kyra gaunt

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

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.  [book link]

How is the world going to get better if we don’t listen to half the people who live here?
— 

Most adults think there’s only one way to do everything, their way. That makes me and probably other kids sick because we’re always creating different ways to do things but our ideas are ignored. It’s like we’re still in my grandmother’s day when kids were supposed to be seen, not heard.

I was in an exhibit at a famous art museum. The artist I was working for does non-material art. His exhibit used people from 8 to 80 to ask others a simple question. “What is progress?” When we asked the question many adults didn’t take the time to let the words out of our mouths. They would pass us by or smile to try to come across as delighted because we asked them to follow and talk to us.

Or they’d ask “What school do you go to?” “How old are you?” They didn’t think people as small as us could be asking something so big. 

They didn’t get the full experience because they didn’t think we could take on their full thoughts.

I think by limiting us they limited themselves.

How is the world going to get better if we don’t listen to half the people who live here?

I am a kid with thoughts and ideas and I am determined to be heard.

 - “Listen,” Corinne Bobb-Semple

third grade

#RevolutionaryWomen: “I am interested in understanding the African American matrix of music embodiment that is constituted through gendered and nongendered social and musical phenomena.  The musical games of black girls play offered an unusual site for examining the intersections of race, gender, and embodiment, as well as the everyday ways a gendered musiical blackness is socially constructed or learned”. ~ Kyra Gaunt

Kyra Gaunt's "The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop"

I just finished reading this book and it is great! Basically, she connects the hand-games and double dutch that Black girls do when they are younger to the male-dominated world of black music genres, like Hip-Hop, and how the two influence each other. Definitely a must read: 

http://www.amazon.com/Games-Black-Girls-Play-Double-Dutch/dp/0814731201