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Cultural Arts Essay

3348 words - 13 pages

Select several works of art that reflect cultural evolution and progress, and cultural regression and degeneration?It has been said that many forms of art, from poetry to music, contribute to the way we feel, think and see, and helps us to discover the hidden beauty of art. Oftentimes, art provides a historical connection to social and secular ideas. The messages in these ideas serve many purposes, whether it is rhetorically, visually or politically saying something about the way a particular artist feels or the issues the artist is trying to address. The focus of this brief paper is on the works of performance artists, theatrical artists and blackface minstrels and how their art helped draw attention to the inequities in America during their time period.Music-Considered Gaye's most unusual, yet successful album by critics, Gaye's album is generally thought of as his "rebellion" from Motown. Through his music, he talked to an entire generation and his music continues to touch most who hear it. So movingly, in fact, those few who hear it ever forget it.The strength of Gaye's critique is manifested in What's Going On. The song highlights the effect of the conflict on the most basic unit within the American community: the nuclear family. Rather than a collection of politicized rhetorical strategies put to music, Gaye chose to personalize the conflict as a consideration of his brother's presence in Southeast Asia. Comparing the family unit with an example of a broader national community, Gaye links the escalating war effort to the role of rulingpatriarch in the "traditional" nuclear family and by extension, the ruling patriarchy of the nation. Gaye's critique is amplified by his own well-documented relationship with his father and the manifestations of patriarchy and power that his father wielded over him. As a result, Marvin Gaye's critique of patriarchy and its social functions, counters popular expressions of black patriarchy during the Civil Rights era and foreshadows the debates surrounding displacement of black men from the lower stratum of the labor force. The subsequent transformation of the political economy of the black family, in which black women have often become the dominant wage earners, has been the focus of Post-Civil Rights discourse on the black family. At the heart of these tensions are redefinitions of the roles of black men vis-à-vis the social and political functions of patriarchy in the United States (Franklin, 1997).Within this context, Gaye also highlights the demise of civil discourse, as the legal and legitimate protests of America's youth are met with physical violence and political repression from the nation's ruling patriarchy and its militarized agents. Gaye's solution to the deterioration of America's social fabric--a solution indicative of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s influence on Gaye's work - was to reevaluate the role of human respect in the maintenance of civil discourse and basic familial relations. Within...

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