Black Arts Movement

948 Words 4 Pages
Leaders of the Black Arts Movement believed that in order for change to occur, African-Americans would need to stand up for themselves and create a separate Black culture. Larry Neal explores this objective in depth, in his piece, The Black Arts Movement. Gil Scott-Heron further promotes the message in his famous poem, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. As evidenced in both of these works, Black culture would need to overtake White culture in order to overturn the oppressive society of the time.
The importance of nationhood empowered the African-American community to attempt to destroy White culture and create their own Black culture. At the time, many thought that there were two separate spirits in America, a Black spirit and a White
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In terms of cultural change, he writes, “Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville / Junction will no longer be so Goddamn relevant… / because Black people / Will be in the street looking for a brighter day” (Heron). The uprising that will result from the new Black culture will push White TV shows, such as Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies, into irrelevance. People will no longer waste their time discussing pointless TV shows. Instead, they will discuss the social issues illustrated in Black art, while African-Americans are “in the street looking for a brighter day.” However, bringing the movement to the public eye would not be easy. Heron explains, “The revolution will not be televised / The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox” (Heron). “The revolution will not be televised,” indicates that White people will not easily give Black culture the credit it deserves, as they have been doing for hundreds of years. Additionally, Xerox and other large White-run companies won’t help sponsor the revolution. Only the African-American community can inspire meaningful debate and change. Heron also states, “There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down / Brothers in the instant replay” (Heron). The White community will object to the Black Arts Movement and may respond with violence that will not face justice. Nevertheless, the …show more content…
From Stop and Frisks to stereotyping, we still have significant work to do before African-Americans can feel “equal” in America. Methods of protest and revolution have also changed. I recently viewed a commercial for AT&T that concluded with, “The revolution will not only be televised, the revolution will be mobilized.” Although AT&T obviously wasn’t advertising cultural revolution, the citing of Heron’s poem made me reflect about their final quote. In the digital age, new technology creates easily accessible platforms for people to promote their thoughts and beliefs. For example, the #BlackLivesMatter movement on Twitter that stemmed from deaths of African-Americans by police officers, sparked debate throughout the nation. Not only could people access the revolution on their television, but they could also discuss and learn about the movement anywhere they wanted thanks to cell phones and the Internet. Neither Neal nor Heron ever imagined that Whites would care about equality for African-Americans, yet the progress made during the Black Arts Movement brought the issue to the forefront of

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