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“Yea. I’m in my hood. No strap”: Black Child Play as Praxis & Community Sustenance

Brazier, Ariana (2021) “Yea. I’m in my hood. No strap”: Black Child Play as Praxis & Community Sustenance. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Based on three summers of intensive ethnographic research inside an Atlanta school cluster and neighborhood community, this dissertation analyzes the intersection of Black child play and protest in order to illuminate the way their play and joy are methods of developing and channeling collective responses to their everyday experiences of institutional anti-Blackness and intergenerational oppression. I consider how Black child play and Black joy are reflective of a relationship between ratchet, a term commonly used to define the precarious and fluid realities of poor and working class Blacks, and womanism, a community-oriented form of Black feminism situated within the everyday. More specifically, I forward a ratchet womanist lens to frame how Black child play sources the radically visionary/imaginative, self-sufficient, and community-oriented aspects of womanism in a politics of the body existing under state-sanctioned deprivation that normalizes the conditions of the Black Ghetto. The connection to our bodies is critical to human survival—ratchet is the practicing and conditioning of our bodies to intend towards creative, subversive, and sustainable usage especially in the presence of overwhelming struggle. Hence, a ratchet womanist lens compels us to examine how Black children come to know and be known by their larger communities, and the ways this knowledge informs their self- and social consciousness. Simultaneously, we must imagine how we—people who are not Black children—can live in such a way that Black children can own lovingly their Black child bodies.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brazier, ArianaADB140@pitt.eduADB140
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairScott,
Committee MemberBickford,
Committee MemberHolding,
Committee MemberGill-Peterson,
Committee MemberLove,
Date: 3 May 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 February 2021
Approval Date: 3 May 2021
Submission Date: 27 January 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 216
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Play; Ratchet; Womanism; Black; Child; Afterlife
Date Deposited: 03 May 2021 14:58
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 17:14


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