Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are We Losing the Right To Get Angry?

The scene is a raucous loud party where everyone is dancing, drinking and having a great time. Then, the camera zooms in on one party goer. This person is wearing a bright outfit, around his neck are a couple of super thick gold chains and in his mouth are gold teeth or grillz. He's out on the dance floor drinking from a bedazzled chalis and grinding his pelvis into the behind of a full bodied girl wearing nothing but a bikini. (Oh and there is no pool in sight.)

Does a scene out of Hollywood Shuffle come to mind or a Lil John video? Remember when you first saw the movie Hollywood Shuffle and you laughed because the scenes were so ridiculous and far fetched. You could look at that movie and know that it was a satire...a stab at how main stream Hollywood stereotypes Black Americans.

Now, fast forward to movies and videos available today. Those once satirical images are no longer meant to be facetious. They're meant to show 'the real' life of people in 'the hood'. So, now, we're claiming these representations as valid and fair examples of how we live. So, can we really get angry when white people, who are trying to be like us, don the same gear and have a party...calling it a an MLK celebration?

Link to Story

It seems some students at a university in Texas did just that. Read all about it in the link above.

Granted, these kids did take it too far. But, where do we draw the line? As a community we have to do a much better job of managing the representations of us and our culture that are out there in the media. We can't blame 'the Man' when we're the ones directing the movie/video, producing the music and writing the songs. And what's worse most of the influential artists in music today are over 30. Shouldn't they be stewards of our culture and not panderers to the masses?

Just a thought...


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