Music is the universal language. Music existed In every culture and in every civilization. Through music and song our lives have been chronicled. The joy, pain, elation, and despair of our human experience has all been conveyed in music.
This is a tribute to the role that music and song has played in social activism. From Sam Cooke to Public Enemy, from Etta James to Tupac Shakur, from Billie Holiday to Dwele, they all tell a story in their own unique way.
We asked our readers to share with us some of their favorite songs. This is not a definitive study on music and social activism. It's a sharing of that which makes us conscious people.
Comedians are the ambassadors of laughter and laughter warms the soul. Comedians have the unique ability to hold a mirror to society to let us see the naked truth. Unlike music, where an artist can make a statement without personal confrontation, comedians are on the front line. They have the confidence and perseverance to stand in front of a crowd night after night, sometimes sharing the most intimate details about themselves. This is pure power.
Bill Cosby, RIchard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock have held the banner of social activism high. There are many more that have been and are continuing to blaze the trail, far more than can be mentioned here.
Blaxploitation is the term for a film genre of the Seventies. Blaxploitation films were originally made specifically for an urban African American audience, although the genre's audience appeal soon broadened to cross racial and ethnic lines. The term was coined in the early 1970s by the Los Angeles National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) head, and ex-film publicist Junius Griffin.
There were over 200 movies made during this period, a few of them are highlighted below. I hope that you enjoy the trailers and maybe find the desire to rent one.
Selecting five of our favorite socially relevant movies out of the hundreds produced was a challenging exercise. We selected Cry Freedom, Colors, Boyz N The Hood, Do the Right Thing, and Malcolm X. Each of these movies provided a unique insight into the societal events of their time. There are many others that are equally if not more important and insightful, these happen to be the ones that we chose as our favorites. We welcome you to share with us your favorites.
We encourage you to watch the trailers and if you haven't done so, rent the movie.