Re-Post: Death of Autotune and “Acting White”
I love Hip-Hop, I love educational research. I love the piece my colleague Christopher Emdin, of Teacher’s College- Columbia University, has put together on why autotune and ‘acting white’ should be laid to rest. Here’s an excerpt, I encourage to read the WHOLE thing, yeah like it’s a class homie!
One key comparison to be made between autotune and “Acting White” is that both are brilliant inventions/ concepts that have emerged from sparse use in the past to become very popular in contemporary discourse. They have both brought their re-inventors much acclaim and have been so widely accepted that they have made people who use them untouchable icons in their respective fields. They have also done wonders for the artistic and academic careers of many people who “hop on the bandwagon” of each of them. In addition, they both create a solution for a problem (one with not having a good singing voice, and another with not having a justifiable cause of low achievement) that sound so close to perfect, that one may think that there was never a problem at all. A gruff voiced rapper can easily become a smooth crooner with autotune. Likewise, a child in an urban school can easily be justified for not being successful because he “doesn’t want to act white.”
Continue Reading (well you’ll be starting at the top but click anyway)
Sidenote: if you’d like to know more about the strange career the “fear of acting white” theory check out Signithia Fordham’s 2008 piece in the Anthropology and Education Quarterly (Vol 39) and “Beyond Acting White” by Erin McNamara Horvat and Carla O’Connor
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