(L-R) Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash, and GloRilla peform onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
(L-R) Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Grandmaster Flash, and GloRilla peform onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy) Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

It’s insane to me to think that this year, 2023, means that stuff that went down in 1973 is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Yikes! That means somebody is getting old. All I can say is… time flies. Check out the list and let me know what you think at aswad@defendernetwork.com.

#10. Endangered Species Act

The wide-ranging Endangered Species Act of 1973 is signed into law to “protect species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”

#9. Independence comes to the Bahamas

The Bahamas Gains Independence from Great Britain. And any time a Black nation gains its independence from colonizers, it’s worth celebrating and remembering.

#8. Battle of the Sexes Tennis Match

Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs competed in “The Battle of the Sexes” exhibition tennis match during September of 1973. The 29-year-old King, who had already won 10 Grand Slam titles and was a pioneer in women’s tennis, went up against 55-year-old Riggs, who was at one point considered the best tennis player in the world, and defeated him handily winning three sets 6-4, 6-3, and 6-3.

#7. Occupation of Wounded Knee

About 200 Oglala Lakota Native Americans and members of the American Indian Movement began their occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota during February of 1973. AIM, a militant civil rights organization, was created in the late 1960s with the intention of bringing attention to injustices faced by Native Americans. Wounded Knee was located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in 1890 it was the site of a massacre of 300 unarmed Sioux by the U.S. Cavalry. At the start of their occupation AIM took 11 hostages and asked that The U.S. Government start investigating broken treaties, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and all of the South Dakota Sioux reservations. The occupation lasted 71 days during which they negotiated with U.S. Marshals and exchanged regular gunfire with federal agents. In May the group surrendered and government officials agreed to start investigations as demanded.

#6. Blaxploitation explosion

Check this out… “Coffy,” “Cleopatra Jones,” “Black Caesar,” “The Mack,” “Gordon’s War,” “Ganja & Hess,” “Shaft in Africa,” “Scream Blacula Scream,” “The Slams,” “Detroit 9000,” “That Man Bolt,” “Black Mama White Mama,” “Blackenstein” and “Five on the Black Hand Side” were all made in 1973. Just… Wow.

#5. Oil Crisis

OPEC oil increased in price by 200% and the US lost its damn mind.

#4. Black Music Explosion

In one year, Black musical artists blessed us with the following songs: Living for the City, Higher Ground, Too High, Jesus Children of America, Golden Lady, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing (Stevie Wonder); Call Me, Here I Am, You Ought to Be With Me (Al Green); Let’s Get it On, Distant Lover (Marvin Gaye); If You Want Me to Stay (Sly & the Family Stone); Keep Your Head to the Sky (EW&F); Angel (Aretha Franklin): Touch Me in the Morning (Diana Ross); I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know, Someday We’ll All Be Free (Donny Hathaway); Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up (Barry White); I’ll Be Around (The Spinners); Right on for the Darkness (Curtis Mayfield); Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack); What is Hip (Tower of Power); Southern Part of Texas (War); That Lady, Summer Breeze (The Isley Brothers); Cheaper to Keep Her (Johnnie Taylor): You Can’t Miss What You Can’t Measure, Nappy Dugout, Cosmic Slop, March to the Witch’s Castle (Funkadelic); Jungle Boogie, Hollywood Swinging (Kool & the Gang); Midnight Train to Georgia, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination, You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me (Gladys Knight & the Pips); Get it Together, Dancing Machine (The Jackson 5)… I could keep going…

#3. Roe v. Wade

The Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes abortion a U.S. constitutional right, allowing women to have agency over their own bodies. Kind of a big deal.

#2. Watergate Hearings Begin

The then President of the United States (Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon) was caught breaking the law, and members of his own party (Republicans) were so outdone (that he got caught) that they joined in with Democrats to move with the swiftness to impeach him. Instead of allowing that groundbreaking vote to go down, Nixon resigned in disgrace. Imagine that. A president guilty of crimes actually being held accountable. Kinda.

#1. Birth of Hip Hop:

The music genre that has taken over the world was officially “born” in the NYC in 1973. Today, hip-hop is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and accounts for roughly one-third of the entire global musical market.

BUT THE REAL TOP 1973 EVENT IS

The birth of my wife.

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...