I first came across black American (was it Afro-American those days?) entertainment as a child in the 70s. It was enlightening ti say the least. People like me on the TV! We started mimicking the accents, the walk, the dress sense where we could. The power of the media was at its purest; people like me saw that our lives had another possibility, perhaps just like our parents came to realise a decade or two earlier when they also became mesmerised by America’s black culture. We needed to be mesmerised. Life in southern Africa at that time was mapped out for us. There was limited opportunity for people who were not white.
I think the authorities underestimated the power of media. In the 70s many more young people managed to win scholarships to study abroad than ever before and I think they had to have had that idea from somewhere else than school…
MY book always have a bit of the 70’s in them. I try very hard to include the showmanship, flair and slight excess that captivated me as a child. It doesn’t always translate to this new century where media power is much more understood.
I thought of including, for a little while, some of the phrases that made the 1970’s in this blog. Enjoy.