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Raves and Close Shaves: An Auto/Biographical foray into the life of a young Black 90s rave queen


In this article, I reflect on my experiences in 1990s Rave culture as a young Black woman. This article incorporates Wright-Mills’ (1959) ‘Sociological Imagination’ to explore how the socio-historical events of the time shaped my involvement in the rave scene. Further, it explores how raving served as a form of intergenerational resistance against familial and community expectations. I was often a minority in certain rave scenes, considered predominantly White spaces. At the same time, I was regarded as a ‘misfit’ among my Black peers for ‘transgressing’ what they perceived as norms of Blackness, such as engaging in popular culture and music genres like Hip Hop and R’n’B. Through my experience, I consider debates concerning relationships between popular culture consumption and the construction of our ethnic and racial identities. Specifically, I explore how these elements are used to determine our ‘authenticity’ and identities as Black people. I also suggest that our experiences reflect the importance of recognising and celebrating the differences within and between Black people, including our life choices, such as music preferences.


Racial/ethnic identities, authenticity, Blackness, rave, music, resistance, expectations



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