Friday, February 01, 2008

Air Afrique Ad

Air Afrique Ad
Originally uploaded by Loganpoppy
Lately I have been doing quite a bit of thinking on what I am dubbing the "Soul Economy", an economy that was devoted to empowering a black middle class that was distinctly African American in style. Not necessarily integrationist, but hardly segregationist, it was to be an economy devoted to a black middle class that was not simply integrated into accepting white middle class norms. For me the best and longest lasting expression of this is Soul Train, which is something I am dedicated to researching (particularly it's emergence in the early 1970s), but other black capitalist forms would fit into this as well (i.e. independent film and music ventures, hair care products dedicated to African-American style, black publishers, etc).

So far the best expression of this I have found in Ad form is this Air Afrique ad from 1971. The tagline, "Air Afrique. It's Black Owned, Black Operated and Beautiful" says everything. Here leisue travel is promoted as educational and, in the case, playing a double-duty role of supporting an emergent black capitalist enterprise. It's a clue among many and, I must admit, as I study this in tandem with the research that I am engaging on a post centralized music economy my head is spinning. We think we know so much more about cultural economies than we actually do...

Anyways, it's late and I will have more to say about this in the future. I hope...

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