Author Jeff Chang joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to discuss his book, “Who We Be: The Colorization of America.” Chang received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Literary Work – Non Fiction.
Chang explained “Who We Be” examines cultural changes that have accompanied demographic shifts over the last century. “Before multiculturalism, before Hip-Hop, the ideal was that you had one way of being American.”
The NAACP Image Award nominated author told Martin, “Colorization is talking about the process of breaking that open. The multiculturalism movement comes along in the 70’s and the 80’s, and Hip Hop comes along, and has changed, I think in a lot of ways the way that we see each other.”
Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today.
During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope—another four-letter word—is still plunged into endless culture wars.
How do Americans see race now? How has that changed—and not changed—over the half-century? After eras framed by words like “multicultural” and “post-racial,” do we see each other any more clearly?
From the dream of integration to the reality of colorization, Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress.
Watch Martin and author Jeff Chang discuss “Who We Be: The Colorization of America” in the video clip above. “Who We Be” is up for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work -Non Fiction.
Watch the 46th Annual NAACP Image Awards tonight on TV One. Red Carpet coverage begins at 8/7c and the this year’s Image Awards kicks off at 9/8c.
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