In episode 7 of Leading Communities, Kit is joined by Dr. Monqiue Charles, a Cultural Sociologist, Theorist, and Methodologist. Dr. Charles has a background in music and uses this to influence her work. She talks about the impact race and culture have on music, and also how people can use sounds to heal from trauma.
Our community-inspired podcast explores issues raised by passionate people within the West Midlands. We want listeners to start caring, keep caring, or care more about an issue.
- Firstly, Dr. Charles talks about her academic history, starting with her life-long fascination with the social world and “what makes people tick”. She completed her Master’s degree in Race and Ethnic relations, focusing her thesis on the stereotypes of Black artists like Lil’ Kim and 50 Cent in the early 2000s. Then, Dr. Charles completed her Ph.D. at Warwick University, studying Black British artists, specifically grime music. She talks about the challenges she has faced as a pioneer in this area, including acquiring funding. Nevertheless, she followed her passion and self-funded, working part-time alongside her doctorate.
- Kit and Monique discuss the highs and lows of “being seen” by the media. Monique has faced many obstacles, including the devaluing of her work, expectations from others, and not receiving credit for her work by large news outlets. However, she goes on to explain the rewarding nature of her work, particularly when she helps young people to realise the value of their art and culture. Also, she is also a proud role model for aspiring Black academics. She explains that for her “taking up space” in academic realms is an inherently political act.
- Finally, Kit and Monique discuss the value of sight and sound in culture. Monique is a Sound System therapist. This means she uses tuning forks for healing, spiritual, and therapeutic purposes. Interestingly, the Western world prioritises the written word but doesn’t do the same for sound and music. They discuss the implications of this for both education and social enterprise.
Who is this podcast for?
- Young people interested in pursuing a career in academia, sociology, music, or race politics.
- Social enterprise leaders and academics wishing to learn more about the intersection of race and culutre.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of their discussion. Listen here for the full episode of Leading Communities!
Written by Alison Fulop
For Aspire4u CIC,
The Mindset-Led Organisation
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