Listen, folks, I don’t want to tell you what to do. That’s not why I’m here. But I would be bereft, derelict, and quite frankly ashamed of myself if I didn’t suggest that you go to your nearest video store, or your netflix account or however you get movies, and watch the 1973 concert film Wattstax. (That’s Watts, as in the predominantly black area of L.A., and Stax, as in the famous Soul and R&B label.) Not only are the performances great, the editing lively and brilliant, but it is a beautiful tribute to a black cultural awakening. Even a lame honky like me can feel the power of Jesse Jackson’s “I am Somebody” chant. But I’ll let the preview speak for itself.
P.S.- Anyone who loves music and is also interested in what Watts was like prior to the 1965 riot would do well to consult bassist/composer Charles Mingus’ autobiography, Beneath the Underdog.