Institute of African American Affairs
New York university

Reflections on the Post:
Hollywood’s Representation of Race in the Obama Era

A Fall 2014 Lecture Series

CROUCH Stanley photo by Zack Zook(Photo by Zack Zook)

Stanley Crouch
Jazz scholar, syndicated columnist, social and cultural critic
Author of Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker
Oct. 6, 2014

SAPPHIRE photo by Nikibi(Photo by Nikibi)

Bestselling Novelist & Poet
Author of PUSH—the inspiration for
the Academy Award-winning movie Precious
Oct. 27, 2014

Reflections on the Post: Hollywood’s Representation of Race in the Obama Era invites a writer/artist/critic to select a single film or a group of films that he/she feel exemplifies an Obama Era Hollywood representation of stereotypical blackness, or a post-racial society.

Those who believe in the theory of post-race would argue that the era of a black president would be the most appropriate time to push beyond frontiers and air all issues related to race. For others, the power relations have not changed much, and race is still subject to power and capitalism. Considering the box-office success of recent Hollywood films, (The Butler, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, Django Unchained, Precious, 12 Years a Slave, and others), some critics may see these films as groundbreaking in their representation of racial issues in America today. Others may describe the same films as controversial, because of their failure to challenge long held racial stereotypes. Some may even define these films as post-racial or as Hollywood’s return to race for profit.

If we were to follow the logic of Dr. Frantz Fanon, a post-white phase would stipulate that the white patient has overcome his/her anti-black-superiority complex; and similarly, the diagnostic of a post-black moment would be evident when the black subject, in a dominant white society, has succeeded in controlling the neurosis resulting from the black-inferiority complex vis-à-vis whiteness. The citizens in a post-white and post-black society embrace a new humanity, unimpeded by color hierarchies and privileges; they go about building their society, their relations on equal bases; they have equal access to their inheritance, and a multiplicity of identities with their differences constituting the beauty and health of their society.

Speakers will engage these notions and others creating a dialogue with the NYU community and the general public.

Fall 2014 Schedule

Monday, October 6, 2014
Stanley Crouch on “Moving Beyond the Gang-Bang Joy of Cinematic Show Business”
TIME: 6:00 pm
LOCATION: D’Agostino Hall, NYU Law School, 110 West Third Street, Room: Lipton Hall, NY, NY

Stanley Crouch is a syndicated columnist, musician, novelist, poet, playwright, music and cultural critic, and biographer who has been writing about the music genre and the American experience for more than 40 years. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, for his essay collections Notes of a Hanging Judge and The All-American Skin Game. His other books include Always in Pursuit, The Artificial White Man, and the acclaimed novel Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome. Crouch has served as artistic consultant at New York’s Lincoln Center and co-founded the Jazz at Lincoln Center department. He is the president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Crouch’s latest text, Kansas City Lightning, is the first of two volumes on the life of revolutionary musician Charlie Parker.

Monday, October 27, 2014
TIME: 6:00 pm
LOCATION: Greenberg Lounge, 1st floor, Vanderbilt Hall, NYU Law School, 40 Washington Square South NY, NY 10012

Sapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. Push was made into the Academy Award-winning major motion film Precious, and the film adaptation received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Sapphire’s work has been translated into thirteen languages and has been adapted for stage in the United States and Europe. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb.

The NYU-IAAA “Reflections on the Post: Hollywood’s Representation of Race in the Obama Era” programs are free and open to the public.

Space is limited. Please RSVP at (212) 998-IAAA (4222)