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“Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture” with Author Racquel Gates
October 7, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
Join Videology and CUNY professor Racquel Gates for a discussion on her latest book, Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture. A book signing will take place after the event.
From the antics of Flavor Flav on Flavor of Love to the brazen behavior of the women on Love & Hip Hop, so-called negative images of African Americans are a recurrent mainstay of contemporary American media representations. In Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture, Racquel J. Gates examines the generative potential of such images, showing how some of the most disreputable representations of black people in popular media can strategically pose questions about blackness, black culture, and American society in ways that more respectable ones cannot. In this book talk, rather than falling back on claims that negative portrayals hinder black progress, Gates will explore how reality shows such as Basketball Wives, comedians like Katt Williams, and movies like Coming to America play on “negative” images to take up questions of assimilation and upward mobility, provide a respite from the demands of respectability, and explore subversive ideas.
Racquel Gates is an Assistant Professor at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Her research focuses on blackness and popular culture, with special attention to discourses of taste and quality. She is the author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke, 2018) and has written numerous essays on film and media, some of which appear in Film Quarterly, Television & New Media, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and twin sons.
Books will be available for purchase following the talk.
This event is free and open to the public!