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A Time Line to Post-Soul Black Culture | The Village Voice

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A Time Line to Post-Soul Black Culture | The Village Voice

From ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’ in 1971 to Spike Lee’s ‘Malcom X’ in 1992.

By Nelson George, The Village Voice


■ MELVIN VAN PEEBLES’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baad­asssss Song premieres in Detroit in March, signaling a new direction in African American film and culture. Directed guerrilla-style in Watts, it ridicules SIDNEY POITIER’s ultra-assimilated image, instigates Holly­wood’s blaxploitation era, and projects rebellious black heroism in visual terms that will echo in pop music iconography 20 years later. It will impact the black intelligentsia more di­rectly than the working-­class blacks who will frequent blaxploitation flicks.

■ MUHAMMAD ALI, back fighting after being stripped of his title for refusing to violate his vows as a Mus­lim minister and register for the draft, has his comeback derailed by defending champ JOE FRAZIER at Madison Square Garden. Despite this defeat, Ali’s re­ligious commitment and boastful, poetic arrogance bridge ’60s activism and ’80s style.

■ AL GREEN’s “Tired of Be­ing Alone” is the first hit for the last of the great soul singers. The central fixation of Green’s music — physical lust versus spiritual love­ — is a tension that new styles will abandon. 

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Full article @ The Village Voice