Things started to change in the 1970s. After decades of intense struggle, the black middle class became more visible, ushering in new attitudes, decor and music as the smooth sounds of Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner and George Benson reached new audiences. Locally, New Orleans East was becoming a black professional enclave at a time when Allen Toussaint and Patti Labelle's Lady Marmalade mega-hit ruled the city's airwaves via DJ's like WYLD FM's legendary Sister Love. Mickalene Thomas was born in New Jersey in 1971, but her work conveys black America's rapidly evolving 1970s notions of beauty, sexuality and female empowerment in ways that seem especially relevant today.
Moving Like Microbes on Santa Monica Beach
6 minutes ago