cover of book

Necessarily Black: Cape Verdean Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and a Critique of Identity
by P. Khalil Saucier
Michigan State University Press, 2015
Paper: 978-1-61186-168-6 | eISBN: 978-1-62895-228-5
Library of Congress Classification E184.C24S28 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.896658073

Necessarily Black is an ethnographic account of second-generation Cape Verdean youth identity in the United States and a theoretical attempt to broaden and complicate current discussions about race and racial identity in the twenty-first century. P. Khalil Saucier grapples with the performance, embodiment, and nuances of racialized identities (blackened bodies) in empirical contexts. He looks into the durability and (in)flexibility of race and racial discourse through an imbricated and multidimensional understanding of racial identity and racial positioning. In doing so, Saucier examines how Cape Verdean youth negotiate their identity within the popular fabrication of “multiracial America.” He also explores the ways in which racial blackness has come to be lived by Cape Verdean youth in everyday life and how racialization feeds back into the experience of these youth classified as black through a matrix of social and material settings. Saucier examines how ascriptions of blackness and forms of black popular culture inform subjectivities. The author also examines hip-hop culture to see how it is used as a site where new (and old) identities of being, becoming, and belonging are fashioned and reworked. Necessarily Black explores race and how Cape Verdean youth think and feel their identities into existence, while keeping in mind the dynamics and politics of racialization, mixed-race identities, and anti-blackness.

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