Impacts of Race and Ethnicity on Mainstream Pop Culture in the 1980's
During my research, I explored the impacts of race and ethnicity on mainstream pop culture during the 1980’s in the United States. I wanted to analyze and understand the influence that race and ethnicity have on certain artists’ and authors’ careers, especially in a society where racism and oppression still run rampant. The novel, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, inspired my question and my research because her work received criticism for the use of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). She wrote about the experience of African American women in a society where they were not treated equally. The use of the AAVE in her writing made the story more heart-felt because the audience could sympathize with the characters. Throughout my research, I explored topics such as music, film and literature in the 1980’s. I focused on artists and authors who are minorities and the special art they created despite the odds that they faced. I discovered that some artists like Prince, Eddie Murphy and Alice Walker all faced criticism and had to be the first to “break the glass ceiling” by not letting race define who they are as artists or hinder their success. They used their race as a way to enhance their art and gave the world music, novels and films that represent their individual heritage, culture and tradition.
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