Construction Workers: Black Women Building Community

[By Alysha Griffin]
Hip Hop has become notorious for its treatment of women.
Whether through misogynistic images or the large exclusion of women in rap
music, Hip Hop has become “Public Enemy #1” in the women’s fight for progress.
With all this critique of Hip Hop, however, I think it is important to
acknowledge those women who have navigated the tight spaces in Hip Hop culture.
By comparing tropes in works of literature written by black women with those
works of female Hip Hop artists, it may be possible to reclaim agency that is
lost in the mainstream interpretations of Hip Hop. For this reason, HBW
launches the series “Raising the Roof: Black Women’s Voices in Hip Hop.”

To start things off, I’ve compiled a list of ten Hip Hop
songs by women that work to empower their communities by generating awareness,
instilling regional or cultural pride, and promoting unity. Later in the week,
the blog will spotlight interviews with musicologist Tammy Kernodle and
professor of drama and dance Nicole Hodges Persley. These scholars will discuss
various ways that women’s roles Hip Hop reflect women’s roles in black culture
and the ways that Hip Hop provides a venue of agency for women.
10 Hip Hop Songs
  1. “Poor Georgie” (1991)- MC Lyte
  2. “Let’s Talk About Sex” (1991)- Salt n’ Pepa
  3. “Waterfalls” (1992)- TLC
  4. “U.N.I.T.Y. (1994)- Queen Latifah
  5. “Hoodlum Poetry” (1997)- Mia X
  6. “Final Hour” (1998)- Lauryn Hill
  7. “Love is Blind” (1999)- Eve
  8. “BK Anthem” (2001)- Foxy Brown
  9. “Love of My Life (Ode to Hip Hop)” (2002)- Erykah Badu
  10.  “Lighters Up” (2005)-
    Lil Kim

May 2: Women, Hip Hop, and Music: An Interview with Dr. Tammy Kernodle Part I 

One thought on “Construction Workers: Black Women Building Community

  1. This is a good topic to explore. Thank you for giving this topic attention. Thoughts on Yo-Yo's "Black Pearl" and "You Can't Play with My Yo Yo"?


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