Funk the Clock: Transgressing Time While Young, Prescient and Black
Speaker Rahsaan Mahadeo presents Funk the Clock: Transgressing Time While Young, Prescient and Black. To ask, “What time is it?” is to orient one to time and space. The banality of this question should not excuse what are arguably serious sociological limitations. Rather than using an adjective (i.e. “what”), it may be more productive to use a determiner (e.g. “whose”). “Whose time is it?” exposes the possibility that some may own time, while others can only owe it. Not only does the question help distinguish between time’s owners and borrowers, but it also establishes time’s role as a tool of exploitation and ontological violence. Asking “Whose time is it?” prompts other generative inquiries. For example, How is time racialized? How is race temporalized? What does it mean to be emblematic of the future, yet denied a place in time? How does racism take time? To answer these questions, my research relies on ethnographic observations and thirty in-person interviews with black youth at Run-a-Way – a multi-service program in the Twin Cities. By illustrating what youth say and do inside and outside of Run-a-Way, this research stretches the sociological imagination by invoking a call to find something strange within what is most familiar. Through their stories, we come to understand how black youth funk the clock and help facilitate a paradigmatic shift toward a revised sociology of time.