Civil rights movement (African-Americans) 20th century The number of books, films, and other media that recount the Civil Rights Movement uniquely demonstrates Americas insatiable quest for knowledge about this unparalleled moment in our countrys recent past. In Partners to History: Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, and the Civil Rights Movement, Donzaleigh Abernathy, the youngest daughter of the late Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, offers a rare look at this troubling and inspiring period. (Ginsberg, 1998).
After standing idly by while two cops beat a black revolutionary, Sweetback is suddenly galvanized into action, turning and beating the cops and rescuing the revolutionary. This leads to an extended chase, where we see a variety of instances of police brutality directed against black people intercut with scenes of Sweetback coming to understand his former exploitation and colonization. (Ash, Philip, 1966: 797-803).
This is a visual image of high the African-Americans were treated.
Such a visualization of the civil unjust brought much input into the struggle for the rights. This film ends with Sweetback, like Youngblood Priest, having outwitted white power, but not simply for personal economic gain and material comfort. Sweetback’s opening credits list “The Black Community” as its primary star, and throughout the movie we see working and u nderclass blacks providing solace and aid to Sweetback as he runs from the cops. It’s no accident that people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were destroyed at those moments of their political careers when they replaced nationalism with a critique of imperialism. The years between Malcolm X as the scariest thing mainstream white America could imagine and Malcolm X as pitchman for movies, baseball caps, and t-shirts have been bleak ones for African American progressive politics. The various movements that held so much promise in the 1950s and ’60s have, in the words of Cornel West, “been crushed and/or absorbed”.
The Black Vote: African Americans as an Interest Group The African-American community is comprised of 34 million people, and makes up approximately 12. 8 percent of the American population (Barker, Jones, Tate 1999: 3). As such, it is the largest minority group in the United States. Yet, politically, the black community has never been able to sufficiently capitalize on that status in order to ...
Manning Marable has divided black politics into “three strategic visions, which can be termed ‘inclusion,’ ‘black nationalism,’ and transformation’. Generally speaking, “inclusion” and “black nationalism” have been defanged and absorbed, while those ideas represented by Malcolm X’s “transformationist” last year have been silenced and crushed. Marable notes the way that the silence has been institutionalized when he points out that “most historians characterized the central divisions within black political culture as the 150-year struggle between ‘integration’ and ‘separation'”.(Mooney, 1998: 12-13).
Looking back through the twenty years of hegemony that conditions McCall’s memory, we see that Superfly is not the only black box office success in the early Seventies. Between 1970 and 1972 more than fifty feature films were made with black audiences in mind, most of which we now lump under the heading “blaxploitation,” a genre characterized by low production values, cops and criminals action, funky soundtracks, and big doses of sex that emphasize macho stud constructions of black masculinity. (Ash, Philip, 1966: 799-801).
The unexpected success of Shaft and especially Melvin Van Peebles’ independent film Sweet Sweetback’s BaadasssssSong alerted Hollywood to the profit potential in blaxploitation. Superfly, The Mack, Black Caesar, Cleopatra Jones, and dozens o f others cashed in on the new post-Sixties version of black empowerment. When groups such as the NAACP, CORE, and the SCLC objected to the film industry’s cynical exploitation of stereotypical black sex, violence, and misogyny, Hollywood executives pointed to box office receipts and claimed that they were only giving black audiences “what they wanted.” (Ginsberg, 1998).
Between 1970 and 1980 there was a cultural film explosion, there were over 200 films released by major and independent studios that hyped major black characters and themes. Prior to the Blaxploitation era black actors had been relinquished to playing small parts that usually presented stereotyped images of the black race with roles such as waitresses or shoeshine boys. This however all changed ...
The black male cool and machismo as defined by Sweetback would become the commodity that Hollywood packaged in blaxploitation films like Superfly, with Van Peebles’ independent revolutionary intent left behind. At the same time, the flood of studio blaxploitation pictures and Hollywood’s block-booking system effectively jammed distribution channels, making independent visions like Van Peebles’ virtually inaccessible. It would be difficult to predict how revolutionary black cinema would have progressed had it not been coopted and absorbed by corporate Hollywood, just as it is difficult to know what would have happened to the Black Panthers had they not been so explicitly targeted by the state police apparatus.
(Mooney, 1998: 12-13).
Both Sweetback and the Panthers showed some counterrevolutionary tendencies, especially in their attitudes about women. But no matter how things would have evolved, we can be sure of the similarities in the way things turned out. Just as the Panthers were pushed by state violence into Cripdom, black film became ineluctably linked to drug-dealing gangsterhood as it became corporate blaxploitation. (Ginsberg, 1998).
It is significant that, from a host of blaxploitation movies, McCall chooses Superfly as the film that best represents his generation.
(Spike Lee has done the same thing, identifying Sweetback as the only blaxploitation film that influenced him and yet choosing to teach Superfly in his African American film class at Harvard.) The equally popular Shaft and many other blaxploitation films feature black policemen or James Bond-type characters as their heroes. Youngblood Priest the cocaine hustler more realistically represents possibility. Though that reality was hard for the black, the films managed to put a black man on the same level in opportunities and abilities with a white man, telling everyone we are the same people with the same rights. The press had essential influence on the way of civil rights movements. From the founding of the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal in 1827, Black abolitionists like Frederick Douglass recognized the press as a powerful weapon against the enforced silence of slavery. This tradition of crusading journalism was carried on by pioneering scribes like Ida B. Wells, one of the first female newspaper owners in America and a leader in the fight against lynchings and Jim Crow. Robert S.
In the history of the United States, African Americans have always been discriminated against. When Africans first came to America, they were taken against their will and forced to work as laborers. They became slaves to the rich, greedy, lazy Americans. They were given no pay and often badly whipped and beaten. African Americans fought for their freedom, and up until the Civil War it was never ...
Abbott built the Chicago Defender into the most powerful and successful Black-owned newspaper of all time and is often credited with inspiring the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities. (Watters, 1964: 117-120).
The Black Press goes on to contrast mainstream coverage of World War II with the nearly forgotten “Double V” campaign spearheaded by the Pittsburgh Courier. Black newspapers, linking the struggle against fascism abroad to segregation at home, terrified J. Edgar Hoover into trying to indict them for sedition, and helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement to come. Charlotta Bass, editor and publisher of the California Eagle for 40 years, ran for Vice President on the Progressive Party ticket in 1952, the first African American to run for national office. (Ginsberg, 1998).
Ironically, the Black press in a sense became a victim of the success of the very movements it nurtured. During the Civil Rights struggles and urban insurrections of the 1960s, white-owned papers at last began to hire African American journalists and even compete for Black readership. The film asks if integration into the mainstream media has left many communities bereft of a committed Black journalistic presence. (Mooney, 1998: 12-13).
The Black Press commemorates a heroic and indispensable chapter in the ongoing struggle for a diverse and democratic media. It demonstrates that the written word has been as fundamental as music or religion to the evolution of African American consciousness. And it will convince students that it is as important today as in the past for Black media professionals to play a vigorous role not just in print media but in the rapidly evolving information technologies of the future.
Blues Music As A Vivid Reflection of The Black American Life And Culture Blues can be justly called the Black-American music. It reflects the history and culture of the blacks in America from the times when they were slaves till the present days. Translating the emotion into music, blues performers cry, hum, moan, plead, rasp, shout, and howl lyrics and wordless sounds while creating instrumental ...
Bibliography: Ash, Philip. “The Implications of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 For Psychological Assessment in Industry.” American-Psychologist 6 (1966): 797-803. Ginsberg, Benjamin, and Theodore J. Lowi, eds. American Government-Freedom and Power. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
Mooney, Chase C. “Civil Rights Movement.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1996 ed. Shipler, David K. “The Marshall Plan.” The New York Times Book Review 1 June 1998: 12-13 Watters, Pat. “The Spring Offensive.” The Nation 3 February 1964: 117-120.