Saturday, January 1, 2011

afro-ninja:The black cultural aesthetic is essentially both...


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via Liquor&Spice on 1/1/11


The black cultural aesthetic is essentially both oral-aural and motor, focusing on action, performance and expression. The young black girl learns the significance of perfecting performer roles…by trying seriously to learn the current dances, by imitating adult's [ways of being] 'hip' and 'cool'. She performs within the circle of friends whose actions and songs continually cue her: 'This is play; do your thing'.

These comments capture the ideals of black cultural performance as observed in ring games, hand-clapping games, and double-dutch jump rope. These observations reveal the often overlooked significance of the musical behavior (songs, rhymes, chants, rhythmic hand claps, and dance) associated with the daily rituals of many young black girls. These musical games promote the skillful development of musical authority that reflects blackness, gender, individual expressive ability, and the very musical styles and approaches that later contribute to adult African American musical activities. These games act as oral, rather than written, etudes for learning simple and complex black musical aesthetics.

—Kyra D. Gaunt, Translating Double-Dutch to Hip Hop:The musical vernacular of black girls' play


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