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Posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 10:11 a.m.

AA/Ypsi Reads to screen documentary 'Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity'

By Ann Dwyer

Ann Arbor/Ypsi Reads continues its series of events based on the theme "Understanding Race." On Thursday, they will screen the documentary, Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity in the Ann Arbor District Library multi-purpose room.

The film examines how white youths have embraced hip hop culture, asking if this phenomenon is a step toward racial understanding or if it keeps black culture under the thumb of ugly stereotypes.

"The film explores these themes by looking at the backlash against hip-hop loving white youth in a Midwestern white community; how Vanilla Ice was marketed to mainstream audiences; white appropriation of black cultural expression by the likes of Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones; and performers whose racially-charged symbols are reminiscent of minstrelsy," according to the press release.

This year's AA/Ypsi Reads selection is The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It challenges the notion that even in what some call a "post-racial nation," the country is as racially charged as ever. To get more information, go to

Thursday, January 31, 2013. 6-8:30 p.m. Free. For adults And teens grade nine and up. The AADL is located at 343 S. Fifth Ave, Ann Arbor. 734-327-4555.


Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

Really unhappy that I have to miss this. Just realized that I have to be at WCC's writing center during the screening. @Davidian and others who think that ignoring race or simply not talking about it will make things better, it won't. Pretending to be color-blind makes race-related problems impossible to diagnose and solve. If you're being honest with yourself, you are aware of many problems in this country that cannot be discussed without acknowledging race. (Ex. criminal justice, drug war, housing, lending, employment, etc.)

ms 2013

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

white kids have always loved our music and they always will its all good


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 4:35 p.m.

Reminds me of how Jimi Hendrix was constantly pressured to define his music by color. Of course he wanted to erase the color barriers and refused to be categorized. This was in the late 1960's. SO much has changed - except this. As long as we are attaching color to literally everything in our conciousness, there will never be progress. There will always be hate and mistrust. Ironically it seems that the biggest champions of equality are the ones that are perpetuating the very problem they are trying to solve.

Robert Granville

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

You do not understand the point.