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Spotlight On: Pop Music and Black Feminism

Last updated: 07/29/2015 | More Spotlight On content
The increasing role black women have played in pop music over the past decades is undisputed. However, the nature of that role evokes polarized views both in scholarship, the media, and general discourse. Do female black pop stars embrace sexual empowerment or reproduce stereotypes? Do the lyrics of female black rap artists promote emancipation or submission? Do themes of femininity and feminism harmonize or clash?

The sources in the following reading list address these and other debates, while analyzing the lyrics, performances and remarks of diverse artists (Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown), and breaching the confines of national, racial, and ethnic boundaries (African American, Afro-German, Ghanaian, black Muslim). These debates are carried out in a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, and gender studies.

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