CAAAS Lecture Series: Dr. Reiland Rabaka

"Black Women’s Liberation Movement Music" argues that the Black Women’s Liberation Movement of the mid-to-late 1960s and 1970s was a unique combination of Black political feminism, Black literary feminism, and Black musical feminism, among other forms of Black feminism. While there has been scholarship focused on the Black political feminism and Black literary feminism of the Black Women’s Liberation Movement, rarely have the various soundtracks of the movement been discussed in relationship to, and as musical reflections of, the core principles of the movement. This presentation critically explores the ways the soundtracks of the Black Women’s Liberation Movement often overlapped with those of other 1960s and 1970s social, political, and cultural movements, such as the Black Power Movement, Women’s Liberation Movement, and Sexual Revolution. The soul, funk, and disco music of the Black Women’s Liberation Movement era is simultaneously interpreted as universalist, feminist (in a general sense), and Black female-focused. This music’s incredible ability to be interpreted in so many different ways speaks to the importance and power of Black women’s music and the fact that it has multiple-meanings for a multitude of people. Within the worlds of both Black popular movement studies and Black popular music studies there has been a longstanding tendency to almost exclusively associate Black women’s music of the mid-to-late 1960s and 1970s with the Black male-dominated Black Power Movement or the White female-dominated Women’s Liberation Movement. However, this presentation reveals that much of the soul, funk, and disco performed by Black women was most often the very popular music of a very unpopular and unsung movement: the Black Women’s Liberation Movement.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 4:30pm to 6:30pm

CAAAS Living Room, 117 1595 Pleasant Street, University of Colorado Boulder | Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type

Lecture/Presentation, Community Engagement


Diversity & Inclusion, Research & Innovation, Law & Politics


Students, Faculty, Alumni, General Public

College, School & Unit

Graduate School, Arts & Sciences



Center for African & African American Studies, Ethnic Studies
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