A Critical Ethnography of Hip-Hop Culture, Language, Identity, and the Politics of Becoming
About the book
The Rhizome of Blackness is a critical ethnographic documentation of the process of how continental African youth are becoming Black in North America. They enter a “social imaginary” where they find themselves already falling under the umbrella of Blackness. For young Africans, Hip-Hop culture, language, and identity emerge as significant sites of identification; desire; and cultural, linguistic, and identity investment. No longer is “plain Canadian English” a site of investment, but instead, Black English as a second language (BESL) and “Hip-Hop all da way baby!” (as one student put it). The result of this dialectic space between language learning and identity investment is a complex, multilayered, and “rhizomatic third space,” where Canada meets and rubs shoulders with Africa in downtown Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal in such a way that it produces its own “ticklish subject” and pedagogy of imaginary and integrative anti-racism.
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