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The Racial Politics Of Sound

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What sounds are deemed ‘Black’ or ‘White’? What values do we assign these judgments? How far back can these ideas be traced?

We discuss the cultural politics of sound with English professor Jennifer Lynn Stoever of Binghamton University, author of “The Sonic Color Line.”

She has sifted through slave narratives, music, and radio dramas to dissect the connection society makes between race and sound.

We discuss efforts by White listeners to limit black voices, along with examples of Black resistance, and how the sonic color line affects Black and White lives today.

Check out the Sounding Out! blog.

Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.