The 1960’s-70 ‘s was an era of revelation for many Americans. It was also an era of many radical movements started by formally oppressed groups of people. Amongst these groups were women; whom were regarded more so as objects, than knowledgeable human beings. At this time, women in politics was an unheard of occurrence, but much to societies surprise, this would soon change. It only took a few braves souls to spark a revolutionary movement. Amongst these was a black congress woman by the name of Shirley Chishlom.

The law cannot do it for us. We must do it for ourselves. Women in this country must become revolutionaries. We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotype…we must replace the old, negative thoughts about our femininity with positive thoughts and positive actions.

Shirley Chishlom knew that equality wouldn’t come easy, but the role of women in society wouldn’t evolve overnight. World War II granted women with many new job opportunities. These former trophy/housewives were now able to make their own money much to the dismay of their husbands. Such profound changes might not have occurred if it weren’t for the brave actions of people like Chishlom.

Another issue that many people faced at this time was sexuality. Premarital sex was no longer a silent matter and homosexuality wasn’t as much of a taboo as if once was. Still, there was progress to be made.

“Gay” men and lesbian women organized to combat discrimination against them, to give themselves a sense of community, to overcome shame and isolation

Just like the women’s fight for equality this would be no walk in the park. No matter how expressive the LGBT community may been, their inability  to follow  certain “social norms” made them outcasts; which in my opinion, unfortunately is still often the case today. None the less, this oppressed group of peoples effort to speak out made the topic of sex more approachable. Sex became a commonly used element in both literature and everyday conversation… Much to America’s surprise!

Radical Rationalizing

“A new mood has sprung up among Negroes, particularly the young, in which self esteem and enhanced racial pride are replacing apathy and submission to the ‘system'” (460)

1967 was the time of the greatest riots in American History.  This quote, taken from a Commission Report blamed white racist as the cause of such explosive radical behavior. The initial purpose of the  commission report was to get people to face the rebellion and hopefully alleviate some of the tension; however, in Howard Zinn’s eyes, this wasn’t entirely achieved.  “Black Power” became the new slogan of radical blacks and black activists. Among these were Malcolm X; who Zinn regards as “the most eloquent spokesman for (Black Power).” X was a vital component in the radical movement and extremely influential throughout the black youth.  His speeches,encouraging self defense and somewhat subversive acts, were heard all through out the country. To some , the black revolts came as a  surprise; but not to Zinn. He argues that the memory of the terrible acts of hatred were too much for blacks to suppress.

In response to the radical rioters the Civil Rights Act of 1969 was passed, which prohibited violence against blacks. Blacks were now allowed to go to fancy restaurants and hotels. They were allowed to attend universities as well as medical and law schools…if and only if, they could afford it.

UnConventional Love

If anyone was asked to make a list of the most non humorous topics, slavery would easily make top 5. However, Tarantino manages to depict such an evil and inhumane time period in such a comical light. (Whether that’s a good or bad thing is solely a matter of opinion.) This film gives off a certain parody-like vibe, with the animated noises and the western text floating across the screen. The editing was almost as unconventional as the main characters. One of which being Stephan, a very…loyal slave of Mr. Calvin Candie.

Django and Dr. Shultz go to “Candy Land” in attempts to “buy” Djangos wife Broomhilda. When Stephan realizes the plan these two devised, he wastes no time telling his beloved master. Stephan tells Candie to meet him in the library, where he discloses the information he just learned. What caught my attention is the way the dialogue was set up between the two.When most people think of slave-owner relationships, they think of a hierarchy, a superior and an inferior. In this scene they were equals. Stephan somehow managed to be a villain, a father like figure to Calvin and not to mention… A SLAVE.

Tarantino’s portrayal of slavery is not quiet a black versus white, slave owner versus slave debacle , but more of a “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” kind of approach. while I’m not qualified to determine the accuracy in his portrayal, I must admit, it sure  was entertaining.