Black Power Movement, in United States history, an effort among black Americans to gain control of the institutions that affect their daily lives by acquiring independent economic, social, and political power. The phrase “black power" was first used as a political slogan in 1966 by Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The movement flourished in the late 1960's as a result of the dissatisfaction of some black activists with the progress of the civil rights movement and with its goals, which they considered too limited. The black power movement embraced a variety of groups, among them SNCC, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Black Panthers, and the Black Muslims.
The exercise of black power took a variety of forms, such as committing militant acts of defiance, establishing black-owned businesses, pressuring schools and colleges to develop programs in black studies, electing black candidates to public office, and organizing black community groups. By the early 1970's the movement had for the most part dissipated as many of its goals were adopted by the civil rights movement as a whole.