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Songs That Hurt  

Author:  Daphne A.  Brooks.

Source: Volume 07, Number 04, Spring 2015 , pp.285-291(7)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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This piece examines the phenomenon of interpersonal violence by looking at its expression in the words of contemporary music. Black feminist scholar Daphne Brooks examines a selection of songs that reveal some of the most common themes associated with intimate partner abuse. As the author observes, the messages coming from these songs range from the empowering to the pathological. Some call abuse by its proper name, while others romanticize such egregious behavior, mistaking possessive, controlling behavior for passionate, authentic love. Just as words alone are powerful, the words of songs are especially so. In this article, the author shows us how and why this is the case.

Keywords: addressing domestic violence in popular music culture; glorify violence against women; memorialize victims; resilience and resourcefulness in the face of domestic oppression

Affiliations:  1: Yale University.

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