Bessie Smith And Other Influential Black Stars Who Shaped Pop Culture

May 13, 2015  |  

’70s

R&B artists were dominating, including Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, led by future pop legend Michael Jackson, and the Temptations. And the likes of Donna Summer, Barry White and Isaac Hayes made people take disco seriously. Speaking of Hayes, Shaft was an enormous hit during this era, hip-hop music got its start, and Bob Marley helped broaden the reggae audience. The 1970s was also a great time for diversity in television: Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and the long-running Soul Train, which taught everybody the newest dances and fashions. The final boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier thrilled everyone in Manila, and his Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman is still one of the greatest bouts in history. And who could forget about Roots?! The book by Alex Haley was a best-seller in 1976, and the TV movie series that followed was an even bigger hit. I’m sure people wished they had the X1 DVR™ from XFINITY to record it back then…

Bonus: And way before Hillary Clinton, Shirley Chisolm became the first African-American woman candidate to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972.

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