A lighter piece for today but still, but these moments for me reaffirmed how I think how all experiences of blackness should be unashamed in all spheres. In their own way.
1. Kanye West when he told the world that George Bush does not care about Black people on live television.
This moment is the reason why I still have some base respect for Mr. West. He was on national TV and despite the obvious PR lens, he let the truth out.
2. Missy Elliot’s “The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]” and pretty much her whole career
She had great bars, expressed her sexuality without shame, swung her weight proudly, had ill videos, creative, and made a trash bag look good. Most of all she was unashamed of herself. Her music helped me to see what a carefree black woman looked like.
3. Cam’ron saying “You Mad?” on the Bill O’Reilly show.
I’m all for flustering fearmongers with the very behavior they condemn. He thought he’d invite Cam’ron and his producer and shame them about Hip Hop lyrics and the influence on kids. Even though these are conversations to be had with in the hip hop sphere. O’Reilly and his network breeding ignorance towards people of color is like a loud house party’s host asking the neighbors to keep their cat’s meowing down. So let the petty behavior commence.
“I got dirt on you too doggy”. Priceless.
4. Wayne Brady on the Dave Chappelle show
This moment in the show for me was hilarious but I also saw how Brady got his message through as well. Since the “Negrodamus” skit occurred I’m thinking him and Chappelle may have had a light conversation and out of it produced this skit. Brady was drug dealing, pimphand-smacking, and cop-killing in the skit to show:
“Is this what I have to do to be considered black? See how ridiculous and out of character I am?”
It was comical but a fleeting satire for those who think the black experience is singular in nature.
5. Kanye West’s “Graduation Day” Skit
A certain line summed up respectability politics for me.
“I’m tryin’ to get you out here with these white people and this how you’re gonna do me!?”
I can’t remember how many times older black professionals wanted me to be successful not for my own sake, but to prove to white people that black people are worth it. Something I didn’t see for myself. So this skit resonated with my college experience.
That said I am in no way shape or form trying to downplay the more heralded acts of Black American history. I just like the moments in media where I see a black person completely not care about what anyone has to say to validate them. That to me is pretty radical.