March 24, 2006

We Were Fam-i-ly


As a visual piece of corporate propaganda, what’s not to admire?

Maybe it’s not blaxploitation in the classic sense, but there’s ‘ole Andy Young, shaken’ it with a sea of young sisters alongside one big-ass stereo speaker.  Yep, Andy — famous for his role in the civil rights movement, labor activism, and his U.N. ambassadorship — is now whoring (when he’s not dancing) for Wal-Mart.

Obviously, WalMart intends to employ Andy in much the same way the image does.  You pair Young — cued up with all his (ever more) historical social justice credentials –  alongside young, happy go lucky looking managerial-level African-Americans (the ones behind the clutter of corporate badges and logos).  Then, you sit back and let the color and cultural associations obscure the fact Young has far less in common with these kids than he does with the white corporate types who have forked out the cash to own their very own civil rights icon.

But c’mon.  Beyond the surface, does anybody believe this company really cares more than 98¢ about health and beauty aides department manager Sabrina Taylor (left) or ladies apparel department manager Antonia Priest?

And then, what makes this Decatur grand opening “newswire worthy” in the first place … rather than just another piece of big ass corporate PR?

(image: Ric Feld/A.P. March 22, 2006.  Decatur, Ga.  Via YahooNews.)

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Michael Shaw
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