Who We Be: A Book Reading and Conversation with Jeff Chang & KQED

MACLA / Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana presents author and cultural critic Jeff Chang, and the launch of his new book Who We Be: The Colorization of America.

Race. A four-letter word.

The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today.

In this period, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shift in its history, with 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 engaged in endless culture wars.

  • How do Americans see race now?
  • How has that changed—and not changed—over the half-century?

Join MACLA, KQED and Jeff Chang as he reads from and discusses his much-anticipated book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America (St. Martin’s Press, 2014).

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.

Event Schedule

5:00-7:00 pm: Art-making with Culture Strike
7:00-8:30 pm: Book reading and panel discussion with Jeff Chang, KQED, and CultureStrike staff

About the Author

Jeff Chang is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University.

Named by the Utne Reader as “one of the 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” Jeff Chang has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize.

His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He was the editor of Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop.

His upcoming projects include Youth (Picador Big Ideas/Small Books series), and a biography of Bruce Lee 2014 – 2015: Celebrating 25 Years of Innovative Latino Arts & Culture (Little, Brown).

He was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine, and a co-founding member of the SoleSides hip-hop collective, now Quannum Projects.

Born of Chinese and Native Hawaiian ancestry, Jeff was raised in Hawai’i where he attended ‘Iolani School, a school that many have described as “better than Punahou, for whatever that’s worth.”

He lives in Berkeley, California.

About the Panel

Yahaira Carillo is the Managing Director of CultureSrike, an organization and network of artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other cultural workers who fight anti-immigrant hate by bringing out the stories of migrants and creating counter-narratives about migration.

For the past few years she has also been a visible and outspoken advocate for the passing of the DREAM Act and led the Kansas/Missouri DREAM Alliance.

Edward “Scape” Martinez is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. Born to Puerto Rican immigrant parents, Scape grew up in the Bay Area, and has been involved in graffiti art since the 1980’s.

Since then he has pushed the boundaries and definitions of graffiti and street art.

His first book, GRAFF: the Art and Technique of Graffiti, is an international bestseller. In 2009 he began public speaking engagements to discuss his unique perspective on art and creativity.

Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift.com. His activist artwork has become a staple of the DREAM Act movement.

His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the content of his illustrations, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act movement.

OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano, KPCC-FM 89.3’s Multi-American blog and the influential journal ColorLines have praised his work. Salgado graduated from CSU Long Beach with a degree in journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *