AFAM 162 - Lecture 20 - The Politics of Gender and Culture

Lecture 20 - The Politics of Gender and Culture


The early 1970s marked a moment of social confusion, violence, and cultural excitement carried over from the late 1960s. In this lecture, Professor Holloway canvasses some of the political turmoil of this era and the ways that it was reflected in popular culture. By examining musical achievements like Marvin Gaye's album, What's Going On?, and some of Stevie Wonder's songs recorded around this time, it becomes clear that black cultural producers were wrestling with Vietnam, economic despair, ecological despair, poverty, and urban decay. Yet the early 1970s was also a moment of black cultural celebration, and Professor Holloway explores the complicated messages about black sexuality in general, and black masculinity and the role of black women in specific, depicted in blaxploitation films like Shaft, Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song, Super Fly, and Foxy Brown.

Warning: This lecture contains graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.



Marable, Let Nobody Turn Us Around, pp. 459-463, 501-512, 515-528

Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Was Enuf

Nadasen, “Expanding the Boundaries of the Women's Movement”

Collins, “The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought”

Davis, “Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights”

Course Media





Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]