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

Jan 2, 2019

Topics: Roots, by Alex Haley, with commentary by Adam DeCollibus (@adam_decollibus), author of "Caravan". (Bonus Artist: Luck Pacheco) (***Audio quality is spotty***)



1.    General News snapshots

2.    Jimmy Carter President

3.    Jan - The world's first personal computer, the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) released

4.    Jun - The Apple II released

5.    Aug - TRS-80 released (Byte magazine referred to these as the "1977 Trinity" of personal computing)

6.    Aug - U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.

7.    Aug - Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll dies in his home in Graceland at age 42.

8.    Oct - Atari 2600, this popularized the use of microprocessor-based hardware and cartridges containing game code.

9.    Open Comments

10.    Economic Snapshots

11.    Min Wage = $2.30 (+.10)

12.    Avg. Income = $15,070

13.    New House = $49,300

14.    New car = $4,785

15.    Avg. rent $240

16.    Black unemployment 12.1% vs 7.6%

17.    Open Comments:

18.    Black News Snapshots

19.    Jan - Roots airs on ABC.

20.    Jul - The New York City blackout of 1977 lasts for 25 hours, resulting in looting and other disorder.

21.    Popular Music Snapshots

22.    Record of the Year: The Eagles for "Hotel California"

23.    Album of the Year: Fleetwood Mac for Rumours

24.    Song of the Year (Tied): "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" performed by Barbra Streisand & "You Light Up My Life" performed by Debby Boone

25.    Best New Artist: Debby Boone

26.    Popular Movie Snapshots

27.    Top Grossing Movies

28.    1 - Star Wars

29.    2 - Smokey and the Bandit

30.    3 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind

31.    Notable Black Films

32.    A Piece of the Action: Crime comedy film directed by and starring Sidney Poitier and co-starring Bill Cosby. It was the third film pairing of Poitier and Cosby, following Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Let's Do It Again (1975). The films are considered a trilogy, even though the actors play characters with different names in each film. It was also Poitier's last acting role for more than a decade, as he focused his attentions on directing only.

33.    Which Way is Up? Comedy film starring Richard Pryor. It is a remake of the 1972 Italian comedy film The Seduction of Mimi. Richard Pryor plays three roles: an orange picker who has two women at the same time, the orange picker's father, and a Reverend who gets the orange picker's wife pregnant.

34.    Popular TV Shows

35.    1 - Laverne & Shirley

36.    2 - Happy Days

37.    3 - Three's Company

38.    Notable Black TV Shows & Snapshots

39.    The Richard Pryor Show was an American comedy-variety show starring Richard Pryor. [Lasted for only 4 episodes]

40.    Benson DuBois (Robert Guillaume) debuts on Soap as the wisecracking African-American cook/butler. In 1979, Benson leaves for his own spin-off.

41.    Janet Jackson (@11 yrs. old) joins the cast of the CBS sitcom Good Times for its final two seasons as Penny Gordon, an upstairs neighbor who is abused her biological mother.

42.    Open Comments:

43.    Black Social Scene [+ Television]

44.    Roots:  The Saga of an American Family - “One of the most important books and television series ever to appear, Roots, galvanized the nation, and created an extraordinary political, racial, social and cultural dialogue that hadn’t been seen since the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The book sold over one million copies in the first year, and the miniseries was watched by an astonishing 130 million people. It also won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Roots opened up the minds of Americans of all colors and faiths to one of the darkest and most painful parts of America’s past.” -

45.    Special guest commentator: Adam DeCollibus, Author of Caravan.

46.    Brief explanation for why Adam was invited

47.    Adam’s personal/writing background

48.    Adam’s professional/company background

49.    Adam’s personal/professional goals

50.    Adam’s biggest obstacles (past, present, or future)

51.    Summary of Adam’s book, “Caravan”

52.    Transition to Roots discussion

53.    Roots tells the story of Kunta Kinte - a young man taken from The Gambia when he was seventeen and sold as a slave - and seven generations of his descendants in the United States, which includes the author himself. [The Television mini-series focused mainly on Kunta, his daughter Kizzy, and her son “Chicken” George.]

54.    Open comments/general reactions to the story

55.    Brief layout of the main Characters / Conflicts / Resolutions

56.    Discussion Topics: [American-born African-Americans broken Identity with Africa / Kizzy's relationship with Missy Anne [i.e., happy pet and owner type relationship] / George's skin color]

57.    [Open floor topics]

58.    Has the context changed in 21st century America? Do different themes seem important now?

59.    Concluding question: Did you find anything hopeful about the story? [i.e. a spark curiosity / or pride / or determination]

60.    Thanks to Adam [Caravan recap/contact info]

61.    Black Music Scene

62.    Billboard Top 40 “Black” songs

63.    3 - "Best of My Love", The Emotions

64.    5 - "Angel in Your Arms", Hot

65.    7 - "Don't Leave Me This Way", Thelma Houston

66.    8 - "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher", Rita Coolidge

67.    11 - "I'm Your Boogie Man", KC and the Sunshine Band

68.    18 - "Sir Duke", Stevie Wonder

69.    20 - "Got to Give It Up", Marvin Gaye

70.    23 - "Rich Girl", Hall & Oates

71.    25 - "Hot Line", The Sylvers

72.    26 - "Car Wash", Rose Royce

73.    27 - "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)", Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.

74.    33 - "Easy", Commodores

75.    35 - "I've Got Love on My Mind", Natalie Cole

76.    40 - "Enjoy Yourself", The Jacksons

77.    41 - "Dazz", Brick

78.    Vote:

79.    Billboard Top Soul Albums

80.    Jan - Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder

81.    Jan - Good High, Brick

82.    Mar - Ask Rufus, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

83.    Apr - Unpredictable, Natalie Cole

84.    Apr - Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!, Bootsy's Rubber Band

85.    Apr - Live at the London Palladium, Marvin Gaye

86.    May - Go for Your Guns, The Isley Brothers

87.    May - CommodoresCommodores

88.    Jul - Rejoice, The Emotions

89.    Aug - Floaters, The Floaters

90.    Oct - Rose Royce II: In Full Bloom, Rose Royce

91.    Oct - Something to Love, L.T.D.

92.    Oct - Barry White Sings for Someone You Love, Barry White

93.    Nov - Brick, Brick

94.    Dec - All 'n All, Earth, Wind & Fire

95.    Vote:

96.    Movie Scene [Covered during Popular Movie Discussion]

97.    Television Scene [Covered during Social discussion]

98.    Biggest Legacy from 1977