About two years ago I had the fortune of meeting and getting to know Byron Hurt while organizing our local Community Cinema screenings of his documentary “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.” Byron has been exploring a topic that’s always fascinated the wannabe anthropologist in me: masculinity.
Byron’s got a new conversation piece: “Barack & Curtis.” Rough clips and trailers are currently on YouTube. I posted the 10 minute clip below. This is part of a new initiative called “The Masculinity Project” launching here in DC next week. The project is a partnership of Black Public Media, the National Black Programming Consortium, ITVS (Indpendent Television Service), with funding from the Ford Foundation. “The Masculinity Project” explores the question, “What does it mean to be a man?” In the coming months, there’s going to be a lot of exploring — individual and collective — around identity as Barack Obama takes the oath of office as President of the United States.
But does Barack Obama’s cool, eloquent, visionary rise to the Presidency make 50 cent aka Curtis the 21st century’s Step-n-Fetch-It? When the President says “Pull up your pants,” what do you do?