One of American hip-hop’s latest fixations is twerking, described by scholar Melissa Campbell as “an overtly sexualized hip-hop and R&B dance form in which women wiggle their posteriors and rub against their male partners.” Thanks in part to country and pop star, Miley Cyrus, twerking has been catapulted from its roots in the working-class neighborhoods of Shreveport, Louisiana to the public sphere. Twerking can now be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, and in spoofs on late night talk shows, like Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Twerking, like swag before it, has been co-opted. It’s no longer ours. Yet, twerking can be a means of getting free for black women.
Here are five reasons why.