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The Games Black Girls Play : Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop - Kyra D. Gaunt

The Games Black Girls Play

Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop

Paperback Published: 1st February 2006
ISBN: 9780814731208
Number Of Pages: 238

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Fusing academic prose with vividly rendered memories, Gaunts journey is refreshing. . . . Gaunt successfully lifts ignored girls from obscurity to center stage. . . . With The Games Black Girls Play, Gaunt has created a necessary space for translating black girls joy in a society that typically overlooks it. Hopefully, others will take their turn and jump in to keep the games going. --"Bitch""In thoughtful and affectionate prose, Gaunt makes plain how the schoolyard syncopations of body and voice are both oral-kinetic play and improvised lessons in socializing girls into the unique social practices of black urban life. . . . The Games Black Girls Play is a smart, delightful and witty polemic of attributions; a cultural benchmark of the complex web of history, race and gender to suggest a gendered musical blackness and an ethnographic truth linking the intergenerational cultures of black musical expression as embodied in the infectious playfulness of black girls." --"Black Issues Book Review""Very informative and insightful. . . . A valuable source to add to ones collection." --"AllHipHop.com""By placing black girls at the center of her analysis, Kyra Gaunt challenges us to be ever mindful of the importance of gender, the body, and the everyday in our discussions of black music. "The Games Black Girls Play" is an exciting and original work that should forever transform the way we think about the sources of black, indeed American, popular music. This is a bold, brilliant, and beautifully written book." --Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University"The Games Black Girls Play not only makes the point that black girls matter, but that the games, thoughts, andpassions of black girls matter in a world that regularly renders black girls invisible and silent. Gaunt brilliantly argues that the culture of black girls is a critical influence on contemporary black popular culture." -- Mark Anthony Neal, author of" New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity""A particular strength of Gaunt's text is the ethnographic dimension of her discussions. The reader is privy to the personal musical and cultural experiences of African American females of varying ages (including Gaunt herself)." --"New Black Man Book Review"It is written in an accessible style and the inclusion of personal musical and cultural experiences and histories of a variety of women, including the author, adds to the appeal. The infectious playfulness of the topic and Gaunts own personal style and passion shine though. --"Journal of Folklore Research"When we think of African American popular music, our first thought is probably not of double-dutch: girls bouncing between two twirling ropes, keeping time to the tick-tat under their toes. But this book argues that the games black girls play --handclapping songs, cheers, and double-dutch jump rope--both reflect and inspire the principles of black popular musicmaking.The Games Black Girls Play illustrates how black musical styles are incorporated into the earliest games African American girls learn--how, in effect, these games contain the DNA of black music. Drawing on interviews, recordings of handclapping games and cheers, and her own observation and memories of gameplaying, Kyra D. Gaunt argues that black girls' games are connected to long traditions of African and African American musicmaking, and that they teachvital musical and social lessons that are carried into adulthood. In this celebration of playground poetry and childhood choreography, she uncovers the surprisingly rich contributions of girls' play to black popular culture.

Gaunt provides a layered and rich analysis of a cultural form that has been all but ignored by scholars far and wide" -Gender and Society"The Games Black Girls Play is an insightful inquiry into a frequently overlooked and influential site of cultural production." -Popular Music "Fusing academic prose with vividly rendered memories, Gaunt's journey is refreshing... Gaunt successfully lifts ignored girls from obscurity to center stage... With The Games Black Girls Play, Gaunt has created a necessary space for translating black girls' joy in a society that typically overlooks it. Hopefully, others will take their turn and jump in to keep the games going." --Bitch "In thoughtful and affectionate prose, Gaunt makes plain how the schoolyard syncopations of body and voice are both oral-kinetic play and improvised lessons in socializing girls into the unique social practices of black urban life... The Games Black Girls Play is a smart, delightful and witty polemic of attributions; a cultural benchmark of the complex web of history, race and gender to suggest a 'gendered musical blackness' and an 'ethnographic truth' linking the 'intergenerational cultures of black musical expression' as embodied in the infectious playfulness of black girls." --Black Issues Book Review "Very informative and insightful... A valuable source to add to one's collection." --AllHipHop.com "The Games Black Girls Play not only makes the point that black girls matter, but that the games, thoughts, and passions of black girls matter in a world that regularly renders black girls invisible and silent. Gaunt brilliantly argues that the culture of black girls is a critical influence on contemporary black popular culture." -- Mark Anthony Neal, author of New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity "A particular strength of Gaunt's text is the ethnographic dimension of her discussions. The reader is privy to the personal musical and cultural experiences of African American females of varying ages (including Gaunt herself)." --New Black Man Book Review "It is written in an accessible style and the inclusion of personal musical and cultural experiences and histories of a variety of women, including the author, adds to the appeal. The infectious playfulness of the topic and Gaunt's own personal style and passion shine though." --Journal of Folklore Research "The Games Black Girls Play is beautifully and passionately written. This book presents an engaging reflexive narrative that ranges from childhood memories to involvement with ethnomusicological scholarship. Gaunt makes a convincing argument that the playsongs of African American girls is the foundation of African diasporic popular music-making. In a radical counter-history, she shows how African American girls-interlocutors who are triply minoritized through race, gender, and age-are producing music culture that has profound influences on popular music and the popular imagination. She calls for an engaged ethnomusicology and moves gracefully through an array of anti-essentialist perspectives on race and gender. She argues that 'kinetic orality' is key to African American musicking and that the body is always a locus of memory and communality. From somatic historiography to serious cross-talk with girls, Gaunt offers new methodologies for ethnomusicological work. The reader is pulled into a world in which Black girls are masters of musical knowledge, and in emerging from the book, we can't see the world of American popular music in the same way. When we chant Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack is dressed in black, black, black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back, we suddenly see how musical play and embodied knowledge generates a world of raced and gendered sociality. Oo-lay oo-lay! Congratulations, Kyra!" --President Elect Professor Deborah Wong, Society for Ethnomusicology (October 27, 2007)"Gaunt's feminist ethnography challenges traditional approaches to scholarship in music studies and studies of black popular culture, as well as in African American studies and ethnomusicology more generally." --Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources "By placing black girls at the center of her analysis, Kyra Gaunt challenges us to be ever mindful of the importance of gender, the body, and the everyday in our discussions of black music. The Games Black Girls Play is an exciting and original work that should forever transform the way we think about the sources of black, indeed American, popular music. This is a bold, brilliant, and beautifully written book." --Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University

List of Musical Figuresp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Slide: Games as Lessons in Black Musical Stylep. 19
Education, Liberation: Learning the Ropes of a Musical Blacknessp. 37
Mary Mack Dressed in Black: The Earliest Formation of a Popular Musicp. 56
Saw You With Your Boyfriend: Music between the Sexesp. 89
Who's Got Next Game? Women, Hip-Hop, and the Power of Languagep. 111
Double Forces Has Got the Beat: Reclaiming Girls' Music in the Sport of Double-Dutchp. 133
Let a Woman Jump: Dancing with the Double Dutch Divasp. 158
Conclusionp. 181
Musical Transcriptions of Game-Songs Studiedp. 188
Bibliographyp. 197
Indexp. 211
About the Authorp. 221
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814731208
ISBN-10: 0814731201
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 238
Published: 1st February 2006
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.33