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]
“Because when I was five, my kindergarten classmate told me I couldn’t be the princess in the game we were playing because black girls couldn’t be princesses. Because I was in third grade the first time a teacher seemed shocked at how “well-spoken” I was. Because in fourth grade I was told my crush didn’t like black girls.
Because I am not seen as a woman. Because I am not allowed to be fragile. Because the nurse that checked me in at the hospital to deliver wouldn’t look my husband in the eye. Because the vast majority of people won’t look my husband in the eye. Because when the doctors put my son in my arms and I saw that he was as dark as his father, I knew life would be even harder for him.
Because I am trapped here. Because the playing field isn’t leveled. Because I love my skin. Because I love being a woman. Because not hating myself is considered radical. Because I’ve been called racist for defending myself. Because all the major protests are for cis black men. Because I’ve been told that talking about the women who’ve died is taking away from the real issue.
Because I get no break from fighting. Because everything is a struggle. Because my anger isn’t validated. Because they don’t care about my pain. Because they don’t believe in my pain. Because they forgive themselves without atoning. Because I’m not free. Because the awareness of it permeates everything. Because it’s not ending. Because they teach the children that it’s already ended. Because someone will assert their supremacy over me today. Because they’ll do it tomorrow.
Victoria is actually very analytical when it comes to her business, which helps lead to her success. She keeps track of all of her numbers almost obsessively and regularly draws up charts so she can visually see what’s working, what isn’t, and why that may be.
I’m sorry for losing my temper the night you told me Louis proposed to you. I’m sorry for not waiting longer at the Empire State Building. I’m sorry for treating you like property. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I loved you when I knew I did. Most of all I’m sorry I gave up on us when you never did.