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Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0226874883
ISBN-10: 0226874885
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In this engaging and provocative book, S. Craig Watkins examines two of the most important developments in the recent history of black cinema -- the ascendancy of Spike Lee and the proliferation of "ghettocentric films" like Boyz N the Hood and Menace II Society. Representing explores a distinct contradiction in American society: at the same time that black youth have become the targets of a fierce racial backlash against crime, drugs, affirmative action, and rap music, their popular expressive cultures have become highly visible and commercially viable.

Further, Watkins considers the imprint of black youth on the landscape of black filmmaking. He asks: after decades of neglect, why did the film industry suddenly develop a heightened interest in black cinema? Watkins shows how the black film wave was driven by several factors -- the transformation of the popular film industry; a reinvigorated independent filmmaking niche; the cross-marketing of music, video, and film; a burgeoning hip hop consumer culture; and historically specific struggles over the meanings and representations of "blackness" in American culture. He contends that despite social and economic marginalization, black youth have gained unprecedented access to the popular media and continue to influence not only black popular culture but the broader U.S. popular culture scene as well.

Representing offers a fascinating look at commercial culture and shows how and why it has become a crucial site for black American youth as they struggle to make their everyday lives more empowering, rewarding, and pleasurable in the face of formidable disadvantages.

About the Author

Watkins is assistant professor of sociology, African-American studies, and radio-televison-film at the University of Texas, Austin.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226874885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226874883
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,130,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

S. Craig Watkins writes about youth, media, technology, and society. He is an Assoc. Prof. of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book. It is very enjoyable and informative reading that is right on target for insight into the Black Urban Culture, the rise of Hip Hop and it's influence on Black produced American film. It was used as a main text for a Rap and Black Cinema university course successfully. Although very sociology based, it was understood by college students of other majors who appreciated the book's honesty of a much maligned topic.
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