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THE ULTIMATE MANIFESTATION of black nationalism is black separatism. Black nationalism taken to its most extreme, or its logical conclusion, produces the ideology of racial separation chosen deliberately by African Americans. This ideology is, like black nationalism, a counterconservative approach to race relations in the sense that it is basically a reaction to racial discrimination perpetrated by whites.

Black separatism has most often been associated with pan-Africanism, but not necessarily. Separatism can take the form of internal separation or psychological “withdrawal” from the mainstream of American society and culture for the purpose of racial pride and the opportunity for self-determination. It can also take the more physical form of blacks' choosing geographic separation from whites inside the United States.

Black separatism has a long history, beginning in ...

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