Class Year

2014

Access Type

Vassar Community Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Sociology Department

First Advisor

Light Carruyo

Second Advisor

Eve Dunbar

Third Advisor

Marque Miringoff

Abstract

Hip-hop is the most affluent subset of Black Culture today. The globalization and mass appeal of hip-hop has made this genre bigger than music; it’s style, it’s dance, it’s art, and even literature. Hip-Hop music is a genre that is boastful of sexual prowess, money, status, and power. As a topic of discourse in the majority of Hip-Hop music, how do Black women exercise agency over their identities, portrayals, and representation in a male dominated industry? By examining different Hip-Hop feminist frameworks, conducting a case study on Beyoncé, and comparing letters from three young Black women, I analyze the complexities Black women face in Hip-Hop culture. Can it be argued that Black women are just as much of producers as a consumers in Hip-Hop culture given the subcategories beyond Rap? I propose that Hip-Hop allows feminism to be more accessible to Black communities. Women who are creators, critics, and consumers of Hip-Hop redefine and expand notions of feminism in the third wave. Black women need to be acknowledged as producers of Hip-Hop culture by actively creating discourse, whether it is Hip-Hop blogs, fan groups, scholarly writing, or everyday conversation. It is through these different avenues that I argue Black women are engaging with feminism.

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