Opening Friday, November 13th, from 12PM - 1PM
Presented in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival
About Ballad of the Bullet: Amid increasing hardship and limited employment options, poor urban youth are developing creative online strategies to make ends meet. Using such social media platforms as YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, they’re capitalizing on the public’s fascination with the ghetto and gang violence. But with what consequences? Ballad of the Bullet follows the Corner Boys, a group of thirty or so young men on Chicago’s South Side who have hitched their dreams of success to the creation of “drill music” (slang for “shooting music”). Drillers disseminate this competitive genre of hyperviolent, hyperlocal, DIY-style gangsta rap digitally, hoping to amass millions of clicks, views, and followers–and a ticket out of poverty. But in this perverse system of benefits, where online popularity can convert into offline rewards, the risks can be too great. Raising questions about online celebrity, public voyeurism, and the commodification of the ghetto, Ballad of the Bullet offers a singular look at what happens when the digital economy and urban poverty collide.
About Forrest Stuart: Forrest Stuart is Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Ethnography Lab at Stanford University, and a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. He is the author of Down, Out, and Under Arrest and most recently Ballad of the Bullet.
About Democracy Remixed: In Democracy Remixed, award-winning scholar Cathy J. Cohen offers an authoritative and empirically powerful analysis of the state of black youth in America today. Utilizing the results from the Black Youth Project, a groundbreaking nationwide survey, Cohen focuses on what young Black Americans actually experience and think–and underscores the political repercussions. Featuring stories from cities across the country, she reveals that black youth want, in large part, what most Americans want–a good job, a fulfilling life, safety, respect, and equality. But while this generation has much in common with the rest of America, they also believe that equality does not yet exist, at least not in their lives. Many believe that they are treated as second-class citizens. Moreover, for many the future seems bleak when they look at their neighborhoods, their schools, and even their own lives and choices. Through their words, these young people provide a complex and balanced picture of the intersection of opportunity and discrimination in their lives. Democracy Remixed provides the insight we need to transform the future of young Black Americans and American democracy.
About Cathy Cohen: Cathy J. Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. She formerly served in numerous administrative positions, including chair of the Department of Political Science, director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and deputy provost for Graduate Education at the University of Chicago. Cohen is the author of two books, The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press) and Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (Oxford University Press). She is also co-editor of the anthology Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU Press) with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto. Her articles have been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, NOMOS, GLQ, Social Text, and the DuBois Review. Cohen created and oversees two major research and public-facing projects: the GenForward Survey and the Black Youth Project. She is the recipient of numerous awards, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-editor with Frederick Harris of a book series at Oxford University Press entitled “Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities”.