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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

I'm a little behind on my "Revisiting Spike Lee's *Forgotten* Films" series; She Hate Me was featured in the first installment in the series (read that HERE if you missed it), and I was going to tackle Girl 6 in installment #2 this week, but didn't get to it. However, my post will be up by Monday/Tuesday next week.
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bell hooks

I'm a little behind on my "Revisiting Spike Lee's *Forgotten* Films" series; She Hate Me was featured in the first installment in the series (read that HERE if you missed it), and I was going to tackle Girl 6 in installment #2 this week, but didn't get to it. However, my post will be up by Monday/Tuesday next week.

In the meantime, thinking of Girl 6 (a film that I actually liked - unlike most who saw it - and would call one of Spike's most under-rated films; but you can read all about it next week)... this morning, as I sat to start gathering my thoughts for my piece, 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 repost 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 somewhat uncanny watching her assess Quentin Tarantino's scene in Girl 6, suggesting that sequence is a critique of Hollywood's understanding that what blackness is, or what black film is, can be negotiated by anyone and any filmmaker; that black people aren't *needed* to tell stories about black people, because white people can! It's uncanny because, 16 years later since that film, Quentin Tarantino is behind what might be the most significant *black film* of the year. 

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

The punk who uploaded the video to YouTube didn't allow it to be embedded for whatever reason, and I couldn't find it anywhere else, so you'll have to go to YouTube to watch it. Click HERE to do so.


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