African Americans have a long history. They have faced struggles such as segregation and prejudice. However, they also have contributed much to society, as musicians, political leaders, astronauts and doctors. Following the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans entered the 1970s, a period in which they were better able to assert their tastes and skills. African Americans may celebrate their culture with a 1970s theme party.
Who Am I?
Who Am I? is a traditional party game in which guests each get a name taped to their back. The guests do not know which name they receive. Each guest tries to figure out what name they have by asking the other guests questions. For a 1970s party just for African Americans, guests could use names such as Arthur Ashe (first African American to win Wimbledon), Shirley Chisholm (first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress) and James Earl Jones (actor famous for voicing characters such as Darth Vader). All of these African Americans were famous in the 1970s.
Soul Train was a variety show that began in the 1970s. Although Soul Train was not exclusive to African Americans, the show often featured the best of African American talents such as The Jackson Five. Have a showing of Soul Train's greatest performances and let guests dance. Alternately, set up a karaoke machine and have guests sing to their favorite African American musicians such as Diana Ross and Ray Charles. Supplement these activities by having a trivia contest with questions about the music, such as when a song was released or was first performed.
African Americans put their own spin on 1970s fashion, resulting in outfits not seen in other cultures. Highlight this aspect of the 1970s by having a fashion show. Review 1970s publications and films like "Ebony Magazine" to get an idea of what African Americans wore. As shown by the I'm Learning to Share! website, large collars were en vogue for African Americans during the 1970s, as were boldly printed materials, platform shoes and jackets with both buttons and belts. Try to replicate these fashions by getting items from thrift stores or making them yourself. Then have some of the guests show off the fashions as you explain why the fashion was popular and how it came about.
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Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.