- This event has passed.
Scott Saul, “What You See Is What You Get”?: Wattstax, Richard Pryor, and the Secret History of the Black Aesthetic in 1970s LA”
November 14, 2011 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm | College 8, Room 301
The Urban Studies Research Cluster presents Scott Saul, “”What You See Is What You Get”?: Wattstax, Richard Pryor, and the Secret History of the Black Aesthetic in 1970s LA”. This talk revolves around Pryor’s role as narrator of and interviewee in the 1973 documentary film Wattstax (about the 1972 concert held at the LA Coliseum), examines how the film reframes the meaning of the Watts Riots, as well as the political/cultural role of the black community in Los Angeles. By doing so, it addresses persistent questions issues around black aesthetics and representations or urban life.
Scott Saul is an associate professor of American Studies and English at UC-Berkeley. His first book, Freedom Is, Freedom Ain’t, on jazz and the 1960s, was the winner of the American Book Award. He writes frequently on American culture and politics for publications such as Boston Review, Harper’s, and The Nation. He is currently working on “Becoming Richard Pryor” which will be the first critical biography of the comedian-entertainer. The study explores the trajectory of Pryor’s artistic development in conjunction with a set of larger historical trends: the emergence of the counterculture and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements; the debates over the “declining inner city” and the “declining working class” in 1970s culture; and the challenge posed by New Hollywood to the older studio system.