This interdisciplinary African American studies course explores the role of media culture in the construction of society and self. It serves as an introduction to the analysis of film, television, print/online media, and radio/music industries, as well as the theories of representation and the aesthetics of black cultural production. In the critique of media representations, we will employ many disciplines, such as history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, feminism, cultural and hip-hop studies, to explore such issues as race, gender, class, sexuality, and violence. Moreover, the course considers whether the use and critique of U.S. culture industries and their often problematic portrayals of African Americans serve as a viable mode of social and political activism that challenges old conceptions of representation and raise the cultural awareness of U.S. citizens/residents. Finally, the course attempts to equip students with the critical skills necessary to forge new definitions of black identity and representation that are not simply created and controlled by the corporate media but, rather, are produced by diverse people of African descent - and their allies - from all sectors and regions of U.S. society.