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The Games Black Girls Play

By Gaunt, Kyra D
Item No. 871810
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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
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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 teach vital 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.

Contents:

  • List of Musical Figures
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1 Slide: Games as Lessons in Black Musical Style
  • 2 Education, Liberation: Learning the Ropes of a Musical Blackness
  • 3 Mary Mack Dressed in Black: The Earliest Formation of a Popular Music
  • 4 Saw You With Your Boyfriend: Music between the Sexes
  • 5 Who's Got Next Game? Women, Hip-Hop, and the Power of Language
  • 6 Double Forces Has Got the Beat: Reclaiming Girls' Music in the Sport of Double-Dutch
  • 7 Let a Woman Jump: Dancing with the Double Dutch Divas
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: Musical Transcriptions of Game-Songs Studied
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Author Gaunt, Kyra D
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