The Rhizome of Blackness: A critical ethnography of Hip-Hop culture, language, identity and the politics of becoming
The Rhizome of Blackness is a critical ethnographic documentation of the process of how continental African youth are becoming Black in North America. They enter a «social imaginary» where they find themselves already falling under the umbrella of Blackness. For young Africans, Hip-Hop culture, language, and identity emerge as significant sites of identification; desire; and cultural, linguistic, and identity investment. No longer is «plain Canadian English» a site of investment, but instead, Black English as a second language (BESL) and «Hip-Hop all da way baby!» (as one student put it). The result of this dialectic space between language learning and identity investment is a complex, multilayered, and «rhizomatic third space,» where Canada meets and rubs shoulders with Africa in downtown Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal in such a way that it produces its own «ticklish subject» and pedagogy of imaginary and integrative anti-racism.
Awad Ibrahim is a Professor in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education. His areas of interest include applied linguistics; Black pop culture and hip-hop; and educational social foundation.
Other publications from this author include:
- Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy: Teaching, Learning, and Researching while Black (2022)
- Black Immigrants in North America: Essays on Race, Immigration, Identity, Language, Hip-Hop, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Becoming Black (2019)
- In This Together: Blackness, Indigeneity and Hip Hop (2019)
- The Education of African Canadian Children: Critical Perspectives (2016)