If You Find Earth Boring

Though made by white men, the 1974 film Space is The Place featuring cosmic jazz man Sun Ra, is not a blaxploitation movie. Ra is working against the stereotype of the downtrodden African American of the 1970s. His is a message of empowerment, enlightenment and a promise of spaceways salvation for black people. The arkestra sounds the call as funky space music, enticing people to follow their lead away from the racism and anger of Earth to Ra's outer space. Sun Ra's music is folk music, and this is featured best in June Tyson's performances. Powerfully sung, but fun songs, she is bridge between the Arkestra's roots in avant space jazz and soul funk as protest music. The message: Get with Ra's groove and get on his space ship for an escape from the oppressions of late 20th century America.

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