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The Black Power Movement and American Social Work$
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Joyce Bell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162609

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162609.001.0001

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“We’ll Build Our Own Thing”

“We’ll Build Our Own Thing”

The Exit Strategy of the National Association of Black Social Workers

(p.114) 6 “We’ll Build Our Own Thing”
The Black Power Movement and American Social Work

Joyce M. Bell

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how not all black social worker activists decided to work within organizations. The social workers who chose to participate with organizations eventually created an autonomous institution, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). The chapter presents the historical context of NABSW's emergence, examining their grievances, demands, strategies and tactics, and outcomes of the mobilization. Through an analysis of the content of their movement activities and the culture of the organization, the chapter argues that NABSW's struggle, while starting as a demand for more substantial voice within the profession, ultimately employed an exit strategy, which led to their separation from the National Conference on Social Welfare (NCSW) to pursue their goals independent of the restrictions of the larger professional organization.

Keywords:   National Association of Black Social Workers, activism, social workers, exit strategy, National Conference on Social Welfare

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