Have you ever felt the need to research Barack Obama comic books? Are you interested in Blaxploitation movie posters? Then the Museum of UnCut Funk is the place for you. Founded in 2007, the Museum celebrates African American arts culture of the 1970s, from posters and comics to videos and paintings. Black culture and history is often glossed over, and the racial struggles of the era are often best portrayed through art. The Museum of UnCut Funk provides a place to research and enjoy the best of what the decade has to offer.
Best part: to go to this museum, you don’t even need to leave your dorm room. The Museum of UnCut Funk is all online. Enjoy a virtual tour by curator Sista ToFunky as she describes the cultural relevance of black animation. If you’re willing to make the trip, The New York Times recently reported that the Museum of UnCut Funk will have a traveling exhibition in New York, Chicago, and Seattle lasting from 2014 to 2015. “Funky Turns 40,” curated by Loreen Williamson and Pamela Thomas, will explore the influence of Black pop culture in the decades since the 1970s.
When thinking about the Civil Rights Movement, I usually relate it to political touchstones like The March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act. American schools tend to ignore the post-1960s struggle for racial equality, as they do for most other social justice movements. Furthermore, we don’t really learn about African American art past the Jazz Age of the 1920s, and certainly not examples of it in contemporary popular culture. It’s easy to overlook the cultural significance of Fat Albert and The Jackson 5ive.
The Museum of UnCut Funk reminds us that movements aren’t defined solely by great speeches and protests – cultural representation and creation are just as important to any fight as those other two. The 1970s were when Black representation in movies and television really began, and the Museum takes the time to appreciate those artists and remind us that the fight isn’t over.
Even with its social justice undertones, exhibits should not be seen as preachy history lessons. The Museum, much like the era itself, is vibrant and celebratory. As Sista ToFunky says, “I started The Museum Of UnCut Funk to share my funky collection with funky people around the world.”
The Black Comic Book Collection is my personal favorite part of the museum. I’m a big fan of all superheroes, and this exhibit especially honors Luke Cage, the most famous black hero of the decade. There’s something for all interests at the Museum. If you’re looking to rediscover funk and learn more about Black culture, then take a trip to the Museum of UnCut Funk. It is the place to be for history nerds and art buffs alike.