“…metaphors w…

“…metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power…”

When Nietzsche writes of the power of representation, often everyday folk will not think of how for example picking a iTunes radio channel of “singer-songwriters” usually excludes black voices (and other underrepresented classes) despite the apparent diversity of styles and indie artists. Nor will the think of the power of that symbolic omission. 

When I teach about black girls on YouTube and how representations of twerking work in a political sociological sense, how the YouTube music business is thriving, riding on their tails in a complicated postmodern way, usually everyday folk don’t think about it’s happening to them. We are all implicated by these signs of identification, symbolic universes of representation in the name of “broadcasting self.”

YouTube is a complicated political maelstrom masquerading as mere entertainment. My work on black girlhood in the streets and on YouTube is an attempt to reclaim the sensuous power of self creation in spite of the rampant stereotyping of black girls’ bodies, choices, agency; to reclaim the symbolic space for their development and freedom in a world, a marketplace, indifferent to the equality of their human growth and development in their communities, in this nation and in the world. 

“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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