"Undergirding a lot of the Black Power movement was a renewed faith and belief; a new set of role models for young men, a power to be different."

Charles Marsh: One final question; how would you characterize the spirituality of black power? It's often been described as a purely material move; but there's also a spiritual dimension here.

Cleveland Sellers: No, that's very important. That's what most people miss. What it was it was a part of our being sons and daughters of Malcolm; being proud of oneself and one's history. Unfortunately, we need now to go back and do that again. It's a spirituality that begins to make a connectedness between African Americans and Africans; Africans and Africa; and Africans outside of the diaspora in Cuba and south America, You know probably the best time I can ever remember is just before the Nixon elections; in most of the communities there was a tremendous amount of pride-black on black crime was at an all time low. People were hopeful; there was a feeling of community and comradery. Between 68 and 69, there was a rapid influx of drugs; heroin, in areas that have high political consciousness. Then cocaine comes in right after it. The activists, having reached a point of anger, it's very easy lo go for a stimulant. I think that most of us who survived learned not to do that…

CM: Did black power mean getting rid of your Christian passions?

CS: It meant expanding them. We began to look at other religions. If you move to Black Power, you talk about African religions and then you talk about Christianity-Hali Sallisi and then even with Caranga coming out with the principles, etc. [?] Everyone is reaching out for values and principles in the community. Undergirding a lot of the Black Power movement was a renewed faith and belief; a new set of role models for young men, A power to be different. We've gone through that; the power to be different. Different cultures and different languages. People now have a lot of pride in Gullah; we've held on to it. And the whole search for ancestry; and roots.

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