I chose the title of my blog based around the sentiments that many African-Americans of my generation are expressing, “Everybody wants to be a nigga, but nobody wants to be a nigga.” Paul Mooney said it in his “Ask a Black Dude” sketch on the Chappelle’s Show some years back, and it rings even more true today.
Hip Hop was one party for people to invite themselves to, but baby hairs? Yes baby hairs and du rags became a “thing”. The worst part about it is when staples in the Black community become trends in the White community, White people are quick to use either of these phrases in a sentence: “post-racial society” and “I’m not racist”, those two have become interchangeable. But by exclaiming those things they are showing their ignorance because in reality, by making those statements, it becomes just another chance for history and social context of Black people in America to be ignored.
On the other side of the spectrum, are those actually talking about racism. The horrifying scenes in Ferguson, MO presented a space for truth about perceptions and realities of Black Americans today and through time. But race in the media is bigger than that. Black people seem to be synonymous with ratings (Love & Hip Hop, Real Housewives of Atlanta, even Blackish).
Black is the New Black for a multitude of reasons. For a long time the conversation about race, class, and perceptions of Black Americans has been silenced or diluted. I think that in this chance here, this moment and space in time, the Black community has a chance to be the ones guiding these conversations.
Call to Action: Google “microaggressions”.. Take a step back and think about what you’ve experienced, but also what microaggressions you may have projected onto other people. It’s one thing for the Black community to ask for true acceptance in greater American society, it’s another to be prepared to talk about it and encourage open conversations.