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Class 7: Soul Music of the Early 70s and Government Targeting

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Dive into the vibrant world of early 1970s soul music, a time when Black soul groups and bands reached the pinnacle of creative expression and cultural impact. This class explores the rich tapestry of soul music during this era, highlighting influential artists from Barry White to Parliament Funkadelic. Through their powerful lyrics, intricate harmonies, and innovative sound, these artists conveyed messages of love, unity, and social justice, capturing the spirit of the times. However, this period of artistic flourishing was met with significant opposition. We will delve into how the U.S. government, through initiatives like COINTELPRO, sought to undermine the influence of Black soul music. This covert program aimed to disrupt and dismantle the cultural movements that empowered African Americans, viewing the unifying force of soul music as a threat to the status quo. By analyzing historical documents, music recordings, and critical essays, students will uncover the strategies used to target these artists and the lasting effects on the music industry and Black culture. Join us to understand not only the musical brilliance of early 70s soul but also the socio-political challenges these artists faced. This class offers a comprehensive look at the intersection of music, culture, and politics, revealing the resilience and enduring legacy of Black soul music.

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