Skip to Content

Rebekah Modrak: Metro Times Features “Rethink Shinola”

Modrak panis

Stamps Associate Professor Rebekah Modrak’s Rethink Shinola project is featured in a Dec. 12, 2017 Metro Times article by Michael Jackman.

That video is at the center of an entire website Modrak created to analyze Shinola’s efforts to use Detroit’s grit and toughness to help market their watches. It’s called Rethink Shinola, and it doesn’t pull any punches. All told, it offers more than an hour of material, opening with a provocative image: An ad used by the former Shinola company (18771960) before the name was bought in 2001 by Shinola’s current owners. The ad features a caricature of a black shoeshiner.

As the Rethink Shinola site points out, the new” Shinola also creates representations of whiteness to reinforce their leadership’ and creates and markets images of black workers being grateful for this so-called leadership. Constructing and controlling images of African Americans is central to racism and maintaining white supremacy.”

A Detroit artist deconstructs Shinola’s unfathomable’ marketing game | Metro Time