Video Review: Club Nouveau “Lean On Me”

Through a rose filter, a middle-aged African-American dance underneath a tent. A sixteen-year-old boy turns with two young women next to him.

Against a black background through the rose filter, Club Nouveau clap and sing.

Caucasian couples dance at a club. A man leads his girlfriend leads down the steps. They swing. Other Caucausian couples follow. A stadium full of people wave their arms in the air. An African-American man and woman dance next to each other, their movements sped up.

A Caucasian middle-aged couple dance in their family room. Several Caucausian couples compete at a sock hop. A Caucausian man spins on top of a platform by a gas station. An African-American in a sequined bra and skirt waves her fan as she dances for the crowd. An African-American man in a suit does the splits. A Caucausian man with a perm claps his hands.

A group of sailors link arms and dance. Children hold hands as they walk across the street. A Caucasian man swings his female over his back. An African-American woman pumps the air as she wears a striped bra top and skirt.

The previous clips began to play in a loop. An African-American dances on stage, holding his top hat. A group of Caucasian women dance in a single line at work. A man throws his head back as a snake lunges for him. A Caucausian woman twirls a hula hoop around her hips. The sixteen-year-old boy turns to one of the young women.

Rating: 1/5

The 1950s clips show two different realities going on in the United States, depending on race. Caucasian couples perform in large spaces with one another. They dance in public places and on the streets. Sometimes, they dance on television shows. A wide viewership is a given.

The African-Americans are featured by themselves. While some are performers, they are limited to small clubs with a tiny audience. The African-American women also wear less clothes. The men gather around her as though she’s a dirty secret.

Club Nouveau seem to be offset the marginalization by being front and center. However, Caucasian people continue to dominate the clips as they play the same ones over and over. They are on top of the world, living glamorous lives while the African-Americans remain invisible and in separate clips.

Director: N/A Year: 1987

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.

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