Past Event

Django Unchained: love it or hate it?

Cedric Johnson, associate professor of African American studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will be joining us as our guest speaker.

From “Tarantino Unchained” by Jelani Cobb

“The film’s premise alone was enough to spark controversy. Spike Lee—a longtime critic of Tarantino—took the unwieldy position that he refused to see the film but knew that it would be disrespectful to his ancestors. …The film’s defenders are quick to point out that “Django” is not about history. But that’s almost like arguing that fiction is not reality—it isn’t, but the entire appeal of the former is its capacity to shed light on how we understand the latter.”

Questions for Consideration 

Reviews for Django Unchained have been both positive and negative, why do you think it’s so polarized? How accurately can people of one race tell stories about people of a different race? Why is there so much controversy surrounding the usage of the n-word in this movie? How should we react to films that straddle the line between shock value and historical integrity? 

Want to learn more?

More about our guest speaker:

Cedric Johnson is associate professor of African American Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His teaching and research interests include African American political thought, neoliberal politics, and class analysis and race. His book, Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) was named the 2008 W.E.B. DuBois Outstanding Book of the Year by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Johnson is the editor of The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism and the Remaking of New Orleans (University of Minnesota Press, 2011). His writings have appeared in New Political Science, Monthly Review, SOULS, Journal of Developing Societies and In These Times. He currently serves as chair of the Chicago Editorial Working Group for SOULS. In 2008, Johnson was name the Jon Garlock Labor Educator of the Year by the Rochester Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580. 

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit