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What Top Boy Tells Us About Young Women And Their Experiences Of Street Culture

On Saturday I made the mistake of binge-watching the entire new series of Top Boy. A mistake for me, because the show so accurately relayed parts of my experience that I’ve had to spend the subsequent days overdosing on self-care as an attempt to soothe the negative memories it has invoked.

I know there are mixed opinions on the execution of this season and the show in general and though I can respect most viewpoints I’ve encountered on the topic, I was personally blown away by the quality of storytelling in this season. There were numerous moments which felt intrusive because of how authentically they modelled events and relationships in my own life.

As a black woman who grew up involved in street culture, I was positively surprised by the presence of lead female characters in the show. Too often the female perspective is either completely erased from this narrative or women are only afforded the role of victims without agency. I know from my own experiences as well as through my work that this simply isn’t true and though I am eager to see how the writers develop the female characters we’ve been introduced to, I believe they have laid a solid foundation to further explore the varied roles of women in street culture.