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Black Cultural Traffic traces how blackness travels globally in performance, engaging the work of an international and interdisciplinary mix of scholars, critics, and practicing artists.
“Black Television Travels provides a detailed and insightful view of the roots and routes of the televisual representations of blackness on the transnational media landscape. By following the circulation of black cultural products and their institutionalized discourses—including industry lore, taste cultures, and the multiple stories of black experiences that have and have not made it onto the small screen—Havens complicates discussions of racial representation and exposes possibilities for more expansive representations of blackness while recognizing the limitations of the seemingly liberatory spaces created by globalization.” —Bambi Haggins, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at Arizona State University “A major achievement that makes important contributions to the analysis of race, identity, global media, nation, and television production cultures. Discussions of race and television are too often constricted within national boundaries, yet this fantastic book offers a strong, compelling, and utterly refreshing corrective. Read it, assign it, use it.” —Jonathan Gray, author of Television Entertainment, Television Studies, and Show Sold Separately Black Television Travels explores the globalization of African American television and the way in which foreign markets, programming strategies, and viewer preferences have influenced portrayals of African Americans on the small screen. Television executives have been notoriously slow to recognize the potential popularity of black characters and themes, both at home and abroad. As American television brokers increasingly seek revenues abroad, their assumptions about saleability and audience perceptions directly influence the global circulation of these programs, as well as their content. Black Television Travels aims to reclaim the history of African American television circulation in an effort to correct and counteract this predominant industry lore. Based on interviews with television executives and programmers from around the world, as well as producers in the United States, Havens traces the shift from an era when national television networks often blocked African American television from traveling abroad to the transnational, post-network era of today. While globalization has helped to expand diversity in African American television, particularly in regard to genre, it has also resulted in restrictions, such as in the limited portrayal of African American women in favor of attracting young male demographics across racial and national boundaries. Havens underscores the importance of examining boardroom politics as part of racial discourse in the late modern era, when transnational cultural industries like television are the primary sources for dominant representations of blackness.
'Post-black' refers to an emerging trend within black arts to find new and multiple expressions of blackness, unburdened by the social and cultural expectations of blackness of the past and moving beyond the conventional binary of black and white. Reflecting this multiplicity of perspectives, the plays in this collection explode the traditional ways of representing black families on the American stage, and create new means to consider the interplay of race, with questions of class, gender, and sexuality. They engage and critique current definitions of black and African-American identity, as well as previous limitations placed on what constitutes blackness and black theatre. Written by the emerging stars of American theatre such as Eisa Davis and Marcus Gardley, the plays explore themes as varied as family and individuality, alienation and gentrification, and reconciliation and belonging. They demonstrate a wide-range of formal and structural innovations for the American theatre, and reflect the important ways in which contemporary playwrights are expanding the American dramatic canon with new and diverse means of representation. Edited by two leading US scholars in black drama, Harry J. Elam Jr (Stanford) and Douglas A. Jones Jr (Princeton), this cutting edge anthology gathers together some of the most exciting new American plays, selected by a rigorous academic backbone and explored in depth by supporting critical material.
Examines the anthropological, sociological, historical, economic, and scientific theories of race and racism in the modem era. Delves into the historic origins of ideas of race and racism and explores their social and scientific consequences. Includes biographies of significant theorists, as well as political and social leaders and notorious racists.
Ecstasy did for house music what LSD did for psychedelic rock. Now, in Energy Flash, journalist Simon Reynolds offers a revved-up and passionate inside chronicle of how MDMA (“ecstasy”) and MIDI (the basis for electronica) together spawned the unique rave culture of the 1990s. England, Germany, and Holland began tinkering with imported Detroit techno and Chicago house music in the late 1980s, and when ecstasy was added to the mix in British clubs, a new music subculture was born. A longtime writer on the music beat, Reynolds started watching—and partaking in—the rave scene early on, observing firsthand ecstasy’s sense-heightening and serotonin-surging effects on the music and the scene. In telling the story, Reynolds goes way beyond straight music history, mixing social history, interviews with participants and scene-makers, and his own analysis of the sounds with the names of key places, tracks, groups, scenes, and artists. He delves deep into the panoply of rave-worthy drugs and proper rave attitude and etiquette, exposing a nuanced musical phenomenon. Read on, and learn why is nitrous oxide is called “hippy crack.”
Launched in 1980, cable network Black Entertainment Television (BET) has helped make blackness visible and profitable at levels never seen prior in the TV industry. In 2000, BET was sold by founder Robert L. Johnson, a former cable lobbyist, to media giant Viacom for 2.33 billion dollars. This book explores the legacy of BET: what the network has provided to the larger US television economy, and, more specifically, to its target African-American demographic. The book examines whether the company has fulfilled its stated goals and implied obligation to African-American communities. Has it changed the way African-Americans see themselves and the way others see them? Does the financial success of the network - secured in large part via the proliferation of images deemed offensive and problematic by many black communities - come at the expense of its African-American audience? This book fills a major gap in black television scholarship and should find a sizeable audience in both media studies and African-American studies.

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