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

Oct 1, 2018

Topics: Black Women vis-a-vis White Women in the feminist community, Funk Music, Claudine (film), Good Times (TV show). (Bonus Artist: hidingtobefound)


1974 "Claudine" is free on Youtube:


  1. General News


  1. Richard Nixon STILL President. but not for long.


  1. Vietnam War: Wrapping up active combat.


  1. Feb - Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst kidnapped. 2 months later she participates in a bank robbery.


  1. Apr - Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves breaks Babe Ruth's home run record


  1. Jul - Watergate scandal: The House Judiciary Committee adopts 3 articles of impeachment, charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce subpoenaed material.


  1. Aug - Richard Nixon resigns as President of the United States. President Gerald Ford is sworn in. Ford later pardons Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.


  1. Sep - Stuntman Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to rocket across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.


  1. Oct -The Rumble in the Jungle. Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman to regain the Heavyweight title, which had been stripped from him 7 years earlier.


  1. 1974 minimum wage = $2hr/$80wk/$4kyrly - 2018 = $10.50/$420/$21k


  1. Avg. House Price = $9,942 


  1. Avg. Annual Income = $13,9k


  1. Avg. Monthly Rent = $185


  1. Gallon of Gas = 42c 


  1. Dozen Eggs = 45c


  1. 9% unemployment vs Black unemployment 15%


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Top Pop Singles:


  1. "The Way We Were", Barbra Streisand


  1. "Seasons in the Sun", Terry Jacks


  1. "Love's Theme", Love Unlimited Orchestra


  1. Grammy Awards for 1974


  1. ROY: Olivia Newton-John, "I Honestly Love You"


  1. AOY: Stevie Wonder, Fulfillingness' First Finale


  1. SOY: "The Way We Were", Barbra Streisand


  1. New Artist: Marvin Hamlisch


  1. Top Grossing Movies


  1. Blazing Saddles


  1. The Towering Inferno


  1. The Trial of Billy Jack


  1. Top TV Shows


  1. All in the Family


  1. Sanford and Son


  1. Chico and the Man


  1. Debut Shows


  1. Feb - Good Times (a spinoff of Maude) (1974–79)


  1. Sep - That's My Mama (1974–1975)


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Black Snapshots


  1. Gail Cobb (@24yrs), Black Washington D.C. police officer: The first U.S. woman police officer killed in the line of duty.


  1. Maya Angelou: Gather Together in My Name, the second of seven autobiographies.


  1. James Baldwin: If Beale Street Could Talk, a love story set in Harlem in the early 1970's.


  1. Reader's Digest publishes the first excerpts from Roots in May and June. They said it was an epic work, "destined to become a classic of American literature."


  1. Univ. of Penn publishes a study concluding IQ tests are biased towards whites


  1. Cicely Tyson 2 Emmys for The Autobiography of Miss Jane.


  1. Richard Pryor Emmy for Lily Tomlins TV special


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Social Scene: Sisters Gonna Work It Out


  1. Social Scene: Women's issues


  1. Sept: President Gerald Ford meets with women's groups and it was the first time a president of NOW had been invited to the White House.


  1. Apr - The first industry-wide race and sex discrimination settlement, steel companies settled with the Labor Department for approximately $56 million.


  1. May - AT&T signed a $30 million consent decree with the EEOC for back pay to victims of sex discrimination. Companies agreed to equalize starting salaries for men and women and guarantee that both sexes would receive equal pay in promotions. It provided May - Bank of America agrees to pay $10 million in compensatory salary increases to its women employees.


  1. Jul - Eleven women were ordained as the first female priests of the Episcopal Church.


  1. Mar - Helen Thomas named White House reporter for UPI. It was the first time a woman had held such a position.


  1. Apr. - Julia Phillips wins Oscar for "The Sting.", the first by a woman movie producer.


  1. Aug - The Fair Housing Act of 1968 extended to prohibit discrimination based on sex.


  1. Oct - The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in consumer credit practices based on sex. (Lindy Boggs added the provision without informing fellow committee members)


  1. The Big Backlash Begins


  1. Jan - The "March for Life", an annual rally protesting both the practice and legality of abortion was organized for the first time. 


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Four Sisters put there foot down and make the world turn


  1. Washington: Before Barack there was Barbara


  1. Barbara Charline Jordan (@ 38yrs), lawyer, educator, politician, and Civil Rights leader.


  1. Born and raised in Houston


  1. Democrat and the first African American elected to the Texas Senate.


  1. After Reconstruction, the first Southern African-American woman elected to the HOR


  1. Best known for her eloquent opening statement at the House Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process against Richard Nixon


  1. Also, the first African-American and the first woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in 1976.


  1. Her sexual orientation has never been determined, but some sources list her as a lesbian.


  1. Bill Clinton said that he wanted to nominate Jordan for the SCOTUS, but by the time he could, she had health problems.


  1. Died at the age of 59 due to complications from pneumonia in 1996.


  1. [Audio Clip]


  1. The sophisticated Songstress


  1. Roberta Cleopatra Flack (@37 yrs.), Singer-songwriter, musician.


  1. Known for her #1 singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "Killing Me Softly with His Song" and "Feel Like Makin' Love", and for "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You", two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway.


  1. She was the first, and remains the only, solo artist to win the Grammy Award for ROY on two consecutive years


  1. The "Black B**ch" (Her words)


  1. Diahann Carroll (@39yrs): Actress, singer and model


  1. Known for performances in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts, Carmen Jones (1954) and Porgy and Bess (1959)


  1. Julia (1968) broke ground for being one of the first shows on TV to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role.


  1. Also played Dominique Deveraux in the TV show Dynasty.


  1. [Audio Clip]


  1. The Anti-Mammy Machine


  1. Esther Rolle (@54yrs): Actress.


  1. Born and raised in Pompano Beach, Florida


  1. Best known for her role as Florida Evans


  1. She was the tenth of 18 children.


  1. Iron-willed and PROUD


  1. Her father insisted she promise to never become a servant or maid in real life.


  1. [Audio Clip]


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Question: These four women broke down barriers, without the help of the National Organization of Women. Are white women reliable allies for black women?


  1. Conclusion: The more things change the more they seem to stay the same.


  1. Music Scene:


  1. Top "Black" pop singles


  1. 3 - "Love's Theme", Love Unlimited Orchestra


  1. 5 - "Dancing Machine", The Jackson 5


  1. 7 - "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)", MFSB


  1. 11 - "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", Aretha Franklin


  1. 12 - "Jungle Boogie", Kool & the Gang


  1. 14 - "You Make Me Feel Brand New", The Stylistics


  1. 15 - "Show and Tell", Al Wilson


  1. 19 - "Sideshow", Blue Magic


  1. 30 - "Boogie Down", Eddie Kendricks


  1. 34 - "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me", Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. 35 - "Feel Like Makin' Love", Roberta Flack


  1. 36 - "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely", The Main Ingredient


  1. 37 - "Nothing from Nothing", Billy Preston


  1. 38 - "Rock Your Baby", George McCrae


  1. Vote:


  1. Top Albums


  1. Jan Imagination, Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. Feb Stone Gon', Barry White


  1. Feb Ship Ahoy, The O'Jays


  1. Feb Livin' for You, Al Green


  1. Mar Love Is the Message, MFSB


  1. Apr Boogie Down, Eddie Kendricks


  1. May The Payback, James Brown


  1. May Let Me in Your Life, Aretha Franklin


  1. May Open Our Eyes, Earth, Wind & Fire


  1. Jun Mighty Love, The Spinners


  1. Jun War Live, War


  1. Jul Body Heat, Quincy Jones


  1. Jul Claudine, Soundtrack / Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. Aug Skin Tight, The Ohio Players


  1. Aug Marvin Gaye, Live!, Marvin Gaye


  1. Sep That Nigger's Crazy, Richard Pryor


  1. Oct Fulfillingness' First Finale, Stevie Wonder


  1. Nov Live It Up, The Isley Brothers


  1. Nov Can't Get Enough, Barry White


  1. Dec I Feel a Song, Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. Vote:


  1. Key Artist


  1. George Edward Clinton (@33yrs), The Prime Minister of Funk, a.k.a. Dr. Funkenstein, a.k.a, Star Child: Singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer. 


  1. Born in Kannapolis, NC, he grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. Clinton became interested in doo wop during the early ’50s. Basing his group on Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Clinton formed The Parliaments in 1955, rehearsing in the back room of a Plainfield barbershop where he straightened hair. The Parliaments released only two singles during the next ten years, but frequent trips to Detroit during the mid-’60s – where Clinton began working as a songwriter and producer – eventually paid off their investment. The Parliaments finally had a hit with the 1967 single “(I Wanna) Testify”. But his label ran out of money and George refused to record any new material. When the label was bought out by Atlantic, Clinton decided to abandon the Parliaments name rather than record for the major label and record the same band under a new name: Funkadelic. (In 1970 he regained the rights to The Parliaments name) Inspired by Motown ‘s assembly line of sound, He gradually put together a collective of over 50 musicians and recorded during the ’70s both as Parliament and Funkadelic. While Funkadelic pursued band-format psychedelic rock, Parliament engaged in a funk free-for-all, blending influences from the godfathers (James Brown and Sly Stone) with freaky costumes and themes inspired by ’60s acid culture and science fiction. He is regarded, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, as one of the foremost innovators of funk music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, alongside 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.


  1. Key Artist


  1. Kool & the Gang, "Best Band Ever!?!?"


  1. Formed in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964 by brothers Robert "Kool" Bell and Ronald Bell. They have explored many musical styles: jazz, soul, funk, rock, and pop music. After three albums, the band had commercial success with Wild and Peaceful (1973) which contained the US top ten singles "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging". They reached a commercial peak between 1979 and 1986 following their partnership with Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato and the addition of singer James "J.T." Taylor to the line-up. Their most successful albums of this period include Ladies' Night (1979), Celebrate! (1980), and Emergency (1984), and the hit singles "Ladies' Night", "Celebration", "Get Down on It", "Joanna", and "Cherish". The band continues to perform to this day.


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Question: What makes a track funky?


  1. Movie Scene - Royal Black Hollywood Strikes Back


  1. Both movies were deliberate attempts to counter the Blaxploitation movement.


  1. Claudine - "The Poverty Technician" (Plot)


  1. The film tells the story of Claudine Price (Diahann Carroll), a single Black Harlem mother, living on welfare with six children, who finds love with a garbage collector, Rupert Marshall (James Earl Jones), whom she calls "Roop". The pair's relationship becomes complicated because of several factors. Among these are that the couple do not want to marry because they would not be able to support the children without welfare, and that the kids themselves, particularly eldest son Charles (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), are apprehensive of Rupert, and believe that he will leave their mother just like her previous husbands had. Claudine and Rupert meet while both are at work. Rupert asks Claudine out on a date with him and Claudine accepts. When Rupert becomes invited inside Claudine's apartment, the children are rude and vulgar towards Rupert. This is also the first time the audience meets the children and sees the inside of Claudine's slum-like apartment. Later, in the film, the audience finds out that Claudine receives financial aid from the government through the welfare program. Throughout the film, Miss Kabak, the social worker, visits Claudine at her home and asks her if she is employed and if she is dating anyone. Claudine always denies Miss Kabak the truth and lies to her about being unemployed and single. If Claudine tells the truth and says that she is employed, the amount of financial aid she receives from the welfare program would decrease or she could also no longer receive any more financial aid. If Claudine dates anyone and receives gifts from her boyfriend, the social worker must deduct any money or gifts Claudine is receiving from whomever she is dating. Just before he is to announce his engagement to Claudine to the kids, Rupert is served papers for a court order relating to underpayment of child support of his own children; his work wages are garnished to pay the difference. Rupert becomes so upset about this that he disappears for a couple of days and loses contact with everyone. He moves out of his apartment, does not show up to work, and does not show up to the Father's Day celebration the children had prepared for him. Charles eventually finds him drunk at a bar and angrily confronts him. Charles is angry at Rupert because he left his mother without any explanation. Out of the anger Charles felt for Rupert, he engages in a physical fight with him. After the incident at the bar, Rupert eventually shows up outside of Claudine's apartment and speaks to her. After some time, the couple talk things over and make up. After several hardships and debating over whether they should marry because of financial issues relating to welfare, the couple decide to marry. They hold a wedding ceremony, but it is interrupted when Charles runs inside the apartment in the middle of the ceremony while the police are chasing after him. The couple and the rest of the children run after Charles, leave the ceremony, and board the police wagon. The film ends on a cheery note with the entire family, along with Rupert, walking happily hand in hand through the neighborhood.


  1. Question: Should welfare be (a) reformed or (b) avoided? What would a or b look like?


  1. Conclusion: Regardless of the message, Gladys' music was on hit (3rd #1 R&B LP) and Diahann Carroll was great, she was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards in 1975.


  1. Uptown Saturday Night - "The Good Guys (Sidney & Bill) Get Over" (Plot)


  1. While enjoying themselves at Madame Zenobia's club on Saturday Night, Steve Jackson (Poitier) and Wardell Franklin (Cosby) are held up by robbers who raid the club, taking Steve's wallet as a result. Upon realizing that a winning lottery ticket worth $50,000 is in the wallet, they set out to find the crooks themselves. Determined to retrieve the ticket, they search for it using the help of gangster Geechie Dan Beauford (Belafonte), who wants to defeat his rival Silky Slim (Lockhart). Using their wit, perseverance, and fearlessness, Steve and Wardell devise a plan to get the ticket using the help of both gangsters, in the hopes that it will pay off for them.


  1. Question: Is this truly anti-Blaxploitation or just another version?


  1. Television Scene - A Tale of 2 Black Families


  1. That's My Mama, "Warm and Fuzzy" (1 season, 1974-75) (Plot)


  1. Set in a middle-class African American neighborhood in Washington, D.C., the program revolved around the character Clifton Curtis (played by Clifton Davis), a man in his mid-20s who worked as a barber at Oscar's Barber Shop, the family barber shop he had inherited from his late father. While Clifton enjoyed being a bachelor, his loving, but tart-tongued and opinionated mother Eloise "Mama" Curtis, played by Theresa Merritt, wanted him to settle down and find a nice wife. Additional characters – such as Clifton's two best friends—Earl, played by Teddy Wilson, an easy-going mailman and Junior, played by Ted Lange, a suave and good-humored ladies' man—came and went over the course of a typical day at Oscar's Barber Shop. Other characters included Tracy, Clifton's little sister, played by Lynne Moody and later by Joan Pringle and her husband, Leonard, played by Lisle Wilson, as well as local seniors Josh and Wildcat, played by DeForest Covan and Jester Hairston. Clifton Davis and Hairston would work together again years later in the hit sitcom, Amen.


  1. Conclusion: Never a ratings success.


  1. Good Times, "Classic" (6 seasons, 1974-1979) (Plot)


  1. Florida and James Evans live in a Chicago housing project and have three children: James Jr., also known as "J.J."; Thelma; and Michael, called "the militant midget" by his father due to his passionate activism. When the series begins, J.J. is seventeen years old, Thelma is sixteen, and Michael is eleven. Their exuberant neighbor, and Florida's best friend, is Willona Woods, a recent divorcée who works at a boutique. Their building superintendent is Nathan Bookman. The characters originated on the sitcom Maude. Episodes deal with the characters' attempts to overcome poverty. GT was intended to be a good show for Esther Rolle and John Amos. Both expected the show to deal with serious topics in a comedic way while providing positive characters. However, J.J. became the breakout character.  As a result, the writers focused more on J.J.'s comedic antics instead of serious issues. Through seasons two and three, Rolle and Amos grew increasingly disillusioned with the direction of the show. Rolle was vocal about it: "He's 18 and he doesn't work. He can't read or write. He doesn't think. The show didn't start out to be that...Little by little—with the help of the artist, I suppose, because they couldn't do that to me—they have made J.J. more stupid and enlarged the role. Negative images have been slipped in on us through the character of the oldest child." Jimmie Walker was the only cast member to not show at Rolle's funeral. Amos also spoke out: "The writers would prefer to put a chicken hat on J.J. and have him prance around saying "DY-NO-MITE", and that way they could waste a few minutes and not have to write meaningful dialogue." Amos was ultimately fired after just 3 seasons.


  1. [Audio Clip]


  1. Open Comments:


  1. Question: Did/do you know anyone in real life like J.J.?


  1. Conclusion: They didn't recast James Evans, they just killed him off and Esther was playing a single mom after all. She quit after season 4.


  1. Vote, Biggest Impact for 1974: