Beats, Rhymes and Bottomlines: The Seduction of Black Girls Who Twerk on YouTube

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Dr. Kyra Gaunt has a beautiful mind, and we don’t mean that in the insane-Russell-Crowe way. An associate professor of music and anthropology at Baruch College-CUNY, Gaunt sees her mission as “voicing black girlhood”: “I teach emerging adults to own their own greatness,” she says. Her tools in that mission are ethnomusicology, digital anthropology and political sociology – which means she has some deep thoughts about the means of communication available to young black women and how they use them (see: Minaj, Banks, Baartman, et al). Those thoughts on identity politics and structural racism are communicated in her 2009 book, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes From Double Dutch to Hip-Hop and on her crackling blog (sample posts: “Competing With the Anaconda: Black Female Rappers Be Like !”; “Crack Kills: On the Mediation of Booty by Black Female Emcees”) click HERE for more.

Dr. Gaunt, a visiting scholar at Rollins this semester, speaks tonight as the first lecturer in the Rollins history department’s fall 2014 Synthesis lecture series, which promises to be quite lively. Stay tuned. – Jessica Bryce Young

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