Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Religious Studies

Second Department


Reader 1

Darryl Smith

Reader 2

Joti Rockwell

Reader 3

John Seery

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Rights Information

© 2015 Cameron J. Cook


This thesis aims to explore how conceptions of the black prophetic tradition, as discussed by thinkers Cornel West and George Shulman, might be expanded into the realm of African American musical traditions and genres. I argue that musical genres like the blues and hip-hop function as an affective discourse that aesthetically, politically and religiously function as sites of resistance to white supremacy and provide alternate pathways to liberation as compared to more canonical instantiations of the black prophetic. In particular I provide close readings of performances and art by Nina Simone and Kanye West.