Redisovering the 80s:  The Decade That Made Us


The 1970's - 1980's featured many African American actors including Bill Cosby, the great man of comedy, who became one of the great spokespersons for Ford Motor company. Another was Reggie Jackson, who was not only a great Baseball player but also was featured in many popular Volkswagen advertising during the early 1980's. 

Interesting Facts – Back to the 80s 

The 80s were busy and action packed, so naturally there are tons of fun facts about the 80s that you may or may not know:

• Ronald W. Reagan was President (1981-1989) and George H.W. Bush (1981-1989).
• McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets were put on the menu in 1981, changing the lives
of chickens everywhere.
​• MTV (Music Television) network debuted on Saturday, August 1, 1981.  Yo! MTV raps was the first hip hop music show on the network.  The program featured lively mix of rap videos, interviews with rap stars, live in studio performances (on Fridays) and comedy.
• Computers in the early 80s only had 64 kilobytes or memory.
• Michael Jackson’s music video, 1983 “Thriller” was proclaimed the
“Greatest video of all –time by ‘Guineness Book of World Records.” 

• In 1986, Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host a television show. 

​America’s Introduction to Oprah Winfrey & Her First Show 
• Russell Simmons founds Def Jam Records in Harlem, New York in 1984.

Interesting Facts – Back to the 80s 

For African Americans, the 80s was a time of blow-dried bouffy hairstyles,
Jheri Curls…like Michael Jackson in “Thriller”, Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction”  hink and Rick James in “Super Freak.”  Will Smith aka “Fresh Prince” and Jazsie Jeff along with Kid n Play popularized the flat top hair-style for me. And Patrice Rushen’s corn rows with beads influenced many African American woman wear braids. 

Rick James 

Kid N Play

Samuel L. Jackson 

Patrice Rushen 

​The Sony walkman and boomboxes (also known as ghetto blasters), introduced in the
late 70s, became very popular ways to listen to, and carry around your favorite music tunes.  
​Some popular movies among included: Purple Rain (1984), Beverly Hills Cop (1984) The Color Purple (1985), Glory (1989) and Coming to America (1988). 

Fashion in the 80s


The cost of a house in the 1980s was around $68,714.
A half a gallon of milk was only 85cent. While today’s milk is around
$2.60 a gallon. 
A gallon of gas was $1.19 in the 80s and 97 ¢ in 1989!
The average cost of a loaf bread was 50 cents. 
The average cost of one-pound hamburger meat was 99 cents.
Average Wages in the 1980s was $19,850.
The People History           
Website: thepeoplehistory.com/70yearsofpricechange.html
World Population:  240.132,887
Bacon per pound:  87 cent
Eggs per Dozen:     $1.69 cent
Cost of Postal Stamp:  22 cent 
​Tracksuits, four fingered rings and dookie chains made popular by Hip Hop/Rap artists
Member’s Only Jacket 

…as well padded shoulders, puffy shirts, acid wash jeans, and Micheal Jackson

clothing (i.e. studden gloves, military jacket and white socks) – all were very

popular fashion choices during the 80s.