Tags
Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Recent
Comics

Doctor Strange and the Racial History of a Marvel Icon

The Asian legacy of Doctor Strange is more complex than you know.

Film

TIFF 2018: Papi Chulo

Papi Chulo's heart is in the right place. The problem is, from the Latino perspective, the "friendship" in this story could be the basis of a horror movie.

Books

"We are all Rachel Dolezal": on Asad Haider's 'Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump'

Among other critiques of identity politics, Haider believes that we each can slip between identities at will. Indeed, it's a universal human condition.

Film

Norman Lear's 'Cold Turkey' Satirizes Nixon, Narrowmindedness, and Tobacco Addiction

The humor in this film goes hand-in-paw with the blunt, vulgar symbolism of a dog's lifted leg in the opening credits.

Music

Kanye West: The Iconoclast Gives In

How the allure of newness is leading Kanye West astray.

Books

Prince Shall Forever Remain the Enigma: 'This Thing Called Life'

Instead of cherry-picking facts and quotes, Joseph Vogel lets Prince's legacy shine in all its vague and erratic splendor.

Books

Informed or Inflamed? Author Steve Almond Talks About How We Consume Trump

With the recent release of Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country, Steve Almond talks in-depth about the US president whom most parents wouldn't even let on the playground -- and about his beef with the American left.

Film

From the Women of Dahomey to Black Panther's Women of Wakanda

Black Panther is more than just another Marvel blockbuster; it's a revelation in Western depictions of Africa and African women.

Culture

Is Dave Chappelle's Humor Too Out of Touch for a Comeback?

In light of movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, Dave Chappelle's 2000 film, Killin' Them Softly may be even more relevant today. But how's his humor holding up?

Film

Sundance 2018: 'Sorry to Bother You' + 'Blindspotting'

First-time directors Boots Riley and Carlos López Estrada tackle racial identity in radically different ways.

Books

Louise Thompson Patterson and the Long Tradition of Radical Struggle

Reading the struggle of Patterson and her comrades a century ago reminds us that today's racist violence is not a temporary aberration but a deeply rooted and pervasive flaw in American society.

Books

James Baldwin Matters

There's a reason why Ta-Nehesi Coates is often compared to James Baldwin, and there's a reason why Baldwin's work is so relevant in the age of Black Lives Matter.

Books

Walk a Comfortable Mile in All Kinds of Shoes

If you can't make it to the Bata Shoe Museum, then pick up this oddly thrilling explanation of things we already suspect about footwear.

Books

For People of Color, 'Real American' Is a Memoir with Big Questions

Julie Lythcott-Haims gives a voice to the internal dialogue—the self-loathing, really—of living a life as a biracial woman who, for most of her life, wasn't quite sure if she was allowed to call herself black.

Interviews

Rock Pioneer Lloyd Price Has a Couple of Stories to Tell

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and rock pioneer Lloyd Price’s life has been much more interesting than yours or mine, from writing hits with Fats Domino to playing an influential role in the Rumble in the Jungle. Yet Price still has many more yarns to spin even now.

Music

The Great I Am: Magic, Fascism, and Race in David Bowie's 'Blackstar'

Blackstar addresses the tension between David Bowie’s avowed attraction to ideologies of blood and soil, and his equally committed obsession with African American musical forms and tropes.

Rahm Bambam
Sports

Professional Wrestling, Racism, Transracial Identity, and Why We All Need to Lighten Up

In contrast to our ossified conceptions of race in other aspects of life, race in professional wrestling is a gimmick, a performance of an identity, which one can adopt or drop as part of the game.

Alexander Zubatov
Books

Diasporic Memories of a Jewish Family

Strangers in a strange land has been the universal theme of the Jewish story. Roger Cohen's 'A Girl from Human Street' provides an emotional account of his family's diasporic journey.

Music

The Fluke That Wasn't: Reconsidering the Success of Ray Charles' Country Music Landmark

How did Ray Charles become a key face and voice for country music in the '60s?

Books

'White Girls': How Black Men and Women Have Confronted White Privilege

Hilton Als’ gift is his reinvention of famous figures, but from the angle of how well they succeeded or failed to confront white supremacy and privilege, or in their (in)abilities to give blacks a voice.

Games

The 'Grand Theft Auto' Rampage: The Violence of Cultural and Subcultural Politics

Grand Theft Auto V's Trevor picks on social groups, rednecks, gang bangers, military personnel, and hipsters, and when he does so, he takes offense at one or two members of that social group before he then allows his rage to explode into a kind of murderous generalization. If one hipster offends, then kill them all.

Games

A Stranger in His Own Land, or 'Assassin's Creed III' and the Alien

The worst thing about Connor as a character seems to me to have less to do with him possibly serving as an ethnic stereotype and more to do with the fact that he often just doesn't seem human at all.

Reviews

An Affectionate Look at the Privilege of the White and the Middle Class: 'The Last Days of Disco'

Amongst themselves, the main cast of characters are nominal equals, and that contributes to a particular kind of status parsing.

Film

Movie Toilets: Women and the Politics of Defilement

The toilet, and its spirit ally, potty humor, has come to be associated with a kind of strength—both at the box office and in terms of a cultural defiance.

Film

International Beats: The Desire for the Foreign in Kerouac's 'On the Road'

With the film adaptation of On the Road just a month away, it's important to once again define what characterized the Beat movement: an infatuation with the foreign.

Film

Deriding Desire: Dorothy Dandridge and the Raced and Gendered '50s

In 1957, Academy Award-nominated actress Dorothy Dandridge found herself at the center of a smear campaign that betrayed the patriarchal and racial politics of Hollywood and the US at large. The '50s were far from calm.

Books

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright: The Role of the Asian American in American Pop Culture

From New York magazine to Punk Planet, Audrea Lim shows us how recent Asian American writing sensations Wesley Yang and Amy Chua get it wrong in their interpretations of what it means to be of Asian descent in American at the dawn of the 21st century.

Audrea Lim
Games

Race in Rapture: Black Characters in 'BioShock 2' and 'Minerva's Den'

In BioShock 2 and Minerva’s Den, Grace Holloway and Charles Porter’s racial identities link them to specific historical and cultural subjects without turning them into stereotypes or purely symbolic characters.

Music

Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains, Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.

Media

This New Year's Eve Really Did End with a Bang

Nothing like spending New Year's Eve with couple of white guys pretending to be black guys during a war-time year worthy of blowing its own brains out.

Books

Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940 by Chad Heap

If you want to understand race and sexuality in the United States, don't bother with policy -- look at entertainment!

Music

Verse-Chorus-Verse: Eminem - "White America"

Pop Heroism, One Song at a Time

Music

The Race: Ice Station

Ice Station serves as a very rewarding point of intersection, creating a central crossing for three roads which have seen, and continue to welcome, adventuresome sojourn.

Featured: Top of Home Page

Betty Davis, Get Him Eat Him

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.