Daily Archives: August 11, 2017

Today’s Word is… PERFORMATIVE 

On today’s episode of  “Whose Man’s is this anyway”, the legend of Supercuts.  So Boston has a…reputation for not having a lot of black people in spite of being about 25% black. Growing up, I had a bunch of black friends, went to pretty diverse schools and even while attending a PWI, largely kicked it with black people.  I say all that to say I never struggled with finding black here.  Then there’s, let’s call him Joe.  Joe moved to Boston for school, landed a nice gig figured he should make some roots.  Joe finds a black networking group, makes a few friends and talks about how glad he was to find his folk. White people are exhausting.  Now,  he was amongst his own and feeling safe around his peers Joe asks the one question every black man in a new city must know… 

“so where can I get a fresh cut at?” 

My peers and I get ready to toss out suggestions because in situations like these you gotta ride for YOUR barber like you would your house on Game of Thrones.  Lamont, the sage House Cut N Edge, architect of fades, beard slayer… But then Joe provided a follow up…

“but I mean, I don’t want to go to the hood tho… I’d go to Supercuts before all that” 

And like that it was maaaaan, fuck your haircut.  Granted,  my barbershop isn’t in the hood (rather the hood is not longer in that area) but why give that level of satisfaction.  Maybe Supercuts Joe picked up some bad habits hanging with Dwight, or maybe he is just a blavity black.  

“Blavity blacks” (h/t @hausmuva And no shade to Blavity but it’s hard to resist good alliteration) are black people acting like white people trying to be down with black people, but they ARE black so it isn’t really appropriation as much as it’s… performative.  They dusted off an old invite to the cookout and you don’t really ask what took them so long to slide through because they brought good liquor.  (see Glover, Donald. Peele, Jordan.)  After years of lamenting not being black enough, or being awkward and being a special snowflake because they listened to The Strokes more than the Blueprint in 2001, now they blackity black black y’all. 

Blavity blacks are the type to wax poetically about how iconic and black Redman’s MTV Cribs episode was while they wouldn’t be caught dead in the hood because in real life they identify more with the MTV crew than Redman.  Blavity Blacks looooove them a black catchphrase t shirt about “these hands” being “carefree” and “unapologetic” but let their white friends touch their hair.  They write 25 tweet threads about the time a white cashier punked them. They act as if liking “Bodak Yellow” is a guilty pleasure like they aren’t the target demo. Blavity blacks wear du rags ironically, have flings with hood folk but won’t settle for them and oversell their affinity for chicken and Henny.  They buy “melanin” t shirts to support black business but wishes the Jamaican spot joins UberEats so they can stop going to *that* part of town.  Blavity blacks assign fake deep sociopolitical labels to rappers because then it’s okay to enjoy them.  

For what it’s worth, blavity blacks largely aren’t hurting nobody…its just extremely corny.  Because who are you explaining your blackness to?  I’m not impressed that you know the words to Wipe Me Down, I damn near expect it.  Perhaps it’s because I never struggled with my identity in that regard that I find it so eye roll worthy.  Or maybe I just never viewed blackness as how many pop culture references you know or if you can swag surf.  I’m Black because my parents are. And they parents. And they parents.  That would be a fact whether I watched Martin or Seinfeld growing up. 

However, what I do take umbrage with is the faux elitism.  I would never turn my nose at others or play superior on the internet like I’m not from the hood my damn self.  I’m sure I have some blavity black qualities  There’s plenty blocks I won’t milly rock on, and some things I make a little bit (seriously like it’s a little bit) too much to do anymore.   I don’t need to qualify my black ass tendencies or affirm it via t shirt.  Neither do the blavity blacks; yet there they go calling Young Thug a carefree black boy so people won’t judge them for bumping “Digits”.   You ain’t gotta lie to kick it, B. 

Stay black. 

-Stan-  

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