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This era of time saw the end of the Nixon era with Nixon’s resignation.

Nixon left in disgrace over his


own corrupt actions (he was caught on tape admitting to the Watergate cover up and using racist
language against black people including Jewish people). Afterwards, he wrote books, made
commentaries on political issues, and passed away in 1994. President Gerald Ford and President
Jimmy Carter saw the end of the 1970's, and they witnessed the decade’s turbulent conclusion. The
nation of America saw inflation, economic uncertainty, and the rise of the modern conservative
movement. An explosion of disco, hip hop, rock, and R&B existed throughout the 1970’s. Ronald
Reagan used his influence and popularity to win the Presidency. He appealed to the far right, and he
achieved his dream of the Presidency by 1980. This era of six years was filed with political debates,
exciting news, and controversies. Likewise, progressive Americans believed in the sacred dream of
human justice.
Contents
1 5

President Gerald Ford Disco

2 6

The Progressive Movements of the The Birth of Hip Hop


1970’s

3 7

President Jimmy Carter The Election of 1980

4 8

New Music Rising Appendix A : The Culture of the


1970’s
President Gerald Ford
After Watergate, the country of the United States of America was in a crossroads. There was political
division, economic uncertainty, and confusion. Gerald Ford now was the President by 1974. Some people
wanted to bring people together. The 1970’s saw massive social, political, and economic changes. Gerald
Ford was a moderate Republican who had a long political history. He played football at the University of
Michigan. He was in the United States Navy and fought Nazis during World War II. He was elected to the
Congress and served in the House for 25 years, even being the House Minority Leader in 1965. Gerald Ford
was a hard worker, and he had more integrity than Richard Nixon. Now as President, Gerald Ford was in
a unique situation. Many people in America back then wanted Nixon to go into jail. The public didn’t
have a massive trust in government. Economic problems plagued America too. Gerald Ford dealt with
these problems, but his administration struggled politically. Ford allowed Nelson Rockefeller to be his
Vice President. Nelson Rockefeller is known as a person who was the former governor of New York State,
he was involved in the Attica disaster (where prisoners were assaulted brutally by law enforcement), and he
supported the War on Drugs (despite his moderate views on other issues). Ford continued the Nixon
foreign policy positions. Many people questioned why America propped up authoritarian, totalitarian
anti-Communist governments while claiming to promote freedom overseas. Ford followed détente. Also,
the Stalinist Soviet regime continued to suppress human freedom which is antithetical to the essence of
socialism. Gerald Ford kept Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State. He desired detente with the Soviet
Union and China. By late 1974, Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev met.

They endorsed the Helsinki Accords. The document put the nations of Europe on record to promote
human rights. Gerald Ford wanted the Soviet Union to promote more political freedoms. This set the
stage for SALT II which wanted to limit nuclear weapons among America and the Soviet Union. Gerald
Ford saw the end of the Vietnam War. The communist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia killed 1.5 million
people from 1975 to 1979. The U.S. didn’t stop this. The exception was when U.S. Marines freed the
American merchant ship called the Mayaguez when it was seized by the Khmer Rouge. South Vietnam
lost to North Vietnam while Ford was President. Congress refused to invest money to help the
Vietnamese people in the South, and American troops came home from the conflict. Congress was
dominated by Democrats ,and most Americans opposed the Vietnam War by 1974. Hundreds and
thousands of Vietnamese people fled into America. Some used boats to escape. These boats included some
of the largest mass migration in modern history. In 20 years, more than 1 million men, women, and
children left Vietnam and came to other nations abroad. Some Vietnamese people came into America and
Canada. It wouldn’t be until decades later until Vietnam and America would have a better relationship
with each other.

One of his most controversial actions was a full pardon of Richard Nixon for any crime that he had
committed as President. Gerald Ford believed that pardoning Nixon would be the only way to move
forward since a trial of Nixon would last undoubtedly for years. Ford wanted to heal the nation’s wounds,
but he was criticized for it. Ford denied that he used a pardon to fulfill a deal with Nixon. His popularity
went down. Watergate was fresh in people’s minds back then. Later, the 1974 election existed. That
election caused Republicans to lose 48 seats in the House of Representatives including Ford’s district in
Grand Rapids, Michigan. President Ford had to deal with stagflation too. Stagflation was about high
inflation and a stagnant economy. Inflation was in double digits by 1974. So, Ford wanted to lower
inflation and lower prices by his voluntary plan called Whip Inflation Now. WIN didn’t work since it was
voluntary, and Ford had no extensive economic plan for economic growth. Factories shut down.
Consumer demands for goods decreased. Unemployment massively grew which further caused Ford to
lose support. Gerald Ford's Presidency ended as an end of an era for Republicans. He was the last
Eisenhower Republican President and future Republican Presidents from Reagan to Trump would
embrace a more far right agenda.

The Progressive Movements of the 1970's


The 1970’s was a decade of a massive cultural change in America. Also, it was when the culture war in the
United States grew into another level. Issues of busing, abortion, affirmative action, women’s rights, etc.
were on full display during that time. By the early 1970’s, the Civil Rights Movement, the Feminist
Movement (with Gloria Steinem, Susan Brownmiller, and Kate Millett), and other movements grown in
power and influence. People talk about Gloria Steinem (Gloria admitted that she had ties to the CIA. She
said the falsehood that the CIA was once liberal, nonviolent, and honorable. That's a lie since the CIA
from back in the day was involved in voter tampering, imperialism, and funding reactionary regimes), but
Susan Brownmiller is the most disrespectful white feminist against black people in modern history. She
made derogatory comments about the Scottsboro boys and Emmett Till (lying in saying that Till wanted
to sexually harass Carolyn Bryant when Bryant admitted that he or Till never harassed her) in her literature
that has been omitted by even great mainstream historians. Brownmiller’s racism (or omitting the long
history of some white women falsely accusing black men of rape causing the lynchings of black people) is
not representative of all feminists, so I want to make that perfectly clear. Black women also led the anti-
lynching movement and Angela Davis was right to criticize Brownmiller’s (who ironically was in CORE
and SNCC back during the 1960’s) racist Against Our Will book. Still, feminists to this very day have
heroically stood up for the human rights of women. The big debate during the 1970’s involving women's
rights was about the ERA. The ERA movement simply wanted equality based upon sex. It was
mainstream and totally legitimate. Many people from across the political spectrum supported the
Amendment proposal. Some conservatives like Schafly opposed the law since she believed that it would
disrupt family order and end the nuclear family construct, which is completely ludicrous. Patsy Mink was
the first Asian American woman elected to Congress and was the coauthor of the Education Amendments
Act of 1972, Title IX (that bans sex discrimination in education). Mink was a lover of law and fought racial
discrimination when she was a student at the University of Nebraska. Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and
other women fought for women’s rights.

ERA or the Equal Rights Amendment was originally introduced into Congress by 1923. Second wave
feminists enthusiastically supported the ERA. By 1972, both houses of Congress and Richard Nixon
supported it. Then, the ERA came into the states for their votes. In January 1977, Indiana became the 35th
state to ratify the ERA. The amendment was now only three states shy of becoming law, but the effort
was losing momentum. Many feminists saw the National Women's Conference in November 1977 as a
chance to breathe new life into it. More than 14,000 women gathered to discuss the problems facing
women and formulate a plan of action to deliver to President Carter. Coretta Scott King supported the
conference too. Many divisions came about with some women disagreeing on issues like abortion and gay
rights. Phyllis Schlafly led a counter protest. She believed that the ERA proposal sought to deconstruct the
differences among men and women in order to form some new reality. The ERA ultimately failed in the
states. Yet, nothing will be the same again. We have come a long way from decades ago, but we have such a
long way to go. That is why movements like #MeToo (which was formed by the black woman Tarana
Burke) exist in fighting for sex equality.

Affirmative action was a hot button issue too. Allan P. Bakke sued the University in California to claim
that it discriminated against him. The Supreme Court in the Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke decision
of 1978 banned racial quotas involving education. It did upheld affirmative action allowing race to be one
of many factors in college admission policy. The far right wants affirmative action abolished while many
progressives criticized the decision as cutting away at efforts to support racial justice. Others from across
the political spectrum back then also supported the decision as a compromise. In 1996, Californians by
initiative banned the state's use of race as a factor to consider in public schools' admission policies. The
university's Board of Regents, led by Ward Connerly, voted to end race as a factor in admissions. Today,
affirmative action is permitted, but its survival is threatened.
Coretta Scott King (R) with Women Strike for Peace
founder Dagmar Wilson (L) in a march on the
United Nations Plaza, New York City, Nov. 1, 1963.

For years during the 1970’s and beyond, Sister Coretta Scott King was on the
forefront of civil rights and human rights endeavors. She has shown the world
that a compassionate, nonviolent ethos is a potent way to enact progressive,
positive change in the world.

Coretta Scott King didn’t stop her activism by 1968.


Throughout the 1970’s, she worked diligently for
the cause of freedom and justice for all. She
published her autobiography in 1969 entitled, “My
Life with Martin Luther King Jr.” She was at the
Black Political Convention in 1972 to promote the
interests of black Americans. In 1974, she
developed the Full Employment Action Council.
This was a group of over 100 religious, business,
labor, civil, and women’s rights organizations. They
were dedicated to a national policy of full
employment and equal economic opportunity. She
supported the rights of women, and she called for
a federal holiday to celebrate the life plus legacy of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott would fight
nuclear weapons proliferation and apartheid.
From a singer to a civil rights activist, her life was
not only well rounded but inspirational.

Rest in Power Sister Coretta Scott King.


Coretta Scott King was present in the Democratic
National Convention in 1976.

Here was Coretta Scott King leading an anti-


Vietnam War protest during the 1969
Moratorium to end the War on Vietnam
movement. She was holding a candle on the
Washington Monument grounds. Photo by
Marion S. Trisko, Warren K. Leffler or Thomas J.
O'Halloran. Courtesy of the Library of Congress,
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ds-06479
(digital file from original item).
By 1971, the 26th Amendment was ratified to allow 18 year olds the right to vote. Roe. V. Wade in 1973
overturned state laws against abortion. That ruling allowed abortion legal in all 50 states. Roe v. Wade
divided abortion restrictions based upon trimesters. More abortion restrictions existed in later trimesters
than earlier trimesters. To this very day, abortion is debated in passionate discussions. That era of time had
an upward growth of identity politics. Identity politics is the strategy that in order to make change,
interests of a specific group like culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, or sexual orientation must be
advanced. That is why during the 1970’s, African Americans, Native Americans, Latino Americans,
LGBTQIA+ Americans, women, Asian Americans and other challenged discriminatory laws and wanted
governmental change that would further their interests. In 1970, the average life expectancy for a Native
American person was 46 years compared to the national average of 69. The Native American suicide rate
was twice that of the general population, and the infant mortality rate was the highest in the country. Half
of all Native Americans lived on reservations, where unemployment reached 50 percent. Of Native
Americans living in cities, 20 percent lived below the poverty line.

That is why Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, and Clyde Bellecourt plus others promoted rights for Native
American human beings. As for gays and lesbians, in 1974, Kathy Kozachenko was the first openly lesbian
woman voted into office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, In 1977, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man in
California elected to public office (as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors). He was
murdered by disgruntled former city supervisor Dan White. Anita Bryant was a conservative who was
against homosexuality back during the 1970’s. She was famous for being hit by a pie by an activist. John
Briggs was forced to drop out of the 1978 race for California governor, but received enthusiastic support
for Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative. The proposed law would have made firing gay teachers—
and any public school employees who supported gay rights—mandatory. Even Reagan, Jerry Brown, and
Jimmy Carter opposed Proposition 6 because it violated individual rights. The Proposition 6 failed on
November 7, 1978.
President Jimmy Carter
By the mid-1970’s, Jimmy Carter rose up in the political arena nationally. Carter worked in Georgia. He
was once governor of the state of Georgia. By 1976, he won the election with a slim popular vote majority.
Carter presented himself as an ordinary man. Many people distrusted professional politicians. He is a born
again Christian, so many fundamentalist Christians supported his candidacy. This would be the first time
in a long time where conservative Christian voters would have a huge influence in a Presidential election.
A Christian fundamentalist is a person who believes in a strict, literal interpretation of the Bible as the
foundation of the Christian faith. Conservative Christians increased their role in politics by the 1970’s.
Carter had inexperience in national political affairs. He had town meetings, he walked in the inaugural
parade, and he carried a suitcase. He was a center-left President. He had trouble getting legislation, because
he lacked many ties with Democratic leaders in Congress. Also, it is no secret that Carter and Edward
Kennedy didn’t like each other. Jimmy Carter accused Kennedy of ruining chances of his national health
care bill. Edward Kennedy accused Carter of not being progressive enough on issues. President Carter
passed bills with input from his party.

Jimmy Carter fulfilled one of his campaign promises to give amnesty to Americans who fled America
during the draft of the Vietnam War. Carter wanted to help people move forward from the Vietnam War
and the divisiveness it had. Yet, the war was emotional for many, and Carter was criticized by many for his
action. Barry Goldwater criticized Carter for this, but Carter realized that the Vietnam War caused pain in
America. The Vietnam War was an unjust war and pardoning many is far better than allowing more
people to die in an unjust war. Jimmy Carter had to deal with the energy crisis and inflation like Ford did.
Inflation made items more expensive, it stripped savings, and it was terrible. Western European and
Japanese companies competing more for the car market than decades ago. Japan sold fuel efficient and less
expensive vehicles. This resulted in more profits for Japanese companies instead of more profits for U.S.
companies. Chrysler had to get a federal loan to survive the new market reality. The energy crisis dealt with
rising oil prices. A gallon of gas rose from 40 cents in 1973 to $1.20 by 1979. Fuel shortages were bad in 1976
and 1977. Folks needed heating oil. Factories closed and businesses lost profits because of fuel shortages.
The conservative movement grew into new heights by the late 1970’s too. More Americans joined
Evangelical churches. By 1980, one in five Americans was a religious fundamentalist. Also, many
megachurch and Evangelical pastors used television by the late 1970’s to spread their message like Jerry
Falwell, Pat Robertson, 33rd Degree Freemason Oral Roberts, and others. Millions of viewers saw their
shows and religious promotion. At his peak, Falwell had 280 stations showing his views and his broadcast
was sent to 1.5 million viewers. Religious conservatives hated the progressive changes in the 60’s and 70’s.
Some hated abortion, many disagreed with the ERA, many differently disagreed with homosexuality, and
others believe that the Supreme Court eliminated prayer in school (which is lie. The Supreme Court said
that teacher or government led prayer in public schools is illegal not individuals praying in public school
on their own accords). Falwell formed the Moral Majority in 1979. Religious conservatives are right that
adultery is wrong, integrity is important to advance, cults (like Scientology, etc.) should be exposed, and
that there is nothing wrong with believing in God.

The weakness of many conservative religious people is that many of them readily ignore the important
issues of labor rights, environmental justice, combating racism, ending sexism, and fighting imperialism
overseas. Some of them falsely want equality for some people and not for others which contradicts the
premise of the Golden Rule (or treating your neighbor as yourself. In other words, equality and justice for
all means for all. Many conservative religious people embrace bigotry, xenophobia, and hatred of any
progressive contribution to human civilization). Also, you can’t coerce people to follow your viewpoint as
people have the right to voluntarily believe or not believe in your views. It is not morally right to jail
someone if he or she is ideologically opposed to your views. You can peacefully agree to disagree. Many
religious conservatives allied with economic conservatives and anti-Communist radicals to oppose
government spending plus advance a hawkish foreign policy (that grows defense spending). This alliance
was one major catalyst in bringing Ronald Reagan to be President by 1980. By 1978, affirmative was
limited by the Supreme Court via California v. Bakke to make race as one factor in admission cases while
eliminating racial quotas.

The very controversial (and Academy Award winning plus Emmy


Award winning) Scared Straight! documentary came out in 1978.
It featured young kids, who were delinquents, being exposed to
prison life in hardcore ways. The prisoners literally were trying to
save the lives of the youth featured in this film. This documentary
outlined in some cases the first time explicit profanity was shown
on network television without censors. The result of subsequent
shows have mixed results involving helping kids escape the life
of crime. Ultimately, stopping crime relies on complex, diverse
solutions (not permanent, mass incarceration).
Jimmy Carter dealt with foreign policy issues too. Jimmy Carter wanted a foreign policy that respected
human rights internationally. He wanted other nations to end torture, stop the abuse of human rights,
and end political repression. He desired to fight evil and stop the imprisonment of people without trial.
Jimmy Carter at first continued the detente policy with the Soviet Union. He met with Leonid Brezhnev
and promoted the SALT II Treaty. Many in the Senate opposed SALT II since they believed that the
national security of America would be in jeopardy. Later, in December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded
Afghanistan since Afghanistan back then was ruled by a socialist government and the Soviets wanted to
prop it up. Carter withdrew from the SALT II Treaty and banned Americans from participating in the
1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Elitists like the late Trilateral Commission member Zbigniew
Brzezinski influenced President Carter to express a more hawkish tone against the Soviet Union.
Brzezinski hated the Soviets and aided the Mujahedeen to fight in Afghanistan via the CIA’s Operation
Cyclone. Osama bin Laden was a member of the Mujahedeen movement. President Carter wanted human
rights to be advanced in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. These developing nations in those regions were
in the Cold War history. Carter wanted to ally with nations that treated its citizens very good. President
Jimmy Carter said such words in the Commencement Address at Notre Dame University in 1977:

"...For too many years, we've been willing to adopt the flawed and erroneous principles and tactics of our
adversaries, sometimes abandoning our own values for theirs. We've fought fire with fire, never thinking
that fire is better quenched with water...I believe that it is a mistake to undervalue the power of words and
of the ideas that words embody."

Nicaragua was fueled by the Somoza family filled with dictators. Carter wanted that changed. The leftist
Sandinistas in 1978 rebelled against the Sandinistas. General Anastasio Somoza ruled Nicaragua back then.
Carter withdrew support from Somoza because of his brutal dictatorship. General Somoza fled since he
had little power, and the Sandinistas came into power. Carter wanted to improve relations in Cuba too.
Fidel Castro ruled Cuba since 1959 and he was a Stalinist communist.

Relations among Cuban and America became worse by 1980. The reason was that Castro wanted anyone
to leave the island from the port of Miami to leave. The catch was that Castro wanted criminals to leave
from the island’s prisons. The Mariel situation was controversial. Less than 20 of the people transported
had spent time in prison. Many folks were political prisoners. Americans in many cases disagreed with
Castro. Some viewed Castro as having no concern for the welfare of the emigrants. Carter returned the
Panama Canal Zone to Panama. This policy was right and warranted, but he was criticized for it by
reactionaries. The Senate narrowly supported the decision by 1978 and gradually the canal was controlled
by Panama. One of President Carter’s greatest accomplishments was his historic peace agreement
negotiated by him among Israel and Egypt. Egypt once didn’t agree with Israel’s existence in 1948.
President Anwar el-Sadat wanted better relations in 1977. Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat and Israeli
Prime Minister Menachem Begin met in Jerusalem to negotiate a peace agreement. Carter invited both
men in Camp David to make a deal. Camp David is a Presidential retreat. After nearly two weeks, Begin
and Sadat agreed to have the Camp David Accords. This was about Egypt recognizing the nation of Israel's
existence while Israel withdrew its troops from the Sinai Peninsula (which it had controlled after the 1967
Six Day War). It was a historic time. Later, another disaster came. Carter wanted the agreement to be a
springboard to promote cooperation in the Middle East. Later, his Presidency would end in part by the
events of Iran.

From the AP

This image showed one blindfolded


American hostage with his Iranian
captors outside the U.S. embassy in
Tehrān on November 9, 1979. Carter
would end oil imports and stop
Iranian assets in America. The April
1980 military mission failed to free
the hostages. The incident would last
for 444 days until January of 1981.

For decades since the 1950’s, America supported the dictator called the Shah in Iran. Iranian protests
against him increased by the 1970’s. The Shah left Iran since he had cancer. This was in January of 1979.
Later, the fundamentalist clerics supported the Ayatollah Khomeini to rule Iran. Carter allowed the Shah
to get medical aid in America. Iranian students protested this decision. Later, some Iranian students
invaded the U.S. Embassy and kidnapped 66 Americans as hostages. Khomeini ran the Iranian
government. Khomeini and his supporters wanted to defy America. The hostage crisis dominated the last
part of Carter’s Presidency. This crisis caused many Americans to see that foreign policy wasn’t just about
the Soviet Union. It dealt with the Middle East too. Few Americans were released early. Later, the rest
would stay for 444 days. It would only be after Ronald Reagan would be inaugurated at January of 1981
when the rest of the American hostages would leave Iran. By 1980, the conservative movement grew and
reached into new heights of power. At 1964, the conservative movement was low in power after the defeat
of Barry Goldwater. That is why the conservatives planned to establish a long term organizational power
base to get the White House by 1980.

New Music Rising


The decade of the 1970’s included amazing music. It showcased the talent of people of numerous genres.
The early 1970’s in many respects had the continuation of music in style from the late 1960’s. Later, the
decade of the 1970’s had songs involving conscious issues, fun, dancing, romance, adventure, creative
power, and other inspirational qualities. There was funk, smooth jazz, soul, rock, heavy metal, rhythm and
blues, and disco. There was the rise of punk too by the mid to late 1970’s. In this decade, there was the
birth of hip hop. By 1970, Diana Ross has left the Supremes. The Supremes is the most successful and
influential women group of all time. Diana Ross started her solo career in the early 1970's along with
developing her own film career. Austin, Texas grows as a destination for music festivals, especially
involving country music. Heavy metal is popularized by group like Lep Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
Charlie Gillett’s “The Sound of the City” is the first comprehensive book on the history of R& B and
rock. Latino artists like El Chicano promoted music with hits like Viva Tirado. Francis Grasso opened a
disco in New York City. Miles Davis showed music. Digital synthesizers were formed in 1970. The Stooges
advance punk rock and hardcore. Glam Rock was created by the early 1970’s with artists like David Bowie,
New York Dolls, and Lou Reed. Haitian music was growing. By the early the 1970’s, the Philly sound of
soul would take America by storm with artists like The O’Jays and the Blue Notes with their music. Due
to the emphasis on sound and arrangement and the relative anonymity of many of the style's players,
Philadelphia soul is often considered a producers' genre. Bunny Sigler, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
were credited with developing the genre. Artists with the Philadelphia soul sound also included people
like: Patti Labelle, the Delfonics, Lou Rawls, the Three Degrees, Barbara Mason, Dee Dee Sharp, Teddy
Pendergrass, the Spinners, and other musicians.

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar is very popular by 1971 too. George Harrison’s music caught
on. Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is released in 1971. It is a critically acclaimed album that talks about
race, ecology, family, the Vietnam War, and other important issues. It is the bestselling album in
Motown’s history. Marvin Gaye was mourning the death of Tammi Terrell after she suffered a brain
tumor. Marvin Gaye had depression and considered leaving the music business permanently. Yet, he got
up to record a prominent album that touched on so many issues. Portia K. Maultsby organized the first
African American popular music ensemble at a university (Indiana University) that constituted a credit
course.

There can be no celebration of music without celebrating Soul Train without question. When I was a
child during the 1980's and the 1990's, I watched Soul Train all of the time every Saturday. It was a TV
ritual among many of us who are African Americans (and people who are lovers of music in general). Don
Cornelius created Soul Train as a means for him to show the creativity, the rhythm, the beauty, and the
strength of black people. He didn't do this alone. His family, dancers, Gladys Knight, and other people did
courageous work in building Soul Train up as being an iconic part of musical culture. The show SOUL!
was a predecessor of Soul Train with guests and music as well. Soul Train brought not only music
throughout audiences worldwide. It brought history lessons about black people, it gave diverse people the
opportunities to express themselves (with dancers like Damita Jo Freeman, Darnell Williams, Rerun,
Rosie Perez, Cheryl Song, Jody Watley, Jeffery Daniel, etc.), and it showed Blackness in its diverse majesty.
The group Shalamar had its start from Soul Train.

To be black is to be diverse in our speech, in our backgrounds, and in our souls. Our souls are priceless,
and the Soul Train MusicAwards to this very day has been a great promoter of the contributions of
excellent artists. Don Cornelius went from Chicago to Los Angeles to display his gifts to the world. Many
documentaries and shows celebrate the vibrant legacy of Soul Train like the documentary, "Soul Train:
The Hippest Trip in America" (from Vh1) and the recent miniseries American Soul (from BET).

There can be no Soul Train Aretha Franklin gave her classic Soul Train’s scramble puzzle
without the Soul Train dance line. performance at Soul Train to board is one iconic part of the
In places worldwide from perform the song of “Jump.” She Soul Train experience. Couples
graduations to weddings, people was a great vocalist and social would go out to create the name
have expressed themselves in activist for all of the years of her of an artist or a name under a
dance lines to a myriad of songs. life. Her presence in Soul Train certain amount of time. People
The dance line is fun, exciting, and took place in 1976. The Queen of finished the puzzle during the
full of energy. Soul’s legendary status is eternal. beginning of new music playing.

Soul Train as a show lasted from 1971 to 2006. Real music is timeless, and the legacy of Soul Train's
permanent influence reaches us greatly. Like always:

Peace, Love, and Soul.


The Blaxploitation era dealt with new music in the black popular culture scene as well. One of the greatest
artists of that era was the singer Isaac Hayes. Jimmy Cliff in 1972 has success in his music and helps to bring
more American awareness about reggae and Jamaican rock. Peter Tosh was one of the greatest reggae
artists in history with albums like Equal Rights from 1977. Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire is an international hit
too. Marley was another reggae artist who helped to internationalize reggae music. Myrrh Records is the
first Christian rock record label. Disco’s first hit was Manu Dibango’s Soul Makossa. Hip hop would be
invented by 1973 by DJ Kool Herc. Olivia Records, the first record label run entirely by women, is formed.
The same year, the first women's music festival is held at Sacramento State University. In 1974, Gloria
Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” would be the first disco hit to reach the charts. The NEA supported
jazz. By 1975, Bruce Springsteen goes into another level of popularity with his Born to Run album. He
reenergized rock and roll music. Funk albums by Kool and the Gang (Spirit of the Boogie) and Earth,
Wind and Fire (That's the Way of the World) are major successes on both the rhythm and blues and pop
music charts. Parliament's Mothership Connection is a funk milestone, introducing "new approaches to
varying moods, textures and timbres that symbolize... concepts of heterogeneity and spontaneity in black
cultural expression.”

Gospel music increases its influence. Aretha Franklin made numerous gospel albums, and Edwin Reuben
Hawkins was one of the greatest gospel artists of the 20th century. Sallie Martin was the Mother of Gospel
music. Clara Mae Ward was another legendary gospel artist who changed the world in many positive ways.
Clara Ward was part of the Ward singers, and she was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There is also the
growth of punk rock. The Wiz had music with an all-black cast being an example of the further growth of
musicals shown by black Americans. The Wiz play had Stephanie Mills, and the movie version of the Wiz
had Michael Jackson including Diana Ross. The Jackson Five was a powerhouse of talent throughout the
1970's and beyond as well. In 1976, music continues to grow and then Elvis Presley died in 1977. Bee Gees
release their music. By 1978, the emcee increases its role in hip hop just like the DJ. Sony introduced the
Walkman in 1978. It helps to make a portable cassette player more accessible for fans of music. Blondie in
1979 has the first video album with Eat to the Beat. After an effort led by Kenneth Gamble, President
Jimmy Carter designated June National Black Music Month. Berry appeared at the White House at the
first official celebration of the month by 1979.

Famous 1970’s Rock Bands

Creedance Clearwater Revival Led Zeppelin Fleetwood Mac The Clash


This musical group used the This English rock band This group was They were part of the
styles of roots rock, swamp constituted of Jimmy created in 1967. original wave of British
rock,and blues rock. They were Page, Robert Plant, John They sold more than punk rock of the
from the Bay Area, but they Paul Jones, and John 100 million reocrds 1970’s. They were
played in a Southern rock style. Bonham. They achieved a worldwide. They created as a band in
They also played in the 1969 lot of commercial successs won many awards 1976. They contributed
Woodstock Festival in Upstate during the late 1960’s and because of their to the post punk and
New York. The group was 1970’s. This group was music. new wave movements
inducted into the Rock and Roll also influenced by the that came about.
Hall of Fame in 1993. blues.
Disco
The music of disco was created in America, but its influence is global. It has been invented by the late
1960’s and grew into a higher level by the 1970’s. Disco existed as an alternative to rock music, and it is the
music of the people. It was accessible, popular, and it broke down barriers. It helped to popularize dances
like the Bump and the Hustle. Disco has four on the floor beats. Its basslines are syncopated. It has horn,
an electric piano, synthesizers, and electric rhythm guitars. Many of the famous disco artists are Donna
Summer, the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, Freda Payne, Gap Band, Bonnie Pointer, Carol Douglas, Joni
Sledge, The Jackson 5, Chic, etc. Movies like Saturday Night Fever in 1977 described the power of disco.
Studio 54 in New York City had people among all walks of life including celebrities where they danced,
had fun, and were involved in other activities. There was a drug subculture in the disco atmosphere were
some folks used cocaine and Quaaludes. Disco clubs had sexual promiscuity as common place as a
reflection of the sexual revolution. The baby boom generation accelerated the growth of disco. To this
very day, disco is a key influential foundation of modern pop, house, and electronic dance music.

Disco comes from the French word of discotheque or the “library of phonograph records.” That term has
been used as for nightclubs in Paris. New York City is considered the birthplace of disco. NYC has been
home to many progressive movements. By the 1960’s, America saw the Civil Rights Movement, rebellions,
assassinations, the Vietnam War, etc. By the 1970’s, there was the feminist movement, other social
movements, and a new demographic shift in America. In New York City, there was white flight and more
immigrants coming into NYC who were Asians, Latinos, and Black Afro-Caribbeans. The city struggled
because of a surplus of unskilled workers, but no jobs available for them to fill. Deindustrialization came
bout in NYC including other large cities, and service jobs replaced industrial jobs. In Philadelphia, R& B
musicians and audiences from the Black, Italian, and Latino communities adopted several traits from the
hippie and psychedelia subcultures. They included using music venues with a loud, overwhelming sound,
free-form dancing, trippy lighting, colorful costumes, and the use of hallucinogen drugs. Sly and the
Family Stone influenced proto-disco acts just like Isaac Hayes, Willie Hutch, and the Philadelphia soul
sound.

This is the disco group Chic. Chic's music is ahead of its time and still influences music today.

Early songs with disco elements include "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes, (1966), "Soul
Makossa" by Manu Dibango, (1972), "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder (1972), "Keep on Truckin'" by Eddie
Kendricks (1973) and "The Love I Lost" by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (1973). Also "Love Train" by
the O'Jays (1972), with M.F.S.B. as the backup band, topped the Billboard pop chart in March 1973, and
has been called "disco." Disco music reached the mainstream by 1974. Barry White and the Three Degrees
had their music in full display. Italian compose Giorgio Moroder has used disco sounds as well. The Hues
Corporation's 1974 "Rock the Boat", a US number-one single and million-seller, was one of the early disco
songs to reach number one. The same year saw the release of "Kung Fu Fighting", performed by Carl
Douglas and produced by Biddu, which reached number one in both the UK and US, and became the
best-selling single of the year and one of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records sold
worldwide, helping to popularize disco to a great extent.

Gloria Gaynor used disco records too. She made the song of “I Will Survive.” She was born in Newark,
New Jersey. Later, she has displayed Christian music. Van McCoy’s 1975’s “The Hustle” and Labelle’s
music increased disco’s power. KC and the Sunshine Band from Miami shown disco anthem like That’s
the Way, Keep It Comin’ Love, etc. Donna Summer was an excellent singer and made songs that made
some call her the Queen of Disco. In 1977, Donna Summer, Moroder and Bellotte further released "I Feel
Love", as the B side of "Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)", which combined Disco with its
subgenre Hi-NRG and electronic music. It was a massive worldwide success. Donna Summer made
MacArthur Park in 1978. Le Chic made disco music too. Le Chic was ahead of its time with its beats, guitar
playing, and sound. Many of their early songs can be released today and have great support. Diverse artists
like Sylvester, the Bee Gees, the Village People, the Jackson Five, and other artists made contributions in
disco music. Disco was popular as a means for escape from rising crime, the scandals, and the economic
problems of the 1970’s.

Also, the disco movement was a way for many people of diverse backgrounds to have tolerance, and
increase respect of their human dignity. It is no secret that disco was supported heavily by Black
Americans, Latino Americans, members of the LBGTQIA+ community, Italian Americans, and other
Americans plus people worldwide. The backlash against disco came from some rock fans heavily. They felt
that disco was consumerist and too escapist. They were ultimately jealous of disco. Also, many haters of
disco were racists, sexists, xenophobes, and many were homophobic. On July 12, 1979, in Chicago, people
burned disco records at the Comiskey Park. There was a riot and the police made arrests. After that, disco
temporarily lost popularity. Of the handful of groups not taken down by disco's fall from favor, Kool and
the Gang, Donna Summer, the Jacksons—and Michael Jackson in particular—stand out. In spite of
having helped define the disco sound early on, they or many artists continued to make popular and
danceable, if more refined, songs for yet another generation of music fans in the 1980's and beyond.

Earth, Wind and Fire also survived the disco backlash and continued to produce successful singles at
roughly the same pace for several more years, in addition to an even longer string of R& B chart hits that
lasted into the 1990's. However, disco music remained relatively successful in the early 1980's, with songs
like Irene Cara's "Flashdance... What a Feeling", Michael Jackson's "Thriller", K.C. and the Sunshine Band's
last major single, "Give It Up", and Madonna's first album had strong disco influences. In the 1990's and in
the 21st century, disco and its legacy became more accepted by music artists and listeners alike, as more
songs and films were released that referenced disco. Examples of songs during this time that were
influenced by disco included Deee-Lite's "Groove Is in the Heart" (1990), U2's "Lemon" (1993), Blur's
"Girls & Boys" (1994) plus "Entertain Me" (1995), Pulp's "Disco 2000" (1995), and Jamiroquai's "Canned
Heat" (1999). There are films such as Boogie Nights (1997) and The Last Days of Disco (1998) that featured
primarily disco soundtracks. Disco influenced songs continue to thrive in the 21st century.

Donna Summer (1948-2012), in this picture, was


performing MacArthur Park in 1978. She once toured
with a theater group in Germany. She is also known
as Donna Gaines. Donna Summer could sing disco,
Gospel, soul, and R&B. She had one of the greatest
voices in human history.
President Barack Obama
Coretta Scott King and Stevie Here, Stevie Wonder is celebrating presented Stevie Wonder
Wonder both fought racism, music with her daughter Aisha with the Gershwin Prize in
discrimination, and apartheid. Morris. Aisha Morris is a great singer 2009. Also, Stevie Wonder
They united to promote the in her own right. received a Lifetime
national holiday to celebrate Achievement Award, an
the life and legacy of the late Academy Award for Best
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Song, and been inducted
into both the Rock and Roll
plus Songwriters halls of
fame. Stevie Wonder is a
winner of the Polar Music
Prize.

As a lifelong activist, he helped


Being almost 70 years old, to make Dr. Martin Luther
Stevie Wonder has been a King’s birthday a national
human being that has touched holiday in America. He
lives with his music and promoted clean water for the
activism. He is one of the most residents of Flint, Michigan. The
successful pioneers of music of Songs in the Key of Life album
all time. He joined Motown was released in September 1976.
when he was a child. As a Universally, music from Stevie He has made music in the 1980’s,
teenager, he made numerous hit defined the 1970’s and beyond. the 1990’;s, and throughout the
records. By the same of his He is a father, a grandfather, an 21st century. He has 25 Grammy
adulthood (during the 1970’s), instrumentalist, and a human Awards. He is blessed to have
he made consecutive classic being who is a genius. He is one of nine children. His wife now is
albums. Songs like Signed, the greatest writers in history Tomeeka Bracy. Musicians from
Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours, involving song making. He has every genre appreciate his
Superstition, Sir Duke, You are made one of the greatest albums contributions to humanity.
the Sunshine of My Life, I Just From his compassion to his
in history being: “Songs in the Key
Called to Say I Love, etc. are of Life.” great works, Stevie Wonder is a
soundtracks of our lives. very iconic black man.
The Birth of Hip Hop
Hip hop is an American musical, cultural art form. It was created in the Bronx, NYC by 1973 by Kool
Herc. Hip hop uses DJs, lyrics, sound machines, and other instruments. Hip hop is made up of many
elements like graffiti, beatboxing, fashion, and rapping. Bronx, NYC by the 1970’s experienced
deindustrialization, blackouts, neglect, gangs, violence, and poverty. Hip hop artists back then wanted to
advance a sense of belonging among their communities. Hip hop combines the sampling of old school
tracks with the lyrical content of the environments of urban areas, etc. Hip hop has been influenced by the
blues, jazz, ragtime, funk, and disco. Keith Wiggins of the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five coined
the term hip hop. DJ Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell was born in Jamaica. He used DJing as a means to
promote hip hop in his high rise apartment at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. On August 11, 1973 DJ Kool Herc
was the DJ at his sister's back-to-school party. He extended the beat of a record by using two record
players, isolating the percussion "breaks" by using a mixer to switch between the two records. Herc's
experiments with making music with record players became what we now know as breaking or
"scratching." Early hip hop had the DJ and the MC (master of ceremonies) urging the crowd and telling
jokes. As early as 1925, Earl Tucker did breakdancing. Even in 1965, Muhammad Ali rhymed in a record to
predict his victory over Sonny Liston. The song called, “Here Comes the Judge” by Pigmeat Markham in
1968 had rhymes. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, black Americans did similar rhymes too. There is an old
video of the The Jubalaires - The Preacher And The Bear in 1941 showing a rhyme scene too. Throughout
human history there were griots and speech makers giving voice to their concerns in lyrical power.
By the early 1970’s, the Lost Poets used spoken words which was one large precursor to modern hip hop.
By 1974, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa played hip hop at
block parties in the Bronx. Coke La Rock used rhymes in 1975. DJ Grand Wizard Theodore accidentally
invented the scratch in 1975. In 1977, The Rock Steady Crew (the most respected b-boy crew in history)
was formed by the original four members: JoJo, Jimmy Dee, Easy Mike, and P-Body. In 1978, Kurtis Blow
hired Run from Run DMC as his DJ. Kurtis Blow was the first rapper signed to a major record deal in
1978 and this was the time when emcees had a greater focus. Grandmaster Caz had battles too. Early hip
hop had innovators who were Latinos too. In 1979, Grandmaster Flash formed one of the most influential
rap groups ever, The Furious 5: Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler), Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Kidd
Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Raheim (Guy Williams), and Mr. Ness (Eddie
Morris). Around the same time, another great rap crew – The Cold Crush Four – was formed, comprising
of Charlie Chase, Tony Tone, Grand Master Caz, Easy Ad, JDL, and Almighty KG.

Sister Sylvia Robinson (nee


Vanterpool) is the Mother of Hip From
Hop. She was a singer (she made Getty
records since 1950), a musician, a
record producer, and a record label
executive. She made history many
times. She was the person who
propelled songs like Rapper’s
Delight (1979) by Sugarhill Gang
and the Message (1982) by
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious
Give. She was born in Harlem, New
York City. She lived from 1935 to
2011. She was involved in Sugar
Hill Records and found success with
Naughty by Nature (these artists are
from New Jersey).

Rest in Power Sister Sylvia


Robinson
Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) was one The Sequence is a great all-women hip hop
of the pioneers of hip hop DJings, cutting, group. It existed since the 1970’s. It is made
scratching, and mixing. He and the Furious up of Angie Stone, Cheryl Cook, and
Five was one of the greatest hip hop groups Gwendolyn Chisolm. This group is the first
in history. He was born in Bridgetow, Ladies of hip hop, and they were the first
Barbados, and he grew up in the Bronx, Southern hip hop group. They grew up in
NYC. He can backspin and using the punch the Saxon Homes Projects in Columbia,
phrasing technique. He can scratch too. South Carolina. In September 2011, Cheryl
Grandmaster Flash is a living legend and an Cook and Gwendolyn Chisolm released a
icon of hip hop music. single entitled "On Our Way to the
Movies.” The Sequence broke down
barriers and continues to inspire artists
worldwide.

Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper's Delight” would go on to become the first known, mainstream rap hit, reaching
#36 on Billboard in 1979. Kurtis Blow released Christmas Rappin on Mercury Records back in 1979.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 had music. The first hip hop radio show on WHBI was Mr. Magic’s
Rap Attack. Kurtis Blow appeared on Soul Train to perform The Breaks. It sold more than one million
copies. Rapture from Blondie had Fab 5 Freddy. Debbie Harry sang. Hip hop grew into more heights by
1980.
The Election of 1980

The election of 1980 was one of the most important elections in American history. It was an election of
change when the conservative movement finally reached the White House with their own leader of
Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was once a New Deal Democrat, and then he became a conservative
Republican by the 1950’s. Back during the 1960's, he opposed Medicare and falsely accused it of being a
precursor to socialized medicine. He defended Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Presidential campaign and was the
Governor of California. He ran for President in 1968 and in 1976. His 1976 campaign almost won him the
Republican nomination. The 1970’s had issues of low economic growth, high inflation, high interest rates,
and an energy crisis. On July 15, 1979, Carter gave a nationally televised address in which he identified what
he believed to be a "crisis of confidence" among the American people. This came to be known as his
"malaise" speech, although Carter never used the word in the speech. The Democrats were divided.

President Jimmy Carter by 1980 was unpopular and Edward Kennedy ran against him during the
Democratic primaries. In the Democratic primary, President Jimmy Carter faced Senator Ted Kennedy of
Massachusetts, Governor Jerry Brown of California, and others. Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter were
leaders in the primary. Their campaigns were bitter against each other. After defeating Kennedy in 24 of 34
primaries, Carter entered the party's convention in New York in August with 60 percent of the delegates
pledged to him on the first ballot. Still, Kennedy refused to drop out. At the convention, after a futile last-
ditch attempt by Edward Kennedy to alter the rules to free delegates from their first-ballot pledges, Carter
was re-nominated with 2,129 votes to 1,146 for Kennedy. Vice President Walter Mondale was also re-
nominated. In his acceptance speech, President Jimmy Carter warned that Reagan's conservatism posed a
threat to world peace and progressive social welfare programs from the New Deal to the Great Society.
Edward Kennedy gave a historic, powerful, "The Dream Shall Never Die" speech at the Democratic
convention too. In that speech, Edward Kennedy defended liberalism as a philosophy and as a way of life:
"...Among you, my golden friends across this land, I have listened and learned. I have listened to Kenny
Dubois, a glassblower in Charleston, West Virginia, who has ten children to support but has lost his job
after 35 years, just three years short of qualifying for his pension. I have listened to the Trachta family who
farm in Iowa and who wonder whether they can pass the good life and the good earth on to their children.
I have listened to the grandmother in East Oakland who no longer has a phone to call her grandchildren
because she gave it up to pay the rent on her small apartment. I have listened to young workers out of
work, to students without the tuition for college, and to families without the chance to own a home. I
have seen the closed factories and the stalled assembly lines of Anderson, Indiana and South Gate,
California, and I have seen too many, far too many idle men and women desperate to work. I have seen
too many, far too many working families desperate to protect the value of their wages from the ravages of
inflation...For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been
our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never
die..."
die

The Republican primary had many men who ran like George H. W. Bush, John B. Anderson, Phil Crane,
Bob Dole, John Connally, Howard Baker, Larry Pressler, Lowell P. Weicker Jr., Harold Stassen, and Ben
Fernandez. Ronald Reagan easily defeated most of the field in the primary. His strongest challenge was
from the former CIA Director George H. W. Bush. Bush won the Michigan and Pennsylvania primaries,
but he didn’t have enough votes to win. In that time, Reagan was famous for giving the words of "I am
paying for this microphone, Mr. Green." Reagan defeated George H. W. Bush of Texas, John B. Anderson
of Illinois, and other candidates to win the Republican nomination. Anderson later entered the race as an
independent candidate with the Democratic Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey as his running mate.
Reagan won the nomination on the first round at the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit,
Michigan, in July, and then chose George H. W. Bush, his top rival, as his running mate. Ronald Reagan
campaigned for more defense spending, supply side economics, and a balanced budget. Carter said that
Reagan was a right wing extremist who would cut Medicare and Social Security. John Anderson portrayed
himself as a moderate Republican as an alternative to Reagan’s conservatism. He wanted to gain anti-
Carter voters. The Libertarian Party nominated Ed Clark for President and David Koch for Vice
President. They received almost one million votes and were on the ballot in all 50 states plus Washington,
D.C. Koch, a co-owner of Koch Industries, pledged part of his personal fortune to the campaign. Carter
saw high unemployment, high inflation, and the Iran hostage crisis. Jimmy Carter ran with his running
mate Walter Mondale. In August, after the Republican National Convention, Ronald Reagan gave a
campaign speech at the annual Neshoba County Fair on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where
three civil rights workers were murdered in 1964.

Ronald Reagan was the first presidential candidate ever to campaign at the fair. Reagan famously
announced, "Programs like education and others should be turned back to the states and local
communities with the tax sources to fund them. I believe in states' rights. I believe in people doing as
much as they can at the community level and the private level.” Reagan’s Southern Strategy approach was
racist and disrespectful, and it worked to convinced many voters to align with him. The truth is that there
is nothing wrong with federal programs helping humanity. Reagan later claimed that he wanted civil
rights enforcement by using economic zones to help with urban renewal (when he talked to the Urban
League in NYC). The problem is that urban renewal doesn’t work and economic zones are slick privatized
entities meant to benefit select corporations not the masses of the people. Reagan made gaffes too like
falsely claiming that trees caused pollution. The debate of Reagan and Carter was important and highly
watched. Reagan talking about if people were better off four years ago caused his poll numbers to increase
among registered voters (from trailing Carter to leading). Leon Jaworski and Eugene McCarty endorsed
Reagan plus the NRA. Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois in 1911. The election between Reagan and
Carter was close until the only debate among the two men.

The vast majority of the African American community opposed Ronald Reagan, because of his far right
views, his hostility to the social safety net, and his appeals to racists overtly in trying to get votes from
them. A small number of black conservatives and neoconservatives supported the Reagan campaign back
then like Thomas Sowell, Dr. Nathan Wright (who was a conservative Black Power advocate), Walter E.
Williams, and others. Even Ralph Abernathy supported Reagan in 1980 and then he rejected his support
by 1984 (because of his record on civil rights and the economy). Mrs. Coretta Scott King took a firm stand
against Reagan on ideological grounds. The NAACP and black establishment groups readily wanted
Carter to be re-elected.

These are some of the reasons for the Ronald Reagan landslide. Reagan won 50.7 percent of the popular
vote. Reagan received the highest number of electoral votes ever won by a non-incumbent presidential
candidate. In the simultaneous Congressional elections, Republicans won control of the United States
Senate for the first time since 1955. Carter won 41% of the vote but carried just six states and Washington,
D.C. Anderson won 6.6% of the popular vote, and he performed best among liberal Republican voters
dissatisfied with Reagan. John Anderson found the most support in New England, fueled by liberal and
moderate Republicans who felt that Reagan was too far to the right and with voters who normally leaned
Democratic but were dissatisfied with the policies of the Carter Administration. Reagan, then 69, was the
oldest person to ever be elected president until Donald Trump's victory in 2016, who was 70. Carter and
Reagan were Christians, but Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority lobbying group used their influence to cause
Reagan to win two-thirds of the white evangelical vote. The election of 1980 showed the new electoral
power of the Sun Belt and suburbs. Parties became more polarized. Many liberal Republicans and
conservative Democrats either left parties or changed party affiliations. Carter’s own aides criticized him
for not making an alternative economic plan when people knew of Reagan’s conservative economic plans.
Carter’s moderate views and mixed record contributed to his defeat in 1980. The irony is that after
President Carter lost the 1980 election, Carter would be more progressive and further became an active
participant in many causes to help humanity (from Habitat for Humanity and to helping human rights
causes). The Republicans in 1980 dropped their once support of the ERA. The election of 1980 realigned
many realities in America. Reaganism devastated many communities of America including the black
community. 1980 was the beginning of not only right wing extremism further running amok in America.
It also signaled a wake-up call for progressive forces that you can’t take anything for granted.

Appendix A: The Culture of the 1970's

The culture of the 1970’s was all about free expression and radically changing television. People wore bell
bottoms, bikinis, and designer suits. Many Brothers and Sisters wore Afros. Some were in clubs to
celebrate disco or rock music. The Sister in the far right above is Johnnie Hill, who acted in the film Velvet
Smooth. Also, audiences loved the ballads of soul, funk, and R&B music too. Hip hop was in its infancy.
Television started to change. The 1970’s, in America, brought the first time when explicit content and
explicit political issues were shown in widespread shows constantly. All in the Family was released on
January 12, 1971. It featured confrontations between the conservative Archie Bunker (played by Carroll
O’Connor, who was a liberal in real life) and his liberal son-in law Michael Stivic (played by Rob Reiner.
We already know that Rob Reiner is a liberal in real life). Jean Stapleton played Edith Bunker and Sally
Struthers placed Gloria Stivic. The show had language that was taboo, and it tackled issues like abortion,
censorship, swingers, the Vietnam War, race, sex, marriage, religion, anti-Semitism, infidelity, miscarriages,
menopause, rape, impotence, homosexuality, breast cancer, women’s liberation, divorce, etc. The show
was nearly cancelled because of its language. Yet, Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin (both producers of the
show) fought to allow it to stay on the air as part of the First Amendment. Good Times, the Jeffersons,
and Sanford and Son, and other shows outlined the diversity of the African American experience during
the 1970’s. Good Times presented a strong black father and a strong black mother raising black children in
a poor neighborhood at Chicago.
The late Sister Esther Rolle is one of the greatest actresses of all time. She was
in the historic show Good Times, and she actively wanted a black father on
the show. Esther Rolle performed in the actions of theater and dancing as
well. Esther Rolle graduated from Spellman University in 1976. She collected
art, and was a great advocate for the cultivation of black culture.

Rest in Power Sister Esther Rolle.


The Blaxploitation movie Cultural Revolution was abundant
during the 1970's. I saw many of such films when I was a child
during the 1990's. Foxy Brown, Shaft, Coffy, and other films
showed our confidence, our activism, and our strength.
Blaxploitation movies have a complex legacy filled with great
concepts and legitimate critiques from people. Sister Tamara
Dobson played Cleopatra Jones in the movie series that showed a Pam Grier inspired women to
strong black woman stopping crime. I saw both movies of recognize that they can be
Cleopatra Jones too. The movie Cleopatra Jones was written and unapologetically bold without
produced by the African American actor Max Julien. apologies. This is why men and
women admire her. Pam Grier is a
strong black woman. When I was a
Women were prominently shown not only as secondary players, child during the 1990’s, I did have a
but leading actresses in TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore crush on her.
show which premiered on September 19, 1970. Monday Night
Football was shown on September 21, 1970 with hosts like Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, and Frank
Gifford. PBS shown new shows like Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, etc. Coca Cola shown
commercials promoting unity. In 1971, the United States banned radio and television cigarette
advertisements. The Flip Wilson Shown, the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and other variety shows
were common place until the late 1970’s. MASH won awards and described the life of the Korean War
atmosphere. Maude, School House Rock, and other shows described the diversity of 1970’s culture. In
1975, Bill Gates found Microsoft, which in time would dominate the home computer operation system
market. In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne found Apple Inc. People celebrated the
Bicentennial in 1976. The first home personal computer called Commodore PET was released for retail
sale. Not to mention that Roots expanded American genealogical research.

Star Wars (1977) Roots (1977) Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
Star Wars is a science Roots expanded our Lady Sings the Blues described the life of
fiction movie that dealt curiosity about family the late legend Sister Billie Holiday. The
with authoritarian history. It made more greatness of this film is that it didn’t
institutions, fights among Americans realize the whitewash or sugarcoat her life. It
good and evil, and the brutal nature of slavery and showed her life as is, and the movie
strength of the human the resilient power of the made us aware of the deep compassion
spirit. black American community. found in Billie Holiday’s soul. She was a
strong and courageous black woman.
Roots was the story of Alex Haley who traced his ancestry back to Kunte Kinte on his mother’s side of his
family. Alex Haley's parents were Simon Haley and Bertha G. Palmer. Bertha G. Palmer's parents were
William Edward Palmer (1872-1926) and Cynthia Lea Babica Murray (1875-1949). Cynthia's parents were
Tom Lea Murray (1833-1903) and Irene Holt (1841-1908). Tom Lea Murray's parents were George Lea
(1806-1890) and Matilda McGregor Murray (1806-1878). George Lea's parents were Tom Lea (1786-1845)
and Kizzy Waller (1790-1860). Kizzy Waller's parents were Kunta Kinte (1750-1830) and Belle Waller (1747-
1788). Kunta Kinte's parents were Omoro Kinte (1720-1780) and Binta Kebba (1725-?). Omoro Kinte's
parents were Kairaba Kunte Kinte (1690-1770) and Yaisa Kinte (1700-?). On Alex Haley's father side, his
parents were Simon Haley (1892-1973) and Bertha G. Palmer (1897-1932). Simon Haley's parents were Alec
Haley (1845-1918) and Queen Haley (1858-1941). Alec Haley's parents were William H. Baugh (1820-1895)
and Sabrina Viney 'Mullins" (1816-1870). Roots was a miniseries that was emotional and powerful. It made
African Americans more inspired to study our roots or ancestry. Roots showed beatings, migrations, and
the resiliency of black American people whose ancestors came from Africa originally. It won many Awards
and has been praised to this very day.

By Timothy
ICONIC ATHLETIC MOMENTS OF THE 1970’s

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th Muhammad Ali defeated
homerun, which broke Babe Ruth’s One of the most George Foreman at Zaire on
homerun record. Aaron would go on to courageous athletes (who the date of October 30, 1974
make 755 homeruns in his MLB career. helped her community (the match was called “The
too) of all time is Sister Rumble in the Jungle). Many
Willye White (1939-2007). people counted Ali out, but
She was the first American Muhammad Ali knocked out
track and field athlete to Foreman in the 8th round. Ali
have involvement in five earned his Heavyweight
Olympics from 1956 to Championship title.
1972. She was a long
jumper and a sprinter.

On May 8, 1970, Willis Reed had a


torn muscle. He couldn’t play
game six. Yet, he played in game
seven by limping into the Madison
Square Garden arena. People Mark Andrew Spitz won seven
cheered. He won his
gold medals at the 1972 Summer
championships in 1970 and in
1971.
Olympics in Munich, West
Germany, an achievement
surpassed only by fellow
American Michael Phelps, who
won eight golds at the 2008
Billie Jean King defeated Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the Spitz set new world records in
Battle of the Sexes tennis all seven events in which he
match. Riggs was a top men’s competed in 1972.
player in the 1930’s and
1940’s. The match took place
The 1972 Miami at the Astrodome in Texas on The catch of the
September 20, 1973. Billie Immaculate
Dolphins went reception
Jean King wanted to promote
undefeated and won the women’s equality.
involving the
Pittsburgh
Super Bowl. Steelers made
NFL history.
Legendary Shows of the 70’s
These television
shows outlined
the diversity of
America. They
featured people of
many cultures, but
were unified in Sanford and Son (1972- MASH (1972-1983) Laverne and Shirley (1976-
describing the 1977) 1983)
complex nature of
human existence.

The Love Boat Happy Days (1974-1984) Chico and the Man (1974-1978) The Jeffersons (1975-1985)
(1977-1986)

The Brady Bunch Good Times Maude (1972-1978) What’s Happening!! (1976-
(1969-1974) (1974-1979) 1979)
Pam Grier (1949-present) is an Judy Pace (1942-present) Nichelle Nichols (1932- Trina Parks (1947-present) is an
actress who promoted women was in the movie Young present) is an actress, singer, excellent dancer, and choreographer.
empowerment in films like Coffy, Lawyers and in other powerful and voice artist. She acted in She acted in movies like playing
Foxy Brown, and Sheba, Baby. roles. She was in Brian’s Star Trek as a Thumper in the 1971 Bond film
She continues to help people Song, Good Times, Sanford groundbreaking leader. She Diamonds are Forever. She has a
worldwide. and Son, and What’s sang with Duke Ellington and magnificent theater career too.
Happening!!. Lionel Hampton too.
These great, beautiful black women made history
during the 1970’s. They acted in movies, performed in
theater, and have used charities to assist human beings
internationally. Their gifts are diverse. They came from
different locations, and they excelled in a diversity of
genres of movies. Yet, they were unified as strong black
women who realized that their talent was sacrosanct.
We owe a lot to these women who helped future
generations to be on many different platforms from
STEM to acting. They inspire us with their charisma,
Vonetta McGee (1945-2010) was Tamara Dobson (1947-2006) was an
an actress who was part of many strength, honesty, and courage. Black women are the actress and fashion model. She was
horror and action movies. She Mothers of the Human Race. We are obligated to in the films of Cleopatra Jones and
married the famous actor Carl Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of
Lumbly.
honor their contributions to human civilization. Gold. I love both films.

Rosalind Cash (1938-1995) was Teresa Graves (1948-2002) Donna Denise Nicholas Marlene Clark (1949-present) is an
one of the greatest actresses of all was an actress and singer. (1944-present) is an actress actress and a fashion model. She
time. She was in movies, soap She was the star of the show and a social activist involved was on many movies and shows. She
operas, and other TV shows like A Get Christie Love! She was in the Civil Rights Movement. was in diverse movies like The
Different World, ABC’s General born in Houston, Texas. She Landlord, Slaughter, Enter the
Hospital, etc. took care of her mother. Dragon, and Sanford and Son.
Next in the history of the United States series will be
about the Reagan Revolution, HIV/AIDS, the Persian
Gulf War, and the great culture of the 1980’s.
DIANE BONDAREFF/POLARIS