In Congress of Racial Equality, as well as

In the 1960s it was a hard time for blackAmericans. There was a revolution being driven by two well know black civilrights leaders. The first phase of the revolution was driven by a young Islamicblack man, Malcolm X, who was a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam. Malcolm Xwas adamant that blacks needed to take care of their own business. In the issueof black integration in American culture.

Malcolm X had the ability to reachany one member of the black nation in America. This revolution was cut short ona sad day in February of 1965, when Malcolm X was assassinated. This left avoid in the hearts of the people who he had touched upon in his revolt. Thiswas where things began to get funky. Meanwhile, on the other side of the revolution there was a young man known Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.

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The revolution in which he was leading was a revolutionrather different than the one of Malcolm X. Dr. King’s revolution was one inwhich all blacks and all whites could work together.

He spoke of this in hisinfamous speech I Have A Dream. Though the two leaders were rather different,they fed off each other’s roles, which in turn provided possibly the strongestleadership since the Harlem Renaissance, until the death of Malcolm X. After the death of Malcolm X the movement started to get funky. It seemed asthough after the assassination of Malcom X, the revolution’s focal point beganto change. The movement began to head towards a more intense, and nitty grittylevel. It seemed as though all the non-violent organizations such as theStudent Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality, aswell as the Christian Leadership Conference had little hold on what was aboutto happen to the movement.

The death of Malcolm X brought a new direction in themovement. In a society of a violent system it was hard for young blacks to takecharge in a non-violent organization, it seemed to be a hypocrisy. And the ideaof tolerance was wearing thin for the whole generation.

 Later on, in the year, around August, the first of many large-scale riots beganto break out. The first one was in Los Angeles, California and lasted for alittle over three weeks. This single riot killed 39 people during its wrath ofburning block after block.

This riot was in a sense a sign of the newrevolution to come, due to the song “Burn, Baby Burn” by the Creators, beingplayed in heavy rotation on one of the Los Angeles radio stations. These riotssparked an investigation by the federal commission to study the causes of thisriot. After that, rebellion became the current method of protest all acrossblack America. The violent method of protest lead to a movement know as Black Power.The phrase “Black Power” was brought to the scene during a march on the roadsof Mississippi. The march was known as the “Freedom from Fear” march led byJames Meredith in the year 1966. “Black Power!” was a phrase that was chantedthroughout the entire march. Soon after starting his march, Meredith was shotby sniper.

After this, the phrase “Black Power” developed into a politicalmanifesto, used by many black Americans. Following this, Stokely Carmichaelchallenged the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to abandon its tieswith its white benefactors and to take the philosophy of “Black Power.” Carmichaelhad suggested this in a speech which he had given shortly after his releasefrom prison. He also pleaded for, “black people in this country to unite, torecognize their heritage, and to build a sense of community” He advocated thatAfrican Americans should form and lead their own organizations, and urged acomplete rejection of the values of American society. After this speech the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee severed theirties from the white community, in 1966. It began to advocate mainly black ledinstitutions in the fight for “Black Power,” no longer being referred to ascivil rights. The phrase “Black Power” began to be interpreted differently by many blackAmericans.

As this went on musicians such as James Brown and Curtis Mayfieldwere searching for their own resources to make their music appeal to thesepeople in need of change. The “Black Power” movement was beginning to findfollowers of all sorts, who were looking for a place to express the anger andfrustration the present society had laid upon them. In Oakland, California during the year 1966, two Merritt College students namedHuey P. Newton and Bobby Seale formed and organization for black Americans.

This organization was called the “Black Panther Party for Self Defense” thegoals of this organization involved community policing, active communitycenters with health and education services, along with a long-term plan forblack liberation that included a revolution led by black Americans. Theyfollowed police, reading the penal code to arresting officers, and began todevelop a small following in the Oakland area. In the year 1967 the Panthersdressed in dark leather jackets and dark shades and walked into the CaliforniaState Legislature, in full view of the national media. They were armed withrifles and were demanding an audience. The audience was to hear a startling address.

The address stated that there arefamiliar sights appearing in black communities, such as vicious police dogs,cattle prods, and increased police patrols. It stated that City Hall disregardsthe pleas of Black people for relief from this increased terror. America’s Social system went into shock, with the thought of armed black peopleentering the scene.

Following this address Black Panther Parties opened in overthirty cities nationwide. This made the FBI extremely nervous and they thenlabeled the Black Panthers “America’s Number One threat to national security”in 1969. Over time there were many conflicts between the Black Panthers andpolice nationwide. As time passed, FBI informants had infiltrated theorganization. Many of the leaders of the Black Panthers were double-crossed,ambushed, or imprisoned because of the infiltration.

Despite the number ofleaders that went down, the message of the Panthers was still being conveyed.They became the backbone of the black nation in America. By 1969 the entire country was well aware of the power of black radicals andthe movement they were a part of.

For a brief moment, it was possible thatblacks were able to tell whites what they really thought. In 1969 this theoryhad spread to music, when Sly and the Family Stone had recorded “Don’t Call MeNigger, Whitey.” This opened the doors to young, black, poor males to taketheir beliefs to a mass audience. Many were close followers of Malcolm X.

Bootsy Collins, the revolutionary funk bassist who played in James Brown’sbacking band, Parliament, and eventually his own project Bootsy’s Rubber Bandremembers being in a hectic situation that he fell into. Explaining that theriots were everywhere including right outside his house in Cincinnati, hestated “We was goin’ for all of it.” George Clinton who at the time owned abarber shop in Plainfield, New Jersey stated that the National Guard moved inon groups black youths, who fired back. George Clinton said that he witnessed amajority of the city’s business district being torched. Because musicians were exposed to such occurrences, the themes of the blackrevolution were showing up in music. One of the most infamous songs was “Say itLoud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. JamesBrown had a strong hold on placing the emphasis where it was needed. After thissong, the word Black had quickly become a popular word in marchers, soul singers,and all of the mainstream black population.

It had become a word of praise, andas a legal definition of African-American. This was a step forward for blackpeople in America, they were now able to express their emotions.force behind the social revolution of black social culture. In the year 1969Sly and the Family Stone made its first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show andwas proving to be the beginning of the blast of black music in popular culture. The black music revolution began to spread like a disease all over the country.Themes began to be placed in the lyrics of black music, themes that expressedblack culture. Many bands were part of this new groove, but one stands out, andthat was a creation of George Clinton. In 1967, George Clinton decided to make a change, this change would affectpopular black culture till this day.

As the breakthrough in black Americanculture had evolved, the black music was evolving along with it. Blackmusic showed the freedom that the black culture had received, it becameexperimental, avant-garde, psychedelic, and aggressive. The essence of theBlack Revolution was the incubator of The Funk. It became the driving forcebehind the social revolution of black social culture.

In the year 1969 Sly andthe Family Stone made its first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and wasproving to be the beginning of the blast of black music in popular culture. The black music revolution began to spread like a disease all over the country.Themes began to be placed in the lyrics of black music, themes that expressedblack culture. Many bands were part of this new groove, but one stands out, andthat was a creation of George Clinton. In 1967, George Clinton decided to make a change, this change would affectpopular black culture till this day. The demise of his long time Doo-wop group The Parliaments had come far toclose, so George Clinton took a chance. He made the decision to add a backupband, they were a rowdy group of teenagers from Plainsfield, New Jersey. Theband became a wild mix of rockers and doo-woppers.

Over time they produced a large assortment of records that have shaped popularfunk culture. Parliament Funkadelic became an outlet for black Americans, bycreating a sub culture that could be enjoyed by any race. They brought manyissues to the table, in their work. The issues discussed black culture and its involvementin popular American culture. Parliament became a surreal experience whichenlightened anyone that encountered it. Because Parliament Funkadelic appealedto multiple races, the band forced white people to confront black issues. Themusic spoke about life, love, politics, style and partying. All of these wereissues that everyone could relate too.

Parliament Funkadelic became an empire, itspoke these issues in a playful manner, yet always addressed a point. Creatingsurreal personas that people could relate too, and always combining humor withhis issues. This created little violence and more of a sense in community. Inthe performances, the audience was always included and encouraged to singalong, this was a way to form a connection between all races, joining themtogether in a common interest. Some examples of this are spotted in songtitles, which play on phrases found in common aspects of politics, such asUncle Jam, One Nation Under a Groove, Groovallegiance, America Eats its Young,and Chocolate City. An example of this playful use would be in the line “Withthe united funk we can fly! For if our cause was unjust, we couldn’t bring thisfunk to you.

So, we feel that it’s a must, it is something we should do” or “I’ma soldier, in the army, of Uncle Jam, come on and work out in that foxhole.Ain’t no need to get dirty, but you can get down.” Many times, the way thewords were used detracted from its meaning but it leaves it open tointerpretation.

Uncle Jam is a song that is dance able but has a marching feelto it, lyrics such as “Uncle Jam’s army, here- yeah. Disturbing the peace atthe bridge of the river quiet. Marching in the name of the groove. NoAWOP-absent without the P. Uncle Jam’s army here-so you wanna dance? This isbooty do your duty time. We’re soldiers on booty patrol. And I’m your thrillsergeant, And he’s your thrill sergeant.

Gonna keep you on your toes, causeUncle Jam wants you, to do what you’re supposed to do, and join his army! Theplayfulness in this song can express the point but at the same time people canhave a fun time doing it as well. This specific song came out in themid-seventies but still is a prime example of how Parliament Funkadelic playedof the Black Revolution and appealed to Popular Culture. In conclusion, the black revolution has evolved over the years. Popular culturehas had an enormous impact on how it was resolved. The entire revolution wasevolved and revolved around popular culture.

It formed new art such asParliament Funkadelic. A surreal revolution in black culture and music, shapingthe current black culture.


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