restricted access Crip Walk, Villain Dance, Pueblo Stroll: The Embodiment of Writing in African American Gang Dance

The African American gang practice of writing while dancing is part of a non-standard gang written tradition that crosscuts multiple expressive media. In dance, feet become primary media of written production as gang members spell out affiliations, nicknames, enemies, and memorials to the dead. Because gang members integrate writing with ephemeral expression, gang literacy expands scholarly constructs of writing that rely on materiality, durable form, and a lack of sociality or context. In such performative media, gang members thus provide a novel frame for questioning how literacy constructs impact racial politics in the United States.