Country Quares: (Dis)identification Discourse in Black Country Aesthetic

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study is to explore the ways Black women and queer artists and their audiences employ country music as a way to facilitate a reclamation and complication of (Black) Americanness. The data for this study emerges from a qualitative content analysis of six music videos by Black artists released on YouTube between January 2016 and December 2022 and their associated comment sections. The years between 2016 and 2022 have seen the United States contend with what has been considered a "racial reckoning." This study recognizes these six music videos as sites for personal and communal reflection and re-evaluation on how this moment of race-based national conversation brings into question the ways we typify American identity and citizenship. The foundational literature for this study focuses on the production of culture perspective, disidentification, quare studies, and musical construction of identity.

Black music, country music, disidentification, quare theory