Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Robert Dupont

Second Advisor

Charles Chamberlain

Third Advisor

Dr. Allan Millet



The ultimate goal in the South was to end segregation, but nationwide equal-rights were the common goal of all African-Americans. Nonviolent protests and over aggressive police departments became the norm within the African-American community. Understated in the history of the Civil Rights Era is the role of armed resistance and Black Nationalism. Marcus Garvey, Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Newton, and Malcolm X were Black Nationalists that led the charge of Black Nationalism worldwide. The Deacons of Defense, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO) and the Black Panther Party for Self Defense transformed the social makeup of the country and became major causes of the militarization of police departments across the United States. Many police departments across America began to create SWAT teams and use military-style weaponry following an outbreak of riots and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In New Orleans, Louisiana, stand-offs and shoot-outs with Black Panther members warranted a call for military backup, but it was the acts of Mark James Robert Essex that totally militarized the New Orleans Police Department.


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