and charge the United States with violating the human rights of black Americans.


Building on Malcolm X’s vision of black nationalism, Huey Newton of

the Black Panther Party advocated for “complete control of the institutions

in the community.” Newton—who was named for Huey Long—concluded

that although this strategy had worked for the Irish and Italians, the black

community would also need to develop cooperatives (democratic and jointly

owned enterprises) since there were not enough jobs in the black community

to achieve full employment. He was also attracted to cooperatives since they

did not exploit the workers.


In addition, Newton and Bobby Seale cowrote the Black Panther Party’s ten-point program, which included reparations for slavery, decent housing, education that teaches the true history of the United States, free health care, an end to police brutality, an end to all wars of aggression, and freeing all black men and poor people in prison.

Myers-Lipton, p. 214-215

(Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)



Home   ׀   About Scott   ׀    The Blog   ׀  Speaking Engagements  ׀   Contact© 2006