Subject: WHAT'S A FUNKATEER?


I have never met any of the people in the picture, but I know each and everyone of them as if they lived right next door to me. The picture was taken at a college campus in 1974. At that time I was in my sophmore year at the University of Pittsburgh and my friends and I all looked exactly like the people in the picture . This scene was repeated on college campuses, street corners, basketball courts, bus stops, etc. all across the United States. It didn't matter what city or state, I always knew that if I saw someone who beared even the slightest resemblence to the people in the picture.....that was a friend !!
It meant that I could approach any one of them and not have to want for anything. They would take me in and instantly make me a part of their group, because they knew that I would instantly do the same for them if they were to come and visit my city. Back then, it was all about UNITY (not anti-white but Pro-Black !!), and the knowlege that just a few short years before that there were people who had died on the streets, highways and byways of this country in a sucessful effort to give all of us the freedom to do something very simple and basic:
TO LIVE OUR LIVES !!

But what about the music ?
Simply put, the music that these people listened to was "music for the head......that you could dance to" !!
......it really was ....ÒÒÒÒ DA BOMB ÒÒÒÒ

Read on to see the viewpoints of others that we hang out with online




  • A funkateer is more than a person who likes funk music. They like to have a good time but are also responsible. They care about their people and community, and are willing to voice their opinions about racism & injustice and will stand up for their beliefs. That’s what I believe. I wonder if others agree with my definition?

  • In many ways, I agree with you what you have stated. During the 70’s, people had the yearn for growth so they welcome any and all challenges. There was a dream to exceed as one’s mind could take them, but it was about the “we” and what can “I” do rather than todays version of being all about the “me”. As an advocator, I know extremely well how quick we “give up” on each other as well as the children. There is a “band of the hand” to be from the “funkateer” era. The people, communities and the willingness to voices gave people hope which is one of the things that notice that this generation lacks. My questions are:
    What did the generation of the 70’s have that created the peace among themselves that the 80’s & 90’s don’t have ? Will we ever get back to that point or have we lost all hope of peace of mind ?
    Instead of saying what is wrong, when will we bring/implement solutions for this generation ? These are a just a few of my questions that I personally feel without dream...there is no hope, without hope... there is no live. What do you or anyone think ?

  • A true funkateer here, Just a Intruders, Impressions, Tempations, Smokey and the Miracles, Mary Wells, Parliment, New Birth, Commodores, 5 Strairsteps, Softones, James Brown, Chi-lites, Delfonics, Jimmy Briscoe and the Little Beavers, Manhattans, Al Green, Jerry Butler, and bring it up to date: Mint Condition, Tina Turner, AZ Yet, Kenney Lattimore, Whispers, Quincey Jones, MAXWELL, kinda girl, and the list goes on and on and on and on.

  • That’s a nice list of artists you have, which I have loved the music of each and every one of em. Tell me, how would you define a “Funkateer” ? As an indivdual, how do you define yourself as being a “Funkateer” ? Hey, I’m the curious one but I want to know your outlook/prospective on the people you know that shared the same love for music.
    “still groovin’ off of the tunes”

  • I think part of the problem is that the civil rights and black power movements are part of our experience, which instilled hope in us. For the younger generation, the “movement” is history. Their “experience” has fewer positive images that inspire hope. Our role models were MLK, Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver etc. The media has created role models like 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Dennis Rodman etc. for todays generation. The media has helped to change The answer is to educate & empower our youth, while instilling our ideals and hopes for a better future. We cant count on the broadcast media or government to help to provide programming that will help to achieve that goal. Computers and the internet do. We are a good example of its potential. We have never met but work together trying to educate and encourage discussion that hopefully has a positive impact on someone. Our web site has the potential to become the resource of information about black music for our people. The crack story in the San Jose Mercury News is a good example of the political potential the internet has for blacks. On the internet, a single individual has the opportunity to express their voice to the world, provided they have access and skills to do so. Blacks cant afford to be left out of the computer age, it provides a possible tool to instill more hope for our people.

  • Otay..i'm a newbie to this board..but my friend nightrain asked me to post..so here goes ..
    Although ‘funk’ is considered a ‘style’ of music..i personally feel a ‘funkateer’ is a person who finds the ‘groove’ or the ‘feeling’ in music..ANY music!..i don’t limit my listening to one ‘style’..i find something in all styles (even country..but i don’t listen to it by choice!).. the artist in any music is trying to express themselves and if you take the time to listen..maybe you can hear ‘em .. i’ve been criticized for being black and listening to rock n’ roll over r&b..but *i* find my groove there and other >> ‘styles’ not in the ‘mainstream’..i’m looking over some of my cd’s..they include living color {s yah}!!, fishbone, REM, supertramp, TLC, bob marley, alpha blondy, 4 non-blondes, duran duran, nat king cole, aerosmith..ANYTHING THAT GROOVES ME is *my* kinda music!!..they all have something that rocks my soul ..they all have some ‘funk’ in ‘em..it’s just the ‘style’ of their funk that differs ..

  • Thanks for providing us with yet anothe viewpoint of just what a “funkateer” is. You have proved once again that the FUNK is not a monolithic thang !! To me “FUNK” is the ultimate fusion music and encompassses all styles....(Clarence Carter = “country-funk”). So far you have described your diversity in musical tastes, is this in someway a reflection of either your lifestyle, goals, ambitions or hopes for the future ?
    And how does this "diversity" that you imply speak to your dealings with other people ?

  • When I think of a Funkateer, I think of bell bottom pants and platform shoes. I think of english leather cologne and very big afros. I think of youngster who did get into the beat of the song, but mostly it was the lyrics, songs with direction an purpose. Honesty like that of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. Those feeling kinds of songs like the Temptations-Since I lost My Baby, Smokeys sensuous OOOOOOOO Baby Baby. Back then, we loved our music and respected our parents. Being proud of being Black people and proud of music. Brotha’s shooting crap in the corner and sistas with their afros and big earrings. Drinking Cold Duck and Boones Farm. Gathering for those Basement Blue/Red Light parties. Eagerly awaiting the slow songs. But getting down on the fast songs. Wow, this is really taking me back, better stop before I really start telling on myself.

  • Today’s Funketeer’s are those who have not forgotten how it was back in the day, we are now successful black businessmen and women, with families and every so often we reflect back to a time when things were so much simpler and uncomplicated. We lived and loved and did not have to worry about such serious complications for our actions. For me the back in the day music will never die. And every opportunity I get to add to my collection, I take it. Yes those were good days, but for me the best of time is now, when we can look back and really appreciate from where we have come.

  • You go, gurrrl!!!
    While reading your note, my mind flash back to the time. I’m a “packrat”, so I after reading your note I start going through all my old photo albums. The pictures is very much like you stated, people more carefree and all the family reunions .. the bond of togetherness.... Personally from me, I would like to thank you.....reflecting back is an everyday occurrence for me but you provided a much clearer picture.

  • You're absolutely right!!!!!! With the right implementation and empowerment, we will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Sit back, relax and please feel free. As you walk through, keep in mind that "it's the journey & not the destination that counts".

  • They were such good and enjoyable times for me, less confusing. I reflect often and with all of the radio stations that take us back in the day, I find myself reaching for the afro pick and the white lipstick in the shadows of my mind.

  • Someone asked me to describe what a funkateer is. I just told them that you have to have funk if you need an answer. Besides, if you have to ask, well then.... I have had the occasion to say that being one is a state of mind that you get like a lightening flash. It just happens, you can’t try to become one, it has to become you. The music is one thing that is a big factor, but the culture of funk is one of the things, in my opinion that starts the bolts flying. The Funk begins with anything that you here. Have you ever listened to a song, and said to your self,’ Self I hear some Bootsy in that song’. I do it all the time, but not just with Bootsy. I feel the funk, and I also know when others are FAKIN the funk. If you want to check out some info on funk from a writters perspective, you should get the book from our past guest, ‘Rickey Vincent’. You will find info about him on the Funk Website that we have. There are other good books about Funk as well as good stories to hear from some of our older Funkateers....Maybe Soon. I again say, that it is a state of being, and not something that you learn from a teacher in school.

  • You're absolutely right!!! It's definitely a "state of being". It shows in your very existance, as well as how you lead your life from day to day. There's code of honor to being an funkateer .. not saying that they do no wrong .... but the responsiblity level is intact. Thank you for the enlightenment !!

  • In my opinion, a "funkateer" is much more than a person who listens to funk music. I feel that it is more like an attitude and a way of life. A "funkateer" likes to party and have a good time, but also takes care of business. They are responsible people who will question the "status quo" and will speak their honest opinions. They have a vision of a better world and are willing to stand up for causes that will bring it about. Almost everyone that I know that calls themselves a "funkateer" possess these qualities. I feel
    that the world needs more of them!

  • I would have to agree. Being a funkateer is a way of life. I may not have lived in the '70's, but hey I was born in the '70's. I believe music is in the soul its a way to bring out the goodness in everyone."You never really knowwhat you can do until you get up off your ass and start to groove!" is my favorite saying and it says alot. Funk has the most groove than any other form of music, influencing musicians and everyday people everywhere. If the groove is in the heart your a funkateer.


  • My opinion of a funkateer...Is to be trusting Openminded Patient Honest...I think a funkateer can be anyone ages 1-100...I consider my self... as a progressive Funkateer Im willinfg to learn about all kinds of funky music PeopleEct...

  • "Back in the day", Funkateers were sometimes refered to as "Black Hippies".
    You are saying that "funk is a way of life". That sounds pretty cool, but what does it really mean ?
    Does it represent a certain type of behavior or style ?
    This is very thought provoking.

  • I would tend to agree with your point about "funkateers are willing to challenge the status quo".
    What are some examples of this ?
    Is this willingness to challenge something that exists only within people who "lived the funk" during the 1970's or is this trait something that we can see in folks who were too young to have been around in the 1970's ?

  • What I meant by challenging the status quo is that "funkateers" don't accept the current state of affairs in this country. They voice their opinions and take action in social issues that negatively the black community and society or are unjust. Recent examples of this are the the support of Mumia Abdul-Jamal in his efforts to overturn his murder conviction, and Rev. Jesse Jackson's denouncement of Mitsubishi Motors' practices of racial and sexual discrimination. I don't feel that the attitude to change the status quo is limited to those from the seventies. There are many young people today that are just as outspoken as we were. The diiference that I see is that the black community seemed to be more united and focused during the seventies.
    Today they seem to be more polarized.

  • What Im tryin to say is that music isnt just music. Its a lifestyle and behavior yes. If your like me, music influences alot of aspects of my personality. If you can getinto music instead of just listening to it, then any music can be a way of life. It sort of becomes a part of you, when you feel down you think of or listen to a feel good song like "No Woman No Cry" as the lyrics go "everythings gonna be alright". If you feel bored you listen of a up beat song,and so on. Well I hope you get what Im trying to say.

  • I can definitely see what you are talking about in terms of "lifestyle". For example, when people in the chatroom are saying things like "I lived the FUNK", it isn't just a catch phrase. Usually people are refering to an entire lifestyle (clothes, politics, sports, art, movies, work, hairstyles ......and yes even music !!!) that defined them as a person. The 1970's were truly a glorious time to be a young black american and the FUNK was at the core of itall !!!
    Many of us were able to experience (thanks to the Civil Rights Movement) a kind of freedom that our parents had never enjoyed. And the FUNK was at the heart of it all. one of the best parts about this is that it was (and still is) a common "shared experience" of pure joy.
    It was a time of cultural expression, political solidarity and musical grooves that seems to have disappeared from the american scene. I just hope that it hasn't disappeared for good.
    Does anyone have a clue as to what happened to that "groove" ?

  • I remember a while back a friend and I were talking about Funk music basically the Funk Mob "George Clinton and Crew"and the way most of this music mentioned things like Easter Island and the Big Bang Theory and the Black hole and used these things to make us dance and groove all night long. And some people say Funk is'nt a state of Mind.

    Then why do you suppose that there are some who feel its "just music" ??





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