Hip Hop: Race, Sex, and the Struggle in Urban America
Examines the ways in which language has reinforced racial and ethnic identities and divisions in post-civil rights America. It explores the conceptual origins of race, ethnicity, and other categories of difference, particularly those produced through legal, political, socioeconomic, and humanistic discourses. Recognizing that the United States is not just a multicultural society but a multilingual one, the course investigates how urban American youth have "talked back" to power and seized the power to name. It focuses in particular on uses of the Hip Hop vernacular by urban Latin Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and white Americans to give voice to their reality and the urban struggle. The course also traces the causes and consequences of historical silences, as suggested by Martin Luther King's dictum: "A riot is the language of the unheard."