Spring 2022

Rap, Reagan and the 1980s

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-318  |  History, as HIST-318

Moodle site: Course

Faculty

Stefan Bradley (Section 01)

Description

(Offered as HIST 318 [TC/TR/TS] and BLST 318 [US]) This course will delve into the sociopolitical, economic, and cultural factors that affected the lives of Black youth in the United States during the 1980s. Using rap and hip hop as a tool to understand the decade, the course will explore the racialized implications of America’s cold war with the Soviet Union while detailing the societal impact of “Reaganomics.” In a period featuring culture wars, deindustrialization in urban areas, the arrival of crack cocaine, deep cuts to public school funding, and the invasion of HIV/AIDS, the bourgeoning genre of hip hop reflected the complexities of survival for many Black youth in marginalized American neighborhoods.  As the new artform became a business, America witnessed the realization of a conservative ascendancy that carried Ronald Reagan to the presidency, which transformed political discourse for the subsequent decades. Young scholars in this class will be required to engage book and article-length texts, access and analyze song lyrics, critique visual media, write cogent essays, and present arguments orally.

Spring semester. Professor Bradley.

Keywords

Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice

Offerings

2021-22: Offered in Spring 2022