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Playing for Keeps

The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double Dutch to Hip-Hop by Kyra D Gaunt

Reviewed by Joshunda Sanders
Bitch Magazine

"Jumping rope may look like kid stuff, but double Dutch separates the women from the girls. Two ropes turn alternately in a pulsing oval, like street art to the untrained eye. But breaching the ropes is a challenge — and not stomping on a rope once you're inside is even harder. Some girls can handle the pressure and even breakdance between the ropes with precision. Others, myself included, take 10 minutes, if not longer, to conquer the matrix, which proves ethnomusicologist, vocalist, and New York University professor Kyra D. Gaunt's point: Not all black people have rhythm. But like everyone else, we can — and do — learn. " Read the entire Bitch Magazine review.

2 Responses to "Playing for Keeps"

    Janet Butler August 19th, 2006 at 11:26 pm

    I'm not sure the subject really deserves a book. And, in all immodesty, I was pretty good at "double rope" as a kid, as were all my friends, and we're white. We were also great dancers - so much for all that "black rhythm".....seems to me that black culture is looking for a confidence it never seems to find. I often wonder why Asians and even Hispanics come and after a generation seem to be inserted in the local culture and economically well-off,while blacks, for the most part, stay at menial jobs: supermarkets, bus-drivers, etc. I think they have a profound inferiority complex which they can't seem to overcome, and just feed this feeling of inferiority with a covert hostility and refusal to accept the basic laws of civilized living ("whities rules", you know).

    Jongo Elixir August 20th, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Ms. Butler,
    I'll have to take your word that you and your suprisingly rhythmic white friends were "good at 'double rope'" as kids, because when it comes to the mental dexterity required to analyze American racial history and class analysis, you are a clumsy and undextrous as a zombie.
    For someone who "often wonder"s about the nature of American integration, you seem to have done very little real thinking or reading on the topic. If you had, I'm confident you could have come up with a pet theory that didn't rely on the viscious, ungenerous, and self-satisfied stereotypes you put forth here.
    As for your reserving the "basic laws of civilization" for whites... save it for the Klavern.
    My contempt for you is unbounded.

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