Blog & Discussion Question: Chapter 60 "Fear of a Black Planet" by Tricia Rose

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I found Tricia Rose's "Fear of a Black Planet" article to be very interesting as she raised points regarding rap music and black cultural politics in the 1990s. Her opening paragraph about picturing folks dressed in "high-top sneakers, chunk jewelry, baggy pants" is a fashion statement that is still popular amongst rap concert-goers even today, not just in the 90's. Also, getting checked at the door beforehand, no matter what race you are, is something that is still an active practice today. I just went to a concert a couple of weeks ago, and my purse got checked in case of any dangerous times and/or liquids.

Reading this article reminded me a lot of Summerfest, one of the world's largest music festival held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Summerfest hosts numerous artists with very different concerts ranging anywhere from rock, rap, techno, etc. In such an atmosphere where the Summerfest festival grounds are extremely crowded and people are intoxicated, fights are bound to happen. Imagine the amount of frustration if someone tried to cut you in line, or try to move in front of you during the concert. The Summerfest security guards perceive the festival-goers (specifically teenagers/young adults) as a "dangerous internal element in urban America" as Tricia Rose puts it. The element of Summerfest allows individuals to roam about freely, which in return can threaten the social order.

Another point I found interesting within Tricia Rose's article is when she states, "Rap music is fundamentally linked to larger social constructions of Black culture as an internal threat to dominant American culture and social order." I think this is especially on behalf of rap music's lyrics, which imply language of liberation and social protest.

Discussion Question: Do you believe the "violence at rap concerts" label is being used to contain black mobility and rap music or to diminish violence against blacks? Why? In which ways have rap music and black cultural politics changed in the 1990s? Have they changed for the better or for the worse? Do you think censorship in rap music would benefit black mobility and rap music when performed live or not?

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This page contains a single entry by Dee Perez published on September 25, 2012 9:13 PM.

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