In the waning days of the Obama era, artists and young people are shaping our discussion about race through activism, social media, film, and art. Author Jeff Chang’s newest book Who We Be: The Colorization of America remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns for a fresh look at America’s racial divide. Director Justin Simien’s film Dear White People taps into the unease of “post-racial” hype among college students of color. Join Chang and Simien in a talk about how art and writing are speaking to this moment, and what happens next when the Obamas leave and the White House goes back to being a white house.
Justin Simien, one of Variety magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch,” is the writer and director of the critically acclaimed film Dear White People, which won the Special Jury Award for “Breakthrough Talent” at Sundance 2014. In addition to producing and directing online companion pieces for The Help, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Middle of Nowhere campaigns, he has also written, produced and directed for Take Part TV and the Streamy-nominated web series “INST MSGS.”
Erin Aubry Kaplan
Erin Aubry Kaplan is a journalist, columnist, author, blogger and teacher who has been writing about black issues since 1992. She has been a staff writer for the LA Weekly and an opinion columnist for the L.A. Times, the first African American to hold the position. She has contributed to many publications and nonfiction anthologies. Her collection of essays and reportage, Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista was published in 2011 by Northeastern University Press. Her second book, about the cultural legacy of Barack Obama, is due out in 2015.
Jeff Chang has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. He is the author of the award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, and co-founder of ColorLines, the SoleSides hip-hop crew, and CultureStr/ke. His latest book is Who We Be: The Colorization of America, published in fall 2014. Named by the Utne Reader as “one of the 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” Chang has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and currently serves as the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do programs fill so quickly?
ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.
Where does ALOUD take place?
Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.
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Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?
We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.
Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?
Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.