African Americans in Pop Culture

Topics: Funk, Jazz, African American Pages: 2 (629 words) Published: November 6, 2011
African Americans in Popular Culture

African Americans have had an incredible lasting impression on popular culture. African American singers, artists, entrepreneurs, athletes and actors have all had their say and have really stood out within the past few years. They've also grown and not grown in different ways all around from music, to television, to movies. African American stereotypes still exist in all aspects of pop culture, while many are trying to get away from what audiences assume is the typical black person. African Americans have been fighting for and against their own stereotypes when they started breaking out into music, then branching out into television, and making it big in the film industry. They've gone from being the dumb, uneducated, and underprivileged minority of America, and have started to make themselves more known as gang bangers and thugs, which are often seen as heroes in popular culture. African Americans haven't only made a name for themselves or left a footprint in only their culture, but in American culture all around. African Americans have been making their mark in music all throughout history. Many started with the jazz and bebop rebellion during the 1940s and '50s in Detroit. They made their point by trying to be different. They didn't want to follow the typical white, swing music criteria, and that's exactly what happened. Bebop wasn't so mainstream, and that's what made it their own. They preferred small, unique combos to play instead of big named stars in the music industry. Detroit was shedding light on the working class people of the town and wanted to really make a sound for them. “The 1940s created an “afro-modernism,” a response to the urbanization, industrialization, and modernization of African American Culture.” Because of their movement ahead in music, they also made their movement in business. And so emerged an incredibly successful, black capitalist enterprise, Motown Records, founded by Barry Gordy....
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