Skip to content

PLAYED: How Music Orchestrates Thick Violence Against Black Girls on the Internet

February 7, 2024 @
7:00 p.m.
- 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Loading Events
  • This event has ended.
Portrait of Kyra Gaunt
Photo Credit: ©2021 Jamey Stillings,

Did you know that YouTube kickstarted its video-sharing platform in 2005 by exploiting the interest-driven activities of girls and doxxing the controversial Nipplegate video?

Dr. Kyra Gaunt (University at Albany, SUNY) reveals the obscured musical contributions of Black girls who twerk while also exposing how music perpetuates patriarchal violence. This violence exists at the intersection of Black girls’ aspirational bedroom musical play, monetized streaming content, and the continuation of adolescent relationship violence and misogynoir through search algorithms and audience interactions. From YouTube to TikTok, PLAYED underscores the adverse childhood experiences masked by the perceived empowering qualities of music.

Streamed Live:

This event continues Clark’s celebration of Black History Month and is presented as part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Office of the Provost at Clark University.

Admission is free and open to the public.

About the Speaker

Kyra Gaunt is a cutting-edge scholar in Black feminist music studies whose scholarship contributed to the emergence of Black girlhood studies, hip-hop feminism, and digital ethnomusicology. Her first book, “The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop,” funded by NEH and the Ford Foundation and winner of the 2007 Alan Merriam Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology, continues to make waves in arts and culture. In 2015, it was a catalyst for the Bessie Award-nominated performance, “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” by choreographer Camille A. Brown. In 2020, Gaunt’s article “The Magic of Black Girls Play” was commissioned by The New York Times and was an Editor’s Pick of the Day. And last year, she was featured in ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary short, “Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games,” which won the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival and was poised for an Oscar nomination. Dr. Gaunt was recently inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Michigan and is on the University at Albany, SUNY faculty.


February 7, 2024
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Clark University, Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons – 2nd Floor
36 Maywood Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
+ Google Map