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Black girl play magic (released in 2020)


Since I was an only child For girls Girls in a 100 year old black neighborhood in the suburbs of Washington where I grew up. For nearly 30 years, I have written about the sophisticated culture of embodied musical plays of black girls. From the backyard to the school playground, their game songs are pre-liberation. Their musical blackness offers a lot to animate the torso and unleash the magic of rhythm and rhyme that releases the tongue while laughing.

The game is a girl’s algorithm. There are three reasons why a black girl’s game song may not seem important because it’s more sophisticated than a patty cake. They put the girl’s experience more central than the boy’s. And their music production is part of the public domain, “You can’t assign personal copyright or ownership. As I wrote in the book, Double Dutch composers have no royalties. . “Game Black Girls Play.

As a result, we have a black girl from a clapping game song Skipping rope.. They carry out gender ideas used to convey expressions about race and racism:

Mail carrier, mail carrier, fulfill your duty
A woman with African loot has arrived
She can wow wow
She can do the split
She can do anything to split you, so split it!

Their play resists the inhumane command of the white patriarchal culture, as girls admire the connections and differences of their ancestors (“African loot”). At the same time, they are also learning the multi-limb of ballroom dancing. “Wow Wow” probably refers to “Watushi” danced to the rhythm and blues hit “Wow Wow”. By Orlons (1962).

Girls’ musical plays ignore the antipathy to black life commonly expressed in the media in the 70’s (and beyond). There is no fear of being kicked out of school by airplay or the system, which broadcasts stereotypes about teenage parenting. Tends to criminalize their cry for help..

We listen to rhyming boys, but tend to dismiss what girls say is nonsense. But their play has profound cultural implications. Take this popular clapping chant:

Ee-ny mee-ny pepsa -deeny
oo-cha— cam— ba-lini
At-chi cat-chi li-ber-atchi
I — love — you, tu-tu, sham-poo

Embedded in the first phrase “eenymeenypepsadeeny”“” It is a remnant of a nursery rhyme “eeny meeny miney moe”.. ” This game song shows the racist history of chant and destroys it at the same time. “Eenymeenymineymoe” was followed by a line about catching blacks “on toes”, using only racist terms. The song continued. Eeny meeny minei moe. “

Be vulnerable to the dangers of the past so you don’t become naive.Even in children’s games, as an interview with Professor Harvard Law Randall Kennedy “Looking away from its history and destructive power will do more harm than good,” he said.

Throughout American cultural history, all kinds of play are mixed and cluttered with violence against the black body. In the bookRacial Innocence: Performing American Childhood From Slavery to Civil Rights“Dr. Robin Bernstein, a cultural historian and professor of African and African-American studies at Harvard University, wrote: It hangs and burns. “

The second phrase of this version of “eenymeeny” sounds like a nod to the classic pianist of the popular TV personality Liberace, the extravagant whites, and the gay masters, but in reality the power of the blacks of the 1970s. It covers the chant. “Atchicatchiliberatchi” is probably the “education, liberation” hidden in the language code. Given the long history of stigmatizing black children’s communication as an all-encompassing illiterate proof, this code turns that stigma into its ears.

Author Toni Morrison once wrote that “black Americans were supported, healed, and nurtured by translating their experiences into art, especially music.” Double Dutch and hand game rhyming chanting are no exception.

The 90’s clapping game looks like this:

Mom, can’t you see mom? {{1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1}
What the baby did to me{{1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1}}
Tell me my MTV, {{1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1}}
Now I’m watching Bernie.. {{1-2-31-2-31. }}

(A YouTube version of this song It mixes the traditional melody of “Hush, Little Baby” with Bo Diddley’s Hanborn beats. )

In the second half of the game song, the tension between the daughter and her mother, who say “not yet grown up,” surfaced, allowing the girl to playfully express her cheekyness without penalty. The game song is her opposition to parental punishment as an adolescent black girl shifts her gaze from a child’s television show (“Burney”) and embraces the overly sexual dream world of MTV in the 1990s. I will playfully express my opinion.

The game is a way for black girls to learn how social relationships are negotiated in a map of racist and sexist reality in the United States. Their musical drama is rooted in the aesthetics of the call-and-response African diaspora, where hitting the body like a drum creates a complex polyrhythmic musical texture. African-Americans are girls and women in these games because reading and writing is illegal or access to literacy is excluded for the post-slavery population, once considered three-fifths of humans. It helped me survive situations that weren’t fun for me.

In Double Dutch, girls learn how to jump into the rope, jump off the rope, and do choreographic tricks in duos and trios. Turners at both ends of the two rotating ropes observe defects inside the rope and adjust to fit the jumper’s body and pedaling foot movements. It’s a comprehensive structure of play. You may have to sit down when you’re ruined, but another turn is waiting for you at the end of the next girl’s line.

Double Dutch has a redo. Turner is “two hands” and the skipping rope may sound uneven to the pavement. A more experienced girl could come from behind and fix Turner’s arm, returning a stable tic on the timeline. Wherever someone participates in the game, other girls learn to make space for her to shine in the spotlight of their play.

Double Dutch regulates relationships, not rules. The girl negotiates an invisible syllabus that works well together, whether it’s inside the rope or ultimately outside. Constantly changing situations, different jumpers and turners involved, different rhythmic and rhyme fragments turn play into a process.It’s a negotiation process Create a taste of music and build an imaginary sister community.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the last black girl who jumped outdoors moved from the playground to the public sphere of the Internet. Before the pandemic, playing with hands, and Double Dutch were virtually a thing of the past. However, during the quarantine, the children tied up in the house longed to be very terrible outside, and the playground seemed too dangerous. YouTube and TikTok will help you.

Yet another problem remains. Abuse of their online music play. When 14-year-old Jaria Harmon posted her “Renegade” dance on social media, the move was very popular, especially on TikTok. It became a global dance boomBut she didn’t receive any credit or money for it at first.Harmon’s unpaid emotional labor, which drew attention to the Atlanta rapper K-Camp’s “Lottery” song, is not considered beneficial. As Charli D’AmelioInterpretation of her work Until recently.. Black girls are rarely seen and embarrassed in some types of online double exploitation.

Similar to Harmon’s dance, the embodied musical drama of black girls inherited the early formation of shared black popular culture, despite imagining their hidden musician community. Create a valuable, autonomous and secluded zone. And there is more need than ever to spread the joy of little black girls during years of shelter-in-place orders and pandemics with productive rebellions.

Kyra Gaunt is an ethnomusicologist at the University of Albany, conducting research focused on the epidemic of mobile violence against black girls from YouTube to Wikipedia. She is also the author of best-selling books.Game black girls play.. “



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