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bell hooks, Cultural Criticism… On Spike Lee, 'Girl 6' & Representing Blackness In Hollywood

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 9, 2012 at 10:22AM

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bell hooks
bell hooks

While revisiting "Girl 6" in installment #2 of my Spike Lee series this week, I remembered this clip - a portion from a much longer video titled "Cultural Criticism & Transformation," from the Media Education Foundation, featuring the one and only bell hooks, waxing philosophic on Spike Lee's career in general, with some emphasis on "Girl 6." So of course I had to post it for those who haven't seen it.

Although I suggest you watch the entire series, which is all on YouTube, in pieces. It's many years old, but still relevant.

As an aside, it's actually timely (in light of recent events) watching her assess Quentin Tarantino's scene in "Girl 6," arguing that sequence is a critique of Hollywood's understanding that what blackness is, or what black film is - as something that can be negotiated by anyone and any filmmaker because black people aren't *needed* to tell stories about black people, because white people can! Spike himself has said much the same thing, singling out Tarantino specifically, who may or may not have realized that Spike is actually making fun of him in the film, casting him as essentially himself.

And by the way, bell hooks' "Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies" is absolutely recommended reading.

Watch below:


This article is related to: Spike Lee


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