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Film Examining Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture to Be Screened at U of U

Apr. 4, 2006 — Filmmaker Byron Hurt will be at the University of Utah for a screening and panel discussion of his film “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Documentary about Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture,” on Thursday, at 7 p.m., in the Social and Behavioral Science Auditorium, 380 S. 1530 E., on the University of Utah campus. Sponsored by the U’s Women”s Resource Center, the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA), the event free and open to the public.

A second screening, followed by questions and answers with Hurt, will be held on Friday, at 2 p.m. in the Social and Behavioral Science Auditorium.

Hurt, graduate and former quarterback at Northwestern University, worked with the Mentors in Violence Prevention project, a leadership program that motivates young men and women to work together to prevent gender violence, and started his filmmaking career shortly after graduation. An activist, Hurt premiered “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Documentary about Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture” at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

“As we begin to go into Sexual Assault Awareness month, it is critical that we look at all aspects of how we accept different kinds of treatment and perceptions of women,” says Debra Daniels, director of the Women’s Resource Center. “As a society, we need to look at the various messages we send about the worth and value of women, messages that lead to the acceptance of sexual assault and abuse. Hurt’s film educates men about the misogynistic views of women in hip-hop culture.”

Hurt has spent years studying gender violence and masculinity within the African-American community and his first documentary, “I Am a Man: Black Masculinity in America,” explored how sexism, misogyny, and heterosexuality manifest themselves in a black male living in a white patriarchal society. As his work continued and his gender consciousness increased, he became increasingly critical of hip-hop and decided he could initiate dialogue surrounding the issue by applying several of the same issues covered in “I Am a Man” to the hip-hop industry. The result is “Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Documentary about Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture,” his newest documentary.

For more information, call ASUU at 801-581-2788, the Women’s Resource Center at 801-581-8030, or UCASA, at 801-746-0406.