Pop, Race, and the ’60s

“Family Affair” and “Brown Sugar”

The ’60s end, and things get complicated.

Rolling Stones and Sly and the Family Stone.
The Rolling Stones, left, and Sly and the Family Stone.

Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Stringer/Getty Images and Alfagomma2/YouTube.

In the last episode of Pop, Race, and the ’60s, Scott Poulson-Bryant, award-winning journalist and cofounder of Vibe magazine, joins Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton to talk about the end of the 1960s, as reflected in the music of Sly and the Family Stone and the Rolling Stones. They listen to songs from the dawn of the 1970s, when both groups were at turning points: “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” which sees Sly Stone complicating his upbeat integrationist pop with darker themes, and “Brown Sugar,” perhaps the most confounding moment in the Stones’ troublesome career.

Pop, Race, and the ’60s is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, home of the radio/podcast programs With Good Reason and BackStory.