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This monthly podcast looks back at the pop culture of Generation X, from an African-American perspective.

Jun 8, 2018

Topics: Black Power Movement, Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis, James Brown, Sidney Poitier, and Flip Wilson. (Bonus Artists: hidingtobefound & Luck Pacheco)



  1.   Snapshots
  2.   MLK birthday celebrated in many states
  3.   Toni Morrison’s 1st novel, “The Bluest Eye”
  4.   Black Enterprise and Essence start
  5.   Jimi Hendricks dies
  6.   Cheryl Adrienne Brown (Miss Iowa) 1st black to compete in Miss America


  1. Social/Political Key Development:

Part 1: Black Power Movement

  1. The Black Power Movement focused on racial pride, self-sufficiency, and equality for all people of Black and African descent.
  2. It was led by a generation of black activists who had participated the Civil Rights movement.
  3. By the mid-1960s, a split developed among those activists and many no longer saw nonviolent protests as a viable way of combatting racism.
  4. Major turning point: The Watts riots, a 5 day "War" in 1965, that took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Dead‎: ‎34 / Injured‎: ‎1,032
  5. New organizations (the Black Panther Party, the Black Women’s United Front, the Nation of Islam, and others) developed new cultural, political, and economic programs.
  6. Desegregation was insufficient. Deconstruction of the white power structures was the new focus.
  7. Because they wanted space for black political voices, collective black power, and social autonomy, the movement was often viewed as violent, anti-white, and anti-law enforcement.
  8. Key events: the 1965 assassination of Malcom X, and the 1968 assassination of MLK.
  9. Major accomplishment: raising the collective level of consciousness, pride, and interest in education.
  10. By the mid-1970s, the movement was in decline due to government repression, intragroup squabbles, and further assassinations. Also, police raids, arrests, and harassment.
  11. By 1973 African-American activists had begun to concentrate on getting blacks and progressive whites elected to public office. By 1976, the traditional movement was effectually dead.
  12. Legacy: Some have compared the modern movement Black Lives Matter to the Black Power movement noting a January 2015 community panel, hosted by the Garfield H.S. – B.S.U. (Seattle) titled: Black Power to Black Lives Matter, connecting the current youth-led struggle of BLACK LIVES MATTER to the Black Power movement of the 1960s-1970s.


Part 2:  Conclusion

  1. The Black Power movement not only represented a change in tactical strategy, but also a change in the mind-set of African-Americans.
  2. For instance, the black music industry, with its roots in gospel and rhythm and blues became more nationalist. Songs like the Impressions’ “We’re a Winner” (1967), James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” (1968), and the Temptations’ “Message to a Black Man” (1969) helped establish a distinctive sound for a generation of politically conscious young black Americans.
  3. Some blacks chose to don African garb and adopt African names.
  4. The slogans “Power to the People” and “Black is Beautiful” became very popular.
  5. The movement’s style and fashion (military berets, leather gloves and hats, bright powder-blue shirts, and Afro hairstyles were also symbolically important.
  6. The impact of this imagery was immediate and resonated across the United States as well as throughout the world.


Part 3: Important figures

  1. Nat Turner (d. 1841, American slave)
  2. Marcus Garvey (d. 1940, Black Nationalist political advocate)
  3. Frantz Fanon (d. 1961, Psychiatrist/Author – “This Wretched Earth: Algerian struggle against colonialism)
  4. W.E.B. Dubois (d. 1963, Historian)
  5. Malcolm X (d. 1965, Minister/Activist)
  6. MLK (d. 1968, Minister/Activist)
  7. 1968 Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos
  8. Stockley Carmichael (d. 1998, Activist)
  9. Hughey P. Newton (d. 1989, Activist/BPP)
  10. Bobby Seale (Activist/BPP)
  11. Eldridge Cleaver (d. 1998, Activist/BPP)


Part 4. Key Figure: Muhammad Ali (1942-2016, Black America’s Crown Jewel and The Embodiment of the Black Power Movement)

  1.    Key 1970 event: Licenses reinstated by the New York State boxing commission.
  2.    Important Woman: Angela Davis (b. 1944, Political activist, academic, and author)

She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist in the 1960s working with the Black Panther Party and being highly involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Because of purchasing firearms used in the 1970-armed take-over of a Marin County, California courtroom, in which four persons were killed, she was prosecuted for conspiracy. She was later acquitted of this charge. She is a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department Activist


C: Economic Snapshot: Unemployment rate, 4.9%. Minimum wage, $1.45ph ($58 weekly, $2,900 yearly, ~$18,652 2018)


D: Pop Culture Snapshots

  1.   Toni Morrison’s 1st novel, “The Bluest Eye”
  2.   The Jackson 5 breakout with, “I Want You Back” and “ABC”
  3.   Diana Ross: Leaves the Supremes
  4.   Jimi Hendricks dies


  1. Black Music
  2. Top 10 Singles

1    Jackson 5 ►The Love You Save

2    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles ►The Tears of a Clown

3    The Jackson 5 ►I Want You Back

4    Jackson 5 ►ABC

5    Stevie Wonder ►Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours

6    Sly & The Family Stone ►Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin

7    The Moments ►Love on a Two-Way Street

8    Diana Ross ►Ain't No Mountain High Enough

9    The 5th Dimension ►One Less Bell to Answer

10    The Temptations ►Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)


  1. Key Albums

- Jan Puzzle People    The Temptations

- Feb Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5    The Jackson 5

- Apr Psychedelic Shack    The Temptations

- May The Isaac Hayes Movement    Isaac Hayes

- Jun ABC    The Jackson 5

- Sep Diana Ross    Diana Ross

- Oct Third Album    The Jackson 5

- Dec Greatest Hits    Sly and the Family Stone

- Dec ...To Be Continued    Isaac Hayes


  1. Key Artist: James Brown (d. 2006, Soul Brother #1, The Godfather)



  1. Black Film
  2. Key Releases:

- Cotton Comes to Harlem:

Plot: "Reverend" Deke O'Malley, a conman, is selling shares at a Harlem rally, for the purchase of a Back-to-Africa movement ship to be called The Black Beauty. During the rally, several masked gunmen jump out of a meat truck and steal $87,000 in donated cash from the back of an armored car. Two Harlem detectives, Gravedigger Jones and "Coffin" Ed Johnson chase the car, and a bale of cotton falls out of the vehicle, unremarked at the time. Uncle Budd, a scavenger, finds the bale of cotton and sells it for $25 to a junk dealer, but later buys it back for $30. There is a reward out for the $87,000, and Gravedigger and Coffin deduce that the money was probably hidden inside of the bale which had fallen out of the getaway vehicle during the chase. After accusing Reverend O’Malley of stealing the money and taking him captive, Detectives Jones and Johnson are able to blackmail Tom, a mob leader, to give them $87,000 - to be restored to the original donors - after discovering that Uncle Budd has run off with the stolen money and emigrated to Ghana, to live in retirement with his ill-gotten gains.


Directed by    Ossie Davis

Written by    Ossie Davis

Arnold Perl

Starring    Godfrey Cambridge

Raymond St. Jacques

Calvin Lockhart

Release date

May 26, 1970

Box office    $5.2 million (rentals)


- Halls of Anger

Plot: A predominantly black high school is integrated by white students and trouble follows.


Directed by    Paul Bogart

Written by    John Herman Shaner

Al Ramrus

Starring    Calvin Lockhart

Janet MacLachlan

Jeff Bridges

Release date

April 29, 1970 (United States)

Budget    $1.6 million


- ...tick...tick...tick

Plot: In a small Southern town, Jim Price is elected sheriff over John Little, the incumbent. Racial tensions exist in the community, and Price gets little assistance from Little, leaving office, or from Mayor Parks, who insists he be consulted on any decision the new sheriff makes.

A white man, John Braddock, is arrested on a manslaughter charge after his drunken driving causes the death of a young girl. Braddock's father carries considerable influence and demands his son be freed. Price's deputy, Bradford Wilkes, is beaten by Little's former deputy, Bengy Springer.

Another arrest is made, this time of a black man, George Harley, accused of rape. The townspeople's mood turns uglier by the minute, particularly when Braddock's father threatens to spring his son by force if necessary.

Little's conscience gets the better of him. He agrees to become Price's new deputy. Together, they try in vain to persuade other men in town to side with them against Braddock's vigilantes and to convince the mayor to call in the National Guard for help. Alone against the mob, Price and Little form a barricade and prepare for the worst when their fellow townsmen suddenly join them in the street.


Directed by    Ralph Nelson

Written by    James Lee Barrett

Starring    Jim Brown

George Kennedy

Fredric March

Release date

January 9, 1970

Box office    $2,144,000


  1. Key Movie: They Call me Mr. Tibbs

- Plot: The second installment in a trilogy, the release was preceded by In the Heat of the Night (1967).  Detective Virgil Tibbs, now a lieutenant with the San Francisco police, is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute. A prime suspect is Rev. Logan Sharpe, a liberal street preacher and political organizer, who insists to Tibbs that he was merely visiting the hooker in a professional capacity, advising her spiritually.  Tibbs questions a janitor from the victim's building, Mealie Williamson, and Woody Garfield, who might have been the woman's pimp. Suspicion falls on a man named Rice Weedon, who takes umbrage and is shot by Tibbs in self-defense. Tibbs concludes that Sharpe really must be the culprit. Sharpe confesses but requests Tibbs give him some time to complete his work on one last political issue. Told this wouldn't be possible, Sharpe takes his own life.


Directed by    Gordon Douglas

Written by    Alan Trustman

Starring    Sidney Poitier

Martin Landau

Barbara McNair

Music by    Quincy Jones

July 8, 1970

Box office    $2,350,000


  1. Key Actor/Actress: Sidney Poitier

Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE (born February 20, 1927) is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author, and diplomat.

In 1964, Poitier became the first Bahamian and first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor[a] for his role in Lilies of the Field. The significance of these achievements was bolstered in 1967, when he starred in three successful films, all of which dealt with issues involving race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; In the Heat of the Night; and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, making him the top box-office star of that year. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Stars of classic Hollywood cinema, ranking 22nd on the list of 25.


  1. Black TV
  2. Important Event

Carters Army

Plot: A redneck officer (Stephen Boyd) is put in charge of a squad of all black troops charged with the mission of securing an important hydro dam in Nazi Germany. Their failure would delay the Allied advance into Germany, thus prolonging the war. These African-Americans had been relegated to cleaning latrines and therefore have little real military training, but Captain Beau Carter has no choice. He leads the rag-tag unit to secure the dam and the men reveal themselves as heroic


Written by    Aaron Spelling

David Kidd

Directed by    George McCowan

Original release   

January 27, 1970


Stephen Boyd as Capt. Beau Carter

Robert Hooks as Lt. Edward Wallace

Susan Oliver as Anna Renvic

Roosevelt Grier as Big Jim

Moses Gunn as Pvt. Doc Hayes

Richard Pryor as Pvt. Jonathan Crunk

Glynn Turman as Pvt. George Brightman

Billy Dee Williams as Pvt. Lewis

Paul Stewart as Gen. Clark


  1. Key Show

The Flip Wilson Show

Main Character: Geraldine (Wilson)

Starring    Flip Wilson

No. of seasons    4

No. of episodes    94

Original network    NBC

Original release    September 17, 1970 – June 27, 1974


The Flip Wilson Show was an hour-long variety show. The program was the first successful network variety series starring an African American. During its first two seasons, its Nielsen ratings made it the nation's second most watched show.


3: Key Actor/Actress: Flip Wilson (1933-1998, Comedian) Our first "Star"

 Clerow "Flip" Wilson Jr. (1933 – 1998) was an American comedian and actor best known for his television appearances during the late 1960s. The series earned Wilson a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards. He also won a Grammy Award in 1970 for his comedy album The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress. In January 1972, Time magazine featured Wilson's image on its cover and named him "TV's first black superstar". According to The New York Times, Wilson was "the first black entertainer to be the host of a successful weekly variety show on network television."