How Black Women Are Portrayed in Music Videos

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Research and Methodology:
Three different time periods were chosen representing approximately three different generations of black music (40 years apart – 1920s, 1960s and 2000s). Members of the group have researched literature on black music in these specific periods of time, choosing the songs by either black male or female artists to examine in terms of the messages transmitted through their work about the relationship between men and women of the Black Diaspora. One group member will present how Black Women are depicted in music videos. The objective is to analyze the words being sung and how they impact black consciousness in this regard. The criteria for this admitted extremely limited case study research was that the artists chosen for examination had to have been recognized as in the top 25 in terms of popularity at the time. This status was determined by consulting the national music charts such as “Billboard Top 100” or “Soul Train Top 100” merchandizing surveys. Topic: How Black Women are Depicted in Music Videos

At first glance, music videos may appear to be a harmless entertainment outlet that promotes the sale of popular music. But closer inspection reveals that it is indeed a cultural phenomenon that has an impact far and beyond music sales. Since the beginning of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Music Television (MTV), and Video Hits One (VH-1) in 1980, 1981, and 1985 respectively, music videos have been a dominant factor in American culture, as well as a platform from which current American attitudes, values, and preoccupations can be readily accessed. Together with the songs' melody and lyrics, music videos are powerful tools that impact minds with images that shape a person's attitude. Throughout the twentieth century, music videos have influenced various perceptions on the images of women. No matter what the women in the music videos are singing about, or what actions they are doing in the videos, there is almost always a...
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