|Screening: June 5th at 7pm at Atlanta's |
African American and Latino youth created Hip-Hop more than thirty years ago. The reasons were varied but were partially in response to racial oppression, economic marginalization, and as a means of expression and a way to talk about their culture and their lives. The genre is now embraced by youth the world over and has become part of mainstream youth culture in the United States.
Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity examines the popularity of Hip-Hop among America's white youth and explores the roots of this admiration. Are white youth looking for ways to transcend race, or is this another point along the continuum of stereotyping, mimicry and cultural appropriation? Within a larger context, Blackening Up explores racial identity and authenticity in the United States.
Blacking Up addresses the legacy of blackface performers such as Al Jolson. In addition, jazz figures like the "hipster" and rock and roll icons like Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones are considered within a broader context of white appropriation of black cultural expression.
Throughout the documentary there is insightful commentary by African American cultural critics such as Amiri Baraka and Nelson George, and Hip-Hop figures including Chuck D and Russell Simmons.
"A much needed anecdote to much of the unsophisticated analysis of youth culture that floods our airways and our newspapers. 'Blacking Up' wrestles with the ambiguity and the consequence of cultural borrowing." Lonnie Bunch, National Museum of African American History & Culture