In Conclusion

Hello Everyone,

For my last post, I wanted to do some reflecting on the events of this summer and the progress I’ve made in my research. First off, I’d like to be honest in saying that the events of this summer made it at times very hard to pursue this research. The deaths of Philandro Castile, Alton Sterling, and Korryn Gaines, police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and current unrest in Milwaukee, have underscored the timeliness of my research, but also made it very difficult to generate the emotional stamina necessary to examine police brutality in text and in reality. As a scholar-activist, self-care is an important skill to learn and it’s one that I’ve had to develop out of necessity this year.

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Update #4: A Note On Lyrical Relationships

Hello Everyone,

So, my research journal has a whole page dedicated to what looks like an odd color coded, symbolized multiplication table. I promise it’s not actually that. It’s actually a visual representation of lyrical relationships. Each theme has a corresponding highlight color or underline. When these themes occur in text, the lyrics are highlighted accordingly. In order to analyze relationships statistically, each relationship has to have a numeric code. Every possible thematic relationship is represented in the chart below. Using the example from the last post, “Hell You Talmbout” consists mostly of one relationship between names of victims of police brutality and #BLM slogans (in this case, “Say His/Her Name). The lyrics that contain the names of victims are highlighted in pink and the lyrics that contain “Say His/Her Name” are highlighted in yellow. As shown in the chart, the relationship between pink and yellow highlights is coded as number two. As redundant as this coding may seem, it eases the process of statistical analysis and makes interpreting relationships a much more refined process.

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Update #3: Basic Content Analysis Methodology

Hello Everyone,

I thought now would be a good time to share the basic methodology of content analysis that I’m using in my research. For example, I’ll be using a song from my sample called “Hell You Talmbout” by Janelle Monae. “Hell You Talmbout” is a protest song released in the summer of 2015, its goal was to call attention to police brutality by repeatedly calling the names of victims, thereby forcing the issue into public consciousness. A picture of the song lyrics, which shows my methodology in detail, is attached.

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Update #2: Evaluating New Sources

Hello Everyone,

From June 27th to June 31st I visited Harlem, New York to conduct research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in order to obtain more source material and background knowledge on the history of Hip-Hop, African-American social protest, and police brutality in America. I was fortunate enough to gather numerous resources during my visit and I have an estimated 15 new sources to read through before beginning the content analysis portion of my research. i was also fortunate enough to visit the Stephen A. Schwarzman building, which is the New York Public Library’s flagship research library. The Schwarzman building is an absolutely gorgeous building, which contains ample resources in topics related to general research. There, I was able to gather resources on content analysis methodology. After completing my library visits, I now have an abundance of new information read through, and I am looking forward to the process. I’ve attached photographs as well, so you can see what some of libraries and their exhibits.

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Update #1: Research at the Schomburg

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be conducting research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture beginning on June 27th. I’ve spent the last few weeks of research scouring the research database in preparation  for my visit. The Schomburg works in conjunction with numerous other New York Public Libraries, so I’ve compiled a list of resources from other branches which will be delivered to the Schomburg upon arrival. I’ve amassed a healthy list of titles ranging from a textbook on the #BlackLivesMatter movement itself, the significance of music in social protest, and handbooks on the methodology of content analysis. While researching at the Schomburg Center, I will also have access to special collections resources in the Resources and Reference Division as well as the Moving Images and Recorded Sound Division.

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