About Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

“Consider an analogy to traffic in an intersection, coming and going in all four directions. Discrimination, like traffic through an intersection, may flow in one direction, and it may flow in another. If an accident happens in an intersection, it can be caused by cars traveling from any number of directions and, sometimes, from all of them.

Similarly, if a Black woman[or girl] is harmed because she is in an intersection, her injury could result from sex discrimination or race discrimination. . . . But it is not always easy to reconstruct an accident: Sometimes the skid marks and the injuries simply indicate that they occurred simultaneously, frustrating efforts to determine which driver caused the harm.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139–67 (p. 149).

Integrated School of Girls


This is the blog of ethnomusicologist and YouTube scholar Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D. who is one of 40 inaugural TED Fellows, the award-winning author of The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYUP), and a digital media ethnographer. She specializes in black girlhood studies and children’s rights issues online and off and lead researcher of a collaborative ethnographic project that focuses on digital media literacy for adolescent/teen black girls. I collect data about young black girls who broadcast while they twerk on YouTube.  Read more http://about.me/kyragauntphd

To book a speaking engagement or workshop, email Dr. Gaunt at kyraocityworks@gmail.com

Screenshot 2014-08-09 20.08.11“My research and writing is designed to reveal the online hazards and digital seduction by music industry forces and social networking platforms where adolescent/teen black girls are often the major consumers of explicit rap music videos, related content and sexist engagement of their images.

I also am teaching girls ownership of their representation online in order to learn how to protect their identity and increase their ecological fitness and future net worth. A girls’ digital self-presentation will dramatically affect her future worth in ways not yet understood by them or the people who care about them.

Adolescent girls of all backgrounds rarely think of their future identities and net worth in the marketplace and my work aims to introduce them to protecting their ecological fitness which may be far more critical to their self worth and net worth than their adolescent reputuation or being liked.

I present research and training in digital media literacy, content ownership, agency and (political) voice for girls’ longterm growth and development as well as for other who are not hip to the power and pitfalls of broadcasting yourself in online video. The specific audience I address are black girls and women and the people and organizations interested in their present and future wellbeing esp. around issues of race, gender and sexuality online.”


Cookies in the Hood (TM) is a startup venture designed to empower girls and women to secure their own personhood, adulthood and neighborhood with handheld devices and mobile learning and sharing.


Click to buy the Kindle version of her book The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop.

Also purchase her original R&B/jazz music is available on iTunes or Amazon.






Speaking at the opening ceremony of ISFiT in Trondheim, 2011.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of ISFiT in Trondheim, 2011.

As a TED Fellow she has been a sought after speaker (and often performs) around the world. She’s been a guest speaker at TEDx events in Beijing, China with students from Paris to Poland and one hundred select students in Moldova (one of the poorest countries in Europe) and she was one of the only faculty invited to attend the largest international university student-run festival known as ISFiT2011 convening over 1000 students from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America in Tronheim, Norway. She’s been invited to private boarding schools and universities thoughout the United States and Canada.

She’s been presenting her latest research on twerking around the nation.

11 thoughts on “About Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

  1. Hello, My name is Alexis Gaunt and before now I have never came across another African American with the same last name as me. Do you know if you have any family in the Washington, D.C. area? I know I have relatives who live in NY but my family and I were disconnected from them so time ago.

    • Where in Rockville?? My mom & aunt live in Lincoln Park near Rockville metro. May I ask are you of African descent?

  2. Pingback: Love and Hip Hop: (Re)Gendering The Debate Over Hip Hop Studies | Sounding Out!

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