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Film

Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in 'New Jack City'

Hood films are a jarring eviction notice for traditional Civil Rights rhetoric and, possibly, leadership -- in other words, "What has the Civil Rights movement done for me lately?"

Books

Black 'Coffy' No Sugar, No Cream: Pam Grier's 'Foxy'

Grier’s vantage point comes across like that of a hip older aunt having sex talk at a kitchen table: straight, no chaser, and awkwardly jolting to make her reader pay attention.

Books

Citizen Abstained?: Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry is to be commended for her efforts to tackle the unusually large breadth and scope of black women's experiences, offering as complicated an analysis as her subject.

Reviews

Generation Novacain? Hardly: 'Brave New Voices 2010'

These young spoken word artists fire back a riveting response to the accusation that today's youth have nothing productive to say.

Reviews

Sweeping Expectations in 'Jumping the Broom'

Jumping the Broom is like a 21st century rendition of The Inkwell, only someone gets married.

Books

The New Mouth, New (Post Civil Rights) 'Dirty South'

Ben Westhoff presents his audience with a smorgasboard of experiences that are often overlooked in conversations about hip-hop culture.

Music

Last Night a Trap Boy Saved My Life: T.I.'s Urban Legend

I realized I couldn't seek comfort in the music me and Daddy shared. I needed something raw, music that would hit me in my chest where only natural, involuntary muscle movements indicated I was still, technically, alive.

Television

Dy(e)ing to be White: Whiteface Performance in Postracial America

On the surface, whiteface performers often exaggerate widely recognized and aesthetically pleasing aspects of white people and culture from a minority viewpoint: light eyes, light colored hair, swanky clothes, snobbish attitude...

Culture

Shoot the J!: Negotiations of Blackness and Normalcy in The Fab Five

Looking back at the Fab Five’s reign in the early '90s, it was framed by numerous moments in blackness, including the burgeoning crossover of hip-hop music and culture into mainstream “white” America, Rodney King’s beating, the ‘hood genre in film, and Michael Jackson’s vitiligo.

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