Racism in the United States is complex given the cultural logics that uphold notions of “post-race” or “colorblindness” as a means for understanding racialized events. The…
Racism in the United States is complex given the cultural logics that uphold notions of “post-race” or “colorblindness” as a means for understanding racialized events. The various forces at play within media institutions create paradoxes in the power that the media wields in society. Utilizing the concept of “media spectacle” and putting it into dialogue with colorblind racism, the author looks at local coverage of the 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates. The author’s primary concern is to identify not only the narratives that uphold or challenge colorblind racism during racialized events, but also the dynamic in which racialized events are mediated in contemporary society. Through a critical discourse analysis of two Boston newspapers, the author demonstrates the way colorblind racism adapts during a racialized event. This study demonstrates the contested nature of the media and nuance to the ways we understand colorblind racism in an increasingly mediated society.
This chapter suggests that social justice for African Americans during the era of Obama presidency will advance less from what Mr. Obama does and more from what social scientists and others do. President Obama is not expected to provide much leadership on this issue for at least four reasons. First, presidents and other high-level elected officials do not tend to make policy without strong public advocacies for such policies. Second, Mr. Obama has put forth a universal rather than a targeted approach to dealing with issues concerning African Americans. Third, he is unlikely to use his bully pulpit to advance social justice for African Americans because he has been reluctant to use the bully pulpit to advance his major legislative agenda. And fourth, the Obama administration has made a habit of fumbling on teachable moments about race. See the missteps in the Henry Louis Gates affair, and the timidity in the Shirley Sherrod and the Van Jones affairs.
Rap music subordinates music to language. It is this emphasis on language that can make rap a vehicle for many ideas, if that is the rapper's intention. Playthell…
Rap music subordinates music to language. It is this emphasis on language that can make rap a vehicle for many ideas, if that is the rapper's intention. Playthell Benjamin, former academic and freelance writer for such magazines as the Village Voice and Emerge, believes that rappers can be divided into distinct groups, based on the message or non‐message conveyed. He groups rappers as “Narcissists, didactics, party‐time rappers, or gangsters” based on the content of their rapping. Any rapper who falls into one of these groups can have political significance for blacks, whites, women, liberals, conservatives, Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Narcissists frequently refer to women as mere sex objects, the worst example being the group 2 Live Crew, and less offensive examples being L.L. Cool J. and Big Daddy Kane. Didactics are the chief proponents of Afrocentric thinking and revisionist history. Representatives of this style would be Public Enemy, KRS‐One, and X‐Clan. Party‐time rappers, such as Heavy D and the Boyz or Biz Markie, are rarely serious, but sexism and homophobia can be elements in their raps. Gangster rappers N.W.A., Ice‐T, and Ice Cube are currently receiving a lot of attention from the press, and violent behavior characterizes their lyrics.
Many African Americans cheered the election of President Obama in 2008 with the hope he would cause an easing of the pain of economic and political barriers to collective…
Many African Americans cheered the election of President Obama in 2008 with the hope he would cause an easing of the pain of economic and political barriers to collective black progress in America. This chapter assesses the role of President Obama in addressing these issues.
The Presidential Bully Pulpit is presented as a framework for addressing racial inequities. Properly used it can bring keen attention to issues a president deems important for consideration by the American public. Socio-historical texts and secondary data are used.
Data are presented to show how racial discrimination continues to affect African Americans during the age of Obama. These include housing discrimination, employment discrimination, and racial profiling. This chapter shows Mr. Obama has not used the office of the presidency as a bully pulpit for addressing these racial inequities. Rather he has tended to use the bully pulpit to chastise blacks, especially black males.
Also discussed are some promising developments challenging racism that have emerged from his administration, primarily from the Department of Justice, and how President Obama could use the bully pulpit more productively.
This chapter presents a contradiction in the actions of President Obama. While he seldom uses the bully pulpit to push his own legislative agendas or to push toward solutions to relieve racial inequities in society, he does use the bully pulpit to criticize black males.
Researcher Highlight: Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950)
Commodification doubles self and work, life and object, uniqueness and standardization and art and management. For the artist, the unicity, beauty, inspiration and…
Commodification doubles self and work, life and object, uniqueness and standardization and art and management. For the artist, the unicity, beauty, inspiration and creativity of art is doubled in the sale, marketing, display, distribution and mass production of “art works”. Making art is intimate, personal and individual; selling art requires public display, pleasing the all important customer(s) and dealing with many sorts of in-betweens. What commodification is on the artist/art work level is doubling on the I/me, self/persona, private/public and in-group/out-group level. This paper aims to examine the commodification and doubling in the case of the Gee’s Bend quilt makers. The quilts foreshadowed the modernist aesthetic and are of the highest aesthetic quality. But, they were made in a traditional rural society by very poor, uneducated black women. The quilts were not made to be sold but were dedicated to familial remembrance and to immediate aesthetic pleasure. But now that they are on display: is escape from commodification possible?
Reprint for special issue.
Doubling, in the original article below, was tendentious but artistically and politically to be overcome; doubling currently seems much more ominous, omnipresent and out of control. Signifyin(g) has become bomb throwing. Present day doubling apparently produces terror and not just commodification.
Invited for publication.
How we become a part of group, identify with the group, and acquire a “we” feeling is both simple and complex. We may absorb groupness either because we were born into the group, or because we have made a decision to choose membership into the group. In this subsection the former will be our focus, and since we have already broached the African American theme we will explain collective identity matters from this perspective.
This annotated list represents a selection of outstanding poetry titles published in the USA in 2003 and the early part of 2004.
The authors selected the titles in this list from the 2,100 titles received for the 2004 Poetry Publications Showcase at Poets House in New York City, held in April 2004.
The authors selected titles for this list that would be both accessible and challenging to library users.
This list can be used as a guide to collection development for contemporary poetry.