To be black in America.

A phenomenon that has been the catalyst behind numerous debates, discussions, and CNN documentaries; yet many fail to adequately convey what it means for those who live it day to day. What they never truly reveal, are the questions that we in turn have for mainstream America. We are genuinely curious as to how political pundits and political figures seemingly have all of the answers to the plights plaguing the black community, yet no answers as to when the economic and educational gap inherited each generation will finally close.

We are genuinely curious to know why things like hoodies, or certain mannerisms are demonized when displayed by minority youth, yet rendered “acceptable” when their suburban counterparts, who are the leading consumers behind hip-hop mind you, latch onto the same things. We are genuinely curious to know why “twerking,” demands such national attention, discussion, and analysis. Why did it take a former caucasian Disney star to “discover” a dance already in existence for decades?

And most important, we’re genuinely curious as to how a publication of such prestige and distinction as the New York Times, allowed yet another mind numbing feature involving the dance, this time in the form of an instructional on “Explaining Twerking to Your Parents”.

Yes, because in addition to largely inaccurate editorials surrounding the origins of the dance, American youth now need an entire twerk tutorial to share with their parents.


Though to put it bluntly, as New York Times op-ed writer Teddy Wayne did; “Explain that twerking is a dance move typically associated with lower income African American women.”

Thus it seems that those of us within the “urban community” who simply refer to it as an old dance move with roots in Louisiana’s rich “bounce” music scene were wrong. Thank you for showing us the error of our ways yet again, mainstream America. Thank you Miley Cyrus for your gross appropriation leading to a idiotic national “crisis” and the direct race & gender shaming of black women who’ve been dancing for decades. We knew the moment it happened to a young woman of perceived “privilege”, the race shaming would begin. As if blacks are to be blamed for the actions of a wayward young girl who seeks attention by any means necessary.

Oh to be Black in America, where most societal ills fall on our doorstep when they shouldn’t even be in our neighborhood.