Lecture: Mbongi Talk

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM


Room 116, Ethnic Studies/Psychology building
Africana Studies Department
Serie McDougal
(415) 338-2352


When hip-hop intersects with other global popular cultures, representations of Blackness and Africana identities often abound, even in genres that may have historically marginalized or rendered these identities invisible. Japanese anime and manga are no exception. The first decade of 2000 ushered relatively unprecedented representations of multi-faceted Black and Brown characters as well as Africana aesthetics in popular anime and manga series. Media that featured these characterizations often relied on hybrids of hip-hop that include collaboration with Black musical styles and Black artists to carry storylines that I argue elsewhere serve to symbolize triumph, though not only for that purpose -- and symbolize triumph, even with non-Black characters. As representations of Blackness proliferated, so did increased visibility of queer characters in series that were advertised to presumably non-queer, gender specific adolescent niche markets. In some anime adaptations of manga serials, such as Tite Kubos Bleach, there are significant characters that represent multiple heritages as well as multiple phenotypes and sexual orientations.


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