African American popular cultural history

Paper instructions

You will write a 500 word essay, or more, about a particular figure in African American popular cultural history (authors, artists, musicians. actors, directors, personalities, animators, videogame designers etc… . I want you here not to do a traditional biography where you simply explore the person’s life, but rather, focus on the impact that person and their work or public persona had on American culture and history. Utilize a minimum of one secondary source not found in our readings and one primary source . You may use our readings as well butt his will be in addition.

So you will need to do research. Legitimate websites may be used with a .edu designation or well known sites like PBS or the National Archives. You may also utilize our library and databases all available online.

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Select from this list of key popular culture figures that influenced African American history post WWII to 1990 or come up with your own but clear it with me. This list is by no means exhaustive just some examples! Remember do not focus on their personal life history but rather on how they shaped history or had a cultural impact on history.

These are some examples:


Jimi Hendrix

Lena Horne

Diana Ross

Whitney Houston

Donna Summers

James Brown

Aretha Franklin

Mahalia Jackson

Tina Tiurner

Notorious B.I.G.

Tupac Shakur

Mary J Blige


Dr. Dre


Faith Ringgold

Kara Walker

Elizabeth Catlett

Gordon Parks

Deborah Roberts

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