Categories
Social Justice

Endnotes to “The Story of O.J.”

“Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga. Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga. Still nigga, Still nigga.” -Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to […]

Categories
Masculinity Relationships

Endnotes to “4:44”

“I apologize, often womanize. Took for my child to be born. See through a woman’s eyes.” -Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to music videos for the […]

Categories
Masculinity

Fresh Dressed: Fashion and Black Masculinity in Pro Sports

“For me to sit here and tell you I wasn’t the best-dressed, I would be lying to you.” -Jamal Adams, 2017 NFL Draft Where can you find Christian Louboutins, pink blazers, and lots of floral prints? If you said the Kentucky Derby or an Alpha Kappa Alpha soiree you would be wrong. No, this was […]

Categories
Film

Hollywood & Hidden Racism in America, 1967-2017

“I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could.” -Dean Armitage In the closing moments of the 2017 film Get Out, the protagonist Chris Washington chokes the life out of his girlfriend Rose Armitage. Chris is a 26-year-old dark skinned black man and Rose is an upper class white woman. Watching Chris […]

Categories
Identity Television

Reflections on Black Image in Amos ‘n’ Andy

During childhood my favorite television shows were cartoons, The Cosby Show, and the black-and-white classic series I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, and The Three Stooges, which I watched with my dad. One summer he introduced me to a series called Amos ‘n’ Andy. Unlike the other “classic” shows, Amos ‘n’ Andy reruns did […]

Categories
Film

What Donald Trump Can Learn from Spike Lee

“I pledge that I will be the president for all Americans… Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation.” —President-elect Donald Trump, November 9, 2016 This fall semester I am teaching a new course called HIST 289: Spike Lee’s America. The course uses Spike Lee’s filmography to engage students in discussion […]

Categories
Sports

Get Woke or Die Tryin’: The Revolt of the Black Athlete

“This win hopefully brings hope and change to some of the issues that are going on.” —Simone Manuel Prelude From Black Lives Matter protests in the streets to Donald Trump becoming a hero for working class whites, 2016 has been one of the most racially charged years in recent memory. For most Americans sports provides […]

Categories
Hollywood

Boyz 25:  Reflections on a Hip-Hop Classic

“Either they don’t know… don’t show … or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” –Doughboy, Boyz n the Hood (1991) Twenty-five years ago, America was dealing with war in Iraq, growing concerns over racial profiling, an alarming rate of black-on-black violence, Donald Trump was in the news, and Bill Clinton was running […]

Categories
Black Lives Matter

Fantastic Lies and Omissions

“I am innocent. Every member of the Duke lacrosse team is innocent. You have all been told some fantastic lies!” —David Evans The new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary film, Fantastic Lies, marks the tenth anniversary of the Duke University lacrosse scandal by providing a step-by-step analysis of the scandal. At the conclusion of the two hour […]