Blacking Up: Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity

As hip-hop music and culture continue to redefine American life, its influence exposes the struggle to cross or maintain the cultural divide.

Film Signature Image
Premiere Date
December 19, 2009
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2011 American Library Association-Notable Videos for Adults Award
  • Producer/Director

    Robert A. Clift

    Robert A. Clift is a filmmaker from Washington, D.C., whose previous film Stealing Home: The Case of Cuban Baseball appeared nationally on PBS. He is currently writing his dissertation for the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, where he also taught courses on documentary production and theory. He holds a master’s degree from Show more Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College. Show less

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    The Film

    Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity explores tensions surrounding white participation in hip-hop. Popularly referred to by derogatory terms such as “wannabe” or “wigger,” the figure of the white person who identifies with hip-hop often invokes heated responses. For some, it is an example of cultural progress — a movement toward a color-blind America. For others, it is just another case of cultural theft and mockery — a repetition of a racist past.