Dr. Kyra Gaunt Talks Double Dutch

Black Girls Jump!

Kyra Gaunt

Dr. Kyra Gaunt

Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D. is a 2009 Inaugural TED Fellow, a CUNY Associate Professor, and author of The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYU Press, 2006). An ethnomusicologist and expert in race, gender and African American music, Gaunt is also an advocate for black girls online and double-dutch jump rope enthusiast!

What prompted you to study black girls games?

Gaunt: As I describe in the book The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (winner of the 2007 Alan Merriam Book Prize awarded by The Society for Ethnomusicology), I had been thinking about studying women in hip-hop and lucked upon two 8-year old twins playing several handclapping game-songs. Just a week before I had said to my dissertation advisor that the beats and rhymes of girls’ games are just like hip-hop. Girls’ sample and improvise, more or…

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