Black Blogs

It took longer than it should have, but black folks finally have their own web sites. Most of them are aggregators, e.g. the AOL sponsored Black Voices which is the online Af-Am People or Us Weekly. I almost never read it because I really don’t care whether Shaq is getting a divorce. On the other hand, “Is It a Fad?” did give me pause, with its description of two white students at Northwestern University who wore blackface for Halloween. They received far more criticism than celebrities who have been doing it on TV, according to the article. It’s a thought-provoking essay. Even more fascinating are the comments – more than 100 that seem to lean heavily on the side of no, it’s not racist to wear blackface and Afro wigs. If one can get past the vitriol and capital letters in some of the comments, “Fad” is engrossing sociology.

If I want pure entertainment with an AA theme, I go to BET.com, which unabashedly promotes its TV station and all things entertainment with a whisper of news here and there.

And then there is an endless array of topic-specific sites: hair, opening and operating a business, hair, politics, hair. Two that I have not yet explored but that look worthwhile are Black Web 2.0, which is probably too techie for me but might overcome my 0xC800042D problem but my eyes are still going in circles from yesterday; and Blogging While Brown, which seems to exist just to promote its annual conference.

On a more sophisticated level, The Root.com has all the benefits and annoyances of its white brother, Slate. The Root covers the substantive well. Among the lead articles today is “Stop It With The Corporate Shenanigans,” subtitled “This debate about the proposed consumer protection agency is a big, big deal for black America. We can’t afford to sit out.” It contains a serious comparison of the White House proposal and of Chris Dodd’s bill. Essays like these are a true benefit to the black community, and everyone, black or white, can learn something from reading it. It’s sad that when I last checked not one person had posted a comment. Likewise, a post-election analysis urged Democrats not to interpret last week’s results as a prediction of things to come. Again, a thought-provoking article.

The annoyances abound, however. This morning included not one, not two, but three articles on the movie “Precious.” I realize that it is a big deal – after all Oprah and Tyler Perry are involved. But couldn’t we have more of analysis of the Fort Hood killings, prosecutors who “play dirty,” or life sentences for juveniles (of which I saw nary a word), and less of “Sammy Sosa Looks … Different”?

In the process of surfing for this entry I revisited something that’s not exactly on topic but should be read by everyone. GQ is not normally on my list, but “Will You Be My Black Friend?” is worth all eight pages. Yes it’s long, but who can resist a guy who mocks himself for saying that he hates his pepper grinder and that he and his wife get together with a black couple to eat pasta à la whitey? It’s also a fascinating look at what happens when someone with good intentions tries to bridge the color divide.

That piece led me to the best laugh of the day. Rent-a-Negro.com, “serving today’s changing nations” and featuring “New Age-of-Obama Specials.” The photos of hair-touching, skin tone comparing are priceless, as are the services: “Help! I need a Black Opinion!” is a bargain at $75 for a 30 minute phone call. More expensive services include “Racists Guests at Event” – add $500 per event per racist. Love it!

In the same vein, there’s Stuff White People Like. Examples include hanging out under a lot of trees. “If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a ‘nightmare’ or ‘a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.’ White people refer to it as ‘camping.’ ” Another entry: “Black Music that Black People Don’t Listen to Anymore.” At the top of the list is jazz (with a capital J), followed by the blues (caps on both.) Final example: Yoga, because it requires a lot of money and a lot of time. Some people think the list is serious and accuse the creators of racism. Here are few hints that the thing is a parody: the first interview granted was to The Onion’s AV Club; the site has ads that say “meet other black singles.” Oh, and the guy that created it? According to his photo, he’s white.

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One Response to “Black Blogs”

  1. Outrage Upon Outrage « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] Aside from the comments noting that there were no Native American insults listed (followed by a truly funny Gandhi vs. Sitting Bull debate), the only group omitted were WASPs. I believe Martin Mull took care of that with “The History of White People in America.” Follow the links to the second and third parts. Also fulfilling the obligation to insult WASPs, “Stuff White People Like,” (“Black Blogs.”) […]

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