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Race for CitizenshipBlack Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America$
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Helen Heran Jun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814742976

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814742976.001.0001

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Black Surplus in the Pacific Century

Black Surplus in the Pacific Century

Ownership and Dispossession in the Hood Film

Chapter:
(p.99) 5 Black Surplus in the Pacific Century
Source:
Race for Citizenship
Author(s):

Helen Heran Jun

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814742976.003.0005

This chapter looks at two seminal black films: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1988) and John Singleton's Boyz n the Hood (1991). Lee's film marks a convergence of historical processes by which the Korean immigrant merchant emerged as a highly visible trope in imaginings of the postindustrial urban ghetto: the rapid demographic increase of Korean immigrant businesses in large U.S. cities in the 1980s, mobilizations against Korean merchants in poor black neighborhoods, the unprecedented commercial success of young black filmmakers and other black cultural producers, and the discursive national production of the black urban ghetto as both nightmarish dystopia and object of voyeuristic consumption. Meanwhile, Singleton's film cites Korean capital as a threatening and invasive force of black displacement.

Keywords:   Spike Lee, John Singleton, Korean immigrant merchant, postindustrial urban ghetto, black urban ghetto, black displacement

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