The first part of this article analyzes the Black Power movement within the context of wider debates about how black nationalism conceptualized the need to form a people as a response to white supremacy. The second part examines how white supremacy conditions the nature and form of democratic citizenship in the United States and how the formation of a "nation within a nation" is a vital adjunct to dismantling white supremacy as a political system. Part three situates Black Power within a theological conception of poverty understood as powerlessness. Building on James Cone and Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, it closes by suggesting that forming a people as a response to powerlessness constitutes a double movement of healing and exorcism.


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