Black Studies

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    A Hip Hop Episteme: Understanding Hip Hop Culture’s Ways of Knowing and Expressing Knowledge through Time Travel and Traditional African and Afro-Diasporic Spirituality
    (2020) Ekweonu, Brandon Nnamdi; Foy, Anthony
    Perhaps one of my earliest and most interesting Hip Hop experiences occurred early on in my childhood. I remember being in my mother’s bedroom, and I think the lights were off. And I was using my mother’s Sharp CD-C600 Mini Component System with the 3-CD Drawer Changer to play a CD copy of 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album that she had purchased for me. I remember being really excited to be playing my favorite song on the album, “In Da Club” (I used to pretend it was my birthday and that 50 Cent was rapping for me, and, as a child, I didn’t really grasp what he was talking about in the lyrics). The thing that makes this particular experience significant to me, though, was that I remember that the CD must have had a scratch on it because it would skip and start again right from the line in the chorus when 50 says “So come give me a hug”. I don’t remember whether or not I was disappointed to learn that my CD was scratched. What I do remember, however, is that I eventually got used to the song being played with that skip in it. I got so used to it that, even today, I can find myself rapping the chorus along with the song and reciting the lyrics as if the song should be skipping and playing out of order. That skip—that moment of discontinuity—in the song is kind of what makes it special for me and connects me back to that moment in my mother’s bedroom so many years ago. It is not an experience that is easy to describe in words, but the bottom line is that it actually felt right that the song didn’t play straight through without skipping. Something was added to the listening experience.
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    Civic Goods and the Machine in Westchester: An Unauthorized Minority Report: the Case of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon New York
    (2015) Neilson, Roxanne
    The purpose of this study is to look at what impact shifting demographics in a suburb of New York City has on publicly funded institutions as waves of immigrant groups arrive and then establish themselves. The study answers the question: Does political participation and representation matter; does access to the polity transform subsequent newcomers to the suburbs equally? Is there a case for reparations? I examine the historical record and closely review both the literal and figurative paths that led to the success of some groups as well as the demise of others in two cities in Westchester County New Rochelle and later, Mt Vernon from first contact to the present. I demonstrate how civic machines evolved, how they were fueled enforced, and the impact that residential demographics have had on the distribution of public resources, from the early colonial period, through the wars, until today.