1975: We Laugh, We Cry, We Get a Piece of Pie

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Topics: Urban Literature, Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim, Natalie Cole, Richard Pryor, Cooley High, The Jeffersons. (Bonus Artist: Luck Pacheco) 1975 A. General News B. Gerald Ford is President C. Apr - Vietnam War: The Fall of Saigon: The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces take Saigon, resulting in mass evacuations of Americans and South Vietnamese. As the capital is taken, South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally. D. Jul - Stanley Foreman takes the photo "Fire Escape Collapse." E. Sep - Ford survives 2 assassination attempts. Lynette Fromme, a follower of jailed cult leader Charles Manson, and Sara Jane Moore, a leftists sympathizer, are the only two women that have attempted to assassinate an American president; both of their attempts were on Gerald Ford and both took place in California within three weeks of one another. F. Nov - Former California Governor Ronald Reagan enters the race for the Republican presidential nomination, challenging incumbent President Gerald Ford. G. Dec - United States Congress passes the Metric Conversion Act which declares, but does not mandate, that the metric system is "the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce". H. Misc Tech: Kodak developed "The Digital Camera" / Motorolla obtains patent for the first portable mobile phone / Bill Gates and Paul Allen develop a BASIC programming language for the Altair 8800 computer, trademark the name "Microsoft" (for microcomputer software), and the personal computer wave begins. I. The ring-tab beer (and soda) can design was discontinued in 1975, after injuries were caused by people swallowing the metal tabs. J. Open Comments: K. 1975 Min.wage = $2.10hr (+.10) / $84wk / $4,200k yrly - 2018 = $19,950yrly L. Avg. Income per year $14,100 M. Avg. House Price - $11,787 N. Avg. Cost of new house - $39,300 O. Avg. Cost new car - $4,250 P. Unemployment 9.2% vs Black unemployment 15.5% Q. Open Comments: 1. Top Pop Singles 2. 1 - "Love Will Keep Us Together", Captain & Tennille 3. 2 - "Rhinestone Cowboy", Glen Campbell 4. 3 - "Philadelphia Freedom", Elton John 5. Grammy Award winners 6. RotY: "Love Will Keep Us Together", Captain & Tennille 7. AotY: Still Crazy After All These Years, Paul Simon 8. SotY: "Send In the Clowns", Judy Collins 9. New Artist: Natalie Cole 10. Top Grossing Films 11. 1 - Jaws 12. 2 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show 13. 3 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 14. Top TV Shows 15. 1 - All in the Family (first tv series to be #1, 5yrs in a row) 16. 2 - Rich Man, Poor Man (7-week mini-series) 17. 3 - Laverne & Shirley 18. TV Debuts 19. Jan - The Jefferson’s, a spinoff of All in the Family, on CBS (1975–85) 20. Sep - Welcome Back, Kotter on ABC (1975–79) 21. Black Snapshots: 22. Jan - The Wiz opens on Broadway 23. Jan - The creation of the Church Committee was approved. Later that year, the media begins reporting that the FBI & CIA spied on citizens, many of them high profile African Americans; MLK, Malcom X, Black Panther leadership, etc. Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's "Meet the Press": "...If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology." 24. Feb - Elijah Muhammad, the religious leader of the Nation of Islam dies. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, as well as his own son and successor, Wallace D. Mohammed, a.k.a., Warith D. Mohammed. Because of his personal studies and thinking, Warith led the majority of the original NOI to mainstream, traditional Sunni Islam by 1978. However, splinter groups resisting these changes formed, particularly under Louis Farrakhan, who in 1981 would revive the name Nation of Islam and claim direct continuity from the pre-1976 NOI. 25. Apr - In the pilot episode of Starsky and Hutch, Richard Ward plays an African-American supervisor of white American employees for the first time on TV. 26. July - Arthur Ashe wins Wimbledon 27. August - James Benton Parsons (64 yrs. old), the first African American to serve as a life tenured federal judge: Becomes the "Chief" Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. (Basically Chicago). Born in Kansas City, Missouri, raised in Decatur, Illinois. He was named "class orator" for Stephen Decatur High School class of 1929. He was on the basketball team, in the school band and orchestra. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millikin University in 1934. 28. September – WGPR-TV, channel 62 in Detroit, becomes the first television station in the U.S. to be owned and operated by blacks. 29. September – The Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier title fight from the Philippines (the "Thrilla in Manila") is sent via satellite to the U. S. and shown on HBO 30. September - Roxie Roker, mother to artist Lenny Kravitz, played Helen Willis on 'The Jefferson’s'. She was part of the first interracial couple to appear on regular primetime television. 31. October - The premiere episode of Saturday Night Live is broadcast on NBC with OG cast member Garret Morris (Mr. Mason from Cooley High) and Billy Preston and Janis Ian the first musical guests. 32. ###The Social Scene: Urban Literature / Fiction / Art 33. Donald Goines, the ‘Godfather of Urban Fiction.’ (36yrs old): Criminal, drug addict, Author. From 1969 -1974 he published 16 novels that helped establish the genre. 34. Urban fiction working definition: Works of art set in urban America dealing with drugs, violence, and sex, involving African 35. American or Latino characters. The genre is also known as Street Fiction, Gangsta Lit, Ghetto Lit, or Hip-Hop Fiction. 36. Goines was born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were a middle-class African-American couple that ran a laundry business. At 15 Goines lied about his age to join the Air Force, where he fought in the Korean War. During his stint in the armed forces, Goines developed an addiction to heroin that continued after his discharge from the military in the mid-1950s. To support his addiction, Goines turned to crime, this included pimping, and theft. He began writing while serving a sentence in Michigan's Jackson Penitentiary. Goines initially attempted to write westerns but decided to write urban fiction after reading Iceberg Slim's autobiography Pimp: The Story of My Life. 37. Goines continued to write novels at an accelerated pace to support his drug addictions, sixteen books in five years, with some books taking only a month to complete. His series about Kenyatta (under the name Al C. Clark) describes a black revolutionary, who campaigns against exploitation and evils of inner-city life. On October 21, 1974, Goines and his common-law wife were discovered dead in their Detroit apartment. The police had received an anonymous phone call and responded, discovering Goines in the living room of the apartment and his common-law wife Shirley Sailor's body in the kitchen. 38. Goines books are still popular, especially in the prison system. His books have gone on to sell millions of copies and have never been out of print, making him one of the most successful African-American authors in history. 39. His books have been utilized in several prison literacy programs and his novel "Dopefiend" (1971) has been taught in a Rutgers University class. 40. Other popular titles: Whoreson (1972), Black Gangster (1972), Street Players (1973), White Man's Justice, Black Man's Grief (1973), and Black Girl Lost (1974) 41. ***Question: has anyone read his books? 42. Donald's work was deeply influenced by Iceberg Slim. 43. In 1961, after serving 10 months of solitary confinement in a Cook County jail, Robert Maupin (a.k.a. Slim) decided he was too old for a life of pimping and was unable to compete with younger, more ruthless pimps. In an interview with the Washington Post, he said he retired "because I was old. I did not want to be teased, tormented and brutalized by young whores." 44. In 1967, he published two books; A memoir, "Pimp: The Story of My Life" and the novel "Trick Baby" 45. ***Question: has anyone read his books? 46. Iceberg and Donald's work made a HUGE impact on the youth growing up in the 70's and 80's. 47. "Pimp" inspired the screenplay for the 1973 film "The Mack", starring Max Julien and Richard Pryor. 48. Various other entertainers were also influenced by Goines and Slim: Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Katt Williams, 49. Eddie Griffin, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Ludacris, Nas, and Jay-Z, just to name a few. 50. Iceberg and Donald also proved that a commercial "Black" book market did exist. 51. A new "post" Hip-Hop revival of contemporary urban fiction happened at the end of the 1990s, as demand for novels authentically conveying the urban experience increased, and new business models enabled fledgling writers to more easily bring a manuscript to market and to libraries. 52. One of the first writers in this new cycle of urban fiction was Omar Tyree, who published the novel Flyy Girl. 53. The genre gained significant momentum in 1999 with Sister Souljah's bestseller The Coldest Winter Ever. Teri Woods's True to the Game was also published in 1999.The publishing of these three novels created a momentum of readership for urban fiction and carried that wave for years. All three books are considered classics in the renaissance of the genre. 54. Major writers of contemporary urban fiction include Wahida Clark, Vickie Stringer, Nikki Turner, Kole Black, K'wan, Toy Styles, Kwame Teague, and the writing duo Meesha Mink & De'Nesha Diamond. 55. ***Question: has anyone read any of these books? 56. The reach of urban fiction into a large youth readership is undeniable today, particularly among adolescent girls. 57. Critics and supporters are pleased that Black youth are reading. But some have mixed feelings about promoting literacy by any means necessary. “To some extent, there is an exposure to a part of urban culture that has rarely been explored in a way that it is now…which can be a starting point for civic dialogues,” offers Tracey Michae’l Lewis, who teaches writing and literature at Community College of Philadelphia and Philadelphia University. “Unfortunately, we have to ask ourselves, ‘What is this costing us?’” 58. Scholars have differing opinions on Urban Fiction. Some believe that it is low reading, like a trashy book, that is not of high quality. Those who believe this think that prisoners and adolescent should be reading more elevated works. 59. On the other hand, are scholars who say that African Americans appear to be reading street lit to find themselves and escape themselves at the same time. Some readers just enjoy losing themselves in portrayals of lavish lifestyles, racy sex and ride-or-die dramas of the streets, while others enjoy the genre for its reflective qualities. 60. [Contributing source: Debating Black “Street Lit,” New Urban Fiction May 31, 2008 / Joe / African Americans, book review, urban] 61. ***Question: Is urban art (books/films/music) really and truly a problem? 62. ###The Music Scene 63. 6 - "Shining Star", Earth, Wind & Fire 64. 13 - "Lovin' You", Minnie Riperton 65. 14 - "Kung Fu Fighting", Carl Douglas 66. 18 - "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)", Tony Orlando and Dawn 67. 20 - "Pick Up the Pieces", Average White Band 68. 21 - "The Hustle", Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony 69. 22 - "Lady Marmalade", Labelle 70. 23 - "Why Can't We Be Friends", War 71. 24 - "Love Won't Let Me Wait", Major Harris 72. 25 - "Boogie On Reggae Woman", Stevie Wonder 73. 27 - "Fight the Power", The Isley Brothers 74. 30 - "Fire", Ohio Players 75. ***Vote: 76. Jan: Fire, The Ohio Players 77. Feb: Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs, Carl Douglas 78. Feb: New and Improved, The Spinners 79. Feb: Do It ('Til You're Satisfied), B.T. Express 80. Mar: AWB, Average White Band 81. Mar: Al Green Explores Your Mind, Al Green 82. Apr: Perfect Angel, Minnie Ripperton 83. Apr: That's the Way of the World, Earth, Wind & Fire 84. May: A Song for You, The Temptations 85. May: To Be True, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes 86. May: Mister Magic, Grover Washington, Jr. 87. May: Sun Goddess, Ramsey Lewis 88. May: Just Another Way to Say I Love You, Barry White 89. Jun: Survival, The O'Jays 90. Jul: Disco Baby, Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony 91. Aug: The Heat Is On, The Isley Brothers 92. Aug: Chocolate Chip, Isaac Hayes 93. Aug: Cut the Cake, Average White Band 94. Aug: Why Can't We Be Friends?, War 95. Sep: Non-Stop, B.T. Express 96. Sep: Honey, The Ohio Players 97. Oct: ...Is It Something I Said?, Richard Pryor 98. Nov: Al Green Is Love, Al Green 99. Nov: KC and the Sunshine Band, KC and the Sunshine Band 100. Nov: Inseparable, Natalie Cole 101. Nov: Save Me, Silver Convention 102. Dec: Let's Do It Again, The Staple Singers 103. Dec: Feels So Good, Grover Washington, Jr. 104. Dec: Family Reunion, The O'Jays 105. ***Vote: 106. ###Key Artist: Natalie Maria Cole (25yrs old): singer-songwriter, actor, author, daughter of crooner Nat King Cole, nicknamed, "Sweetie" 107. Short-story: Born and raised in Los Angeles. Grew up immersed in the music scene of her parents. Even though she didn't plan on a singing career, she took a summer job singing with a band in 1972. Albums soon followed, as well as two Grammy Awards for her debut album, Inseparable (1975). After a bout with addiction, Cole returned in the 1990s with Unforgettable... with Love, featuring renditions of songs previously sung by her father. Cole died in 2015 at the age of 65. 108. Early Career: She met the writing and producing team of Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy in 1975. The duo helped Cole land a deal with Capitol Records and, later that year, create the album Inseparable. With hit songs such as "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," the album exploded onto the music scene, earning the young starlet her first two Grammy Awards—for best new artist and best female R&B performance. 109. Cole's career took flight: she turned out four gold and two platinum records / in 1979, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame / Cole hit a lull in her career in the early 1980s due to her struggle with drug addiction / in 1991, she released Unforgettable... with Love. and won a Grammy for album of the year / in 2008, "Still Unforgettable" won another Grammy for best traditional pop vocal album. 110. Personal Life and Death: The death of her father, when she was 15 yrs. old, greatly affected her and put a strain on Cole's relationship with her mother. In her 2000 autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder, Cole exposed her depression and heavy drug use throughout her career. She began using in college. She overcame her addiction in 1983. In 2008, Cole was diagnosed with hepatitis C, a disease of the liver. She passed 7 from congestive heart failure on December 31, 2015. 111. Legacy: "Cole wasn’t the next Aretha. She was the simply the MOST versatile vocalist of the soul-pop era" - Written by Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29) BET 1/2016 112. Cole could do Chaka’s “Tell Me Something Good.”. But could Chaka do “Our Love.”? Cole could do Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia.” But could Gladys do “Good Morning Heartache,’? Cole could do Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.” But could Houston do “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” or “Something Got A Hold On Me”? 113. Audio Clips 114. ***Question: Silver spoon or deserved? 115. ###Key Artist: Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III (35yrs old): Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter (1940–2005) 116. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, he became one of the most influential comedians in the history of comedy. Few comics today will talk about their own careers without mentioning the inspiration they received from Pryor. A talented yet controversial man, most people either love him unconditionally or hate him passionately. 117. Early Life: For much of his youth, Pryor was left in his grandmother's care and lived in the brothel she ran. He also experienced sexual abuse as a child, according to his official website. To step away from the grim reality of his life, Pryor found solace in going to the movies. Expelled from school at age 14, Pryor ended up working a string of jobs until he joined the military in 1958. He served in the army for only two years, as he was discharged for fighting with another soldier. 118. Early Career: Returning home, he found work as a stand-up comic throughout the Midwest, playing African-American clubs in such cities as East St. Louis and Pittsburgh. In 1963, Pryor moved to New York City. The following year, he made his television debut on the variety show On Broadway Tonight. Guest appearances followed on such programs as The Merv Griffin Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. At the time, his act was modeled after two African-American comedians he admired, Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory. 119. In 1960, while playing in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel, he had a panic attack and walked off stage. He wanted to give voice to the winos, pimps, dealers, and other characters in his head. He retreated to Berkeley, California, where he met a variety of counterculture figures, including Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. 120. Mainstream Success: In the early 1970s, Pryor scored several successes as an actor and comedian. He earned positive reviews for his supporting role in the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972), starring Diana Ross. In 1973, he netted his first Emmy Award nomination (outstanding writing achievement in comedy, variety) for his work on The Lily Tomlin Show. The following year, Pryor took home his first Emmy (best writing in comedy, variety) for another collaboration with Lily Tomlin: the comedy special Lily (1973). Pryor also wrote for such shows as The Flip Wilson Show and Sanford and Son, which starred comedian Redd Foxx. Continuing to thrive professionally, Pryor co-starred with Max Julien in the film "The Mack" 91973) and worked with Mel Brooks on the screenplay for the western spoof Blazing Saddles (1974). His own work was also attracting a lot of attention. Despite its X-rated content, his third comedy albums sold extremely well and won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recordings in 1974, 1975, and 1976. 121. Fans of all racial backgrounds were captivated by Pryor's comedy, which consisted of situational and character-driven humor in place of straightforward jokes. He poked fun at the white establishment and explored the racial divide. By the late 1970s, Pryor had a thriving career as a stand-up comic and movie actor. 122. Audio Clips 123. Troubled Personal Life: Pryor had a long history of substance abuse and stormy relationships. He got into legal trouble in the early 1970s for failing to file tax returns. / In 1978, Pryor had another run-in with the law after he shot his estranged wife's car. / Pryor’s health began to suffer, and he endured his first heart attack in 1978 / In June 1980, after several days of freebasing cocaine, he lit himself on fire in a suicide attempt / 124. Later Years: In 1986, Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system. By the early 1990s, the once-kinetic Pryor was confined to a wheelchair. The comedian wrote the autobiography Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences with Todd Gold, earning critical acclaim upon its release in 1995. In 2001, Pryor remarried Jennifer Lee. He spent his final years with her at his California home. Outside of performing, Pryor was an advocate for animal rights and opposed animal testing. He established Pryor's Planet, a charity for animals. 125. Death and Legacy: On December 10, 2005, Pryor died of a heart attack at a Los Angeles area hospital. In addition to providing audiences with both hilarious and moving performances, he paved the way for African-American comedians like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock to make their mark. "Pryor started it all. He made the blueprint for the progressive thinking of black comedians, unlocking that irreverent style," comedian and filmmaker Keenen Ivory Wayans explained to The New York Times. 126. ***Question: Given his EXTEMELY troubled personal life, does he deserve praise, pity, or pilloried (ridiculed publicly)? 127. ###Vote for Key Artist: 128. ###The Movie Scene 129. Dolemite: Played by Rudy Ray Moore, who co-wrote the film. Moore had developed the alter-ego as a stand-up comedian and released several comedy albums using this persona. The film has attained cult status. Plot: Dolemite is a pimp and nightclub owner who is serving 20 years in prison after being set up by a rival, Willie Green. One day, his friend and fellow pimp Queen Bee helps him get out of jail, and plots with him to get revenge on Green. 130. Mahogany: A romantic drama directed by Berry Gordy and produced by Motown Productions. Mahogany stars Diana Ross as Tracy Chambers, a struggling fashion design student who rises to become a popular fashion designer in Rome. Fresh from the success of Lady Sings the Blues, this film served as Ross' follow-up feature film. 131. Let's Do It Again is an action crime comedy directed by and starring Sidney Poitier and co-starring Bill Cosby and Jimmie Walker. The film, directed by Poitier, is about blue-collar workers who decide to rig a boxing match to raise money for their fraternal lodge. The song of the same name by The Staple Singers was featured as the opening and ending theme of the movie, and as a result, the two have become commonly associated with each other. This was the second film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown Saturday Night, and followed by A Piece of the Action (1977). Of the three, Let's Do It Again has been the most successful both critically and commercially. [FYI...Calvin Lockhart was Biggie Smalls and Jimmie Walker as Bootney Farnsworth] 132. ###Key Movie: Cooley High: [My Favorite movie of all-time!] 133. Summary: "...But "Cooley High" was no exploitation film. Unlike the other black stories being told on screen in the early '70s, this one wasn't about crime, racism, drugs, vengeance, or black-power heroes and heroines who stuck it to the Man. It was just about teens doing what teens do -- hanging out, going to school, going to parties, hooking up, cruising the streets, and dreaming of the future. Yes, there was petty crime and some tragic violence, but they weren't the focus of the story. It was just a slice of life, both specific and universal. As a result, "Cooley High" marked the beginning of the shift in African-American cinema away from blaxploitation toward more diverse stories of black life, although it would take another 20 years for that transition to be fully realized." - 'Cooley High' Is the Most Influential Movie You've Never Seen, by Gary Susman, moviefone.com 134. Audio Clips 135. In film, coming of age is a genre of teen films. Coming-of-age films focus on the psychological and moral growth or transition of a protagonist from youth to adulthood. Personal growth and change are an important characteristic of this genre, which relies on dialogue and emotional responses, rather than action. The main character is typically male, around mid-teen and the story is often told in the form of a flashback. 136. Films in this subgenre include Bambi (1942), Oliver! (1967), American Graffiti (1973), Breaking Away (1979), The Last American Virgin (1982), The Breakfast Club (1985), Stand by Me (1986), Almost Famous (2000), the Harry Potter series (2001–2011), and Moonlight (2016) 137. ***Question: The movie dealt with friendships, loyalty, betrayal, forgiveness, and regrets. Do you have any personal stories to tell that deal with these issues? 138. ###The TV Scene: The Jefferson’s 139. Sample review: Parents need to know that this classic '70s/'80s sitcom -- which follows an African-American couple who move to an upper-class Manhattan apartment in a primarily Caucasian neighborhood -- combines strong racial stereotypes with some positive representations of African Americans and interracial relationships. George Jefferson is stubborn, mean-spirited, and bigoted, and the show uses strong words like "damn" and racial epithets like "honky." The show is generally mild by today's standards, but George's inappropriate behavior and language may send iffy messages to younger viewers. 140. For many black Americans, the news of actor Sherman Hemsley’s death represents a two-fold loss of both an incredible talent and the captivating character that was George Jefferson. By portraying the outspoken and incredibly honest Mr. Jefferson, who was never too shy to speak candidly about race relations in the seventies, Hemsley and his cast mates had a major effect on American television through the hit sitcom “The Jefferson’s.” 141. As the longest-running series with a predominantly African American cast, the show was one of the first to portray a successful black family, paving the way for future sitcoms like “The Cosby Show” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” It was also the first series to prominently feature an interracial couple with the characters Helen and Tom Willis, using its makeup of colorful personalities to create humorous commentary about race in the United States at the time. 142. Making its debut in 1975, the show mimicked its parent series “All In The Family,” but instead focused on a black household. George Jefferson displayed his distrust of white people and shared his views on race in America with a fervor that rivaled Archie Bunker’s comical, yet stinging, opinions about minorities. The show explored issues rarely discussed on television, and the characters’ frequent use of racially charged terms like “nigger” and “honky” placed the series in a class all its own. Although George and his wife Louise “Weezy” Jefferson’s sudden success catapulted them into a predominantly white world, they represented the epitome of black culture. Even the show’s popular theme song was reminiscent of the gospel tunes often heard in black churches. 143. “The Jeffersons” use of confrontational humor and candid commentary that helped ease the discussion of topics like race and class on American television (and beyond) is the cornerstone of the show’s legacy. Its characters opened doors for future black actors, and its success proved that African American sitcoms did, in fact, resonate with general audiences. 144. ***Open Comments: 145. Legacy: We also recognized the familiar in George's willingness to put on airs if it meant seizing an advantage against a rival or gaining one from a potential patron, backing down only when it became clear that his honor or family's well-being was at risk. It was easy to mistake George's hustle as symptoms of a gratuitous and crass materialism, but, his endless striving, the relentless quest to impress the Wittendales of the world or to get into a posh tennis club, even though he had no clue or interest in the sport, was always about survival. Money, in George's mind, represented the best defense against discrimination. "Let me tell you something about people," George tells his old adversary Archie Bunker at a cocktail party. "That bartender's willing to work for me because if you got enough green in your pocket, then black becomes his favorite color." - What 'The Jeffersons' Taught Me About Being an American. SHERVIN MALEKZADEH AUG 7, 2012 146. "...And the previous, say, eight years or so were characterized by efforts to sort of break down institutional racism in America from the Civil Rights Act to desegregation in schools. And so, you had this whole level of black folks who were just being held back by institutional racism, and once those bonds started to break, they could build businesses. They could get great jobs, and they could move into the middle class and upper middle class in a way that they hadn't been able to do before. And "The Jeffersons" in its own way, even though it was also a very typical sitcom, very broad, it also talked about those elements. You know, George had to deal with his friends from the old neighborhood. They would come to visit and embarrass him because he was trying to impress the new wealthy people that he lived with in his new high-rise. And, you know, there was always that tension, and I think some black folks were going through that in their own lives. They could recognize a bit of that in what George Jefferson was doing. - Heard on All Things Considered, NPR 147. ***Question: Was the show too unrealistic/out of reach? 148. ***Vote: 1975 biggest legacy?

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