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American Idols: Blackness and the Culture of Celebrity
ENGL 108
Spring 2007 not offered
Crosslisting: AFAM 108

A NEWSWEEK cover story has declared this "the best time ever to be black in America." This judgment is based on the status of the black middle class and the extent to which the country's popular imagination "freely celebrates the appeal and accomplishments of African-Americans. Michael Jordon, Lauryn Hill, Colin Powell - pick your icon," the article invites: "if you are touched at all by American culture your idol is likely to be black" (June 7, 1999). Using contemporary figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Kobe Bryant, O.J. Simpson, Toni Morrison, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.), this seminar examines the culture of celebrity as it both embraces and excludes African Americans. Why are some blacks picked to click as all-American icons by the dominant culture, while others can only be imagined as "low other"? What is mass media's role in both making and breaking black superstars?

Essential Capabilities: Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on APR-14-2024
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