By 1972, Curits Mayfield was a respected musicial artist and songwriter, having written “People Get Ready” in 1965 for his group The Impressions. In 1972, he composed the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film Super Fly. This album, along with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and the Shaft soundtrack the year before, helped explore and explain some of the black experience in the U.S. in the early 70’s.
|Artwork © 1972 Curtom Records
I know these things because I read about them in Wikipedia. I’m white, and at the time was 2 years old and lived in Orange County, California.
Through the powerful music and imagery, these albums have since provided me with some insight to how some black people live in the U.S. – the up-front and institutional racism that existed then and persists to this day, and how it affects the daily life of people of color. It’s not the totality of the experience of people of color, true, but it exposes some of the worst parts of it. For that, I’m thankful, and can hopefully work toward the true equality of people in the world, starting in my own country.
As for the music – I mostly came to know it first from samples in rap songs of the late 80’s (Ice-T
& Beastie Boys
) and from Fishbone
‘s cover of “Freddie’s Dead
” on their Truth and Soul
album. It’s only from the Album Listening Club that I’ve heard the whole record, I think.
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