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You Can’t Outdo Black People: Part One

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This piece was originally posted on Cody’s blog, Reclaiming Anger

 

Like Darell J. Hunt says,

“You can’t outdo Black people.”

This is just a reminder that Black folk can’t be outdone, won’t be outdone.

Won’t ever become undone.

We are otherworldly.

Please enjoy this collection of Black brilliance and Black creation, at a variety of beautiful intersections. This is not meant to be a perusal for one sitting, but perhaps something you can come back to often. This collection is best on a tough day of dealing with institutional -isms. This (collection) pairs well with a cup of hot chocolate, or a liquor of your choosing on the rocks. Please use the comment section to nominate other videos to be added to Part II of the collection (to come at a later date).

Moreover, if you know someone who shows up in the collection below, please tag them referencing this piece. Share. Share. Share!

Big thanks to all of the Black content creators, Anthony & Jameelah for transcribing, and Charlesia for final edits.

*Throughout this piece captions are provided- either embedded in the video or through hyperlinks. Click on TRANSCRIPTION or LYRICS for accommodations.

Just 5 beautiful Black people pondering Black queer and trans futures.

Let’s Begin…

How do we not begin with this hysterical Soul Train commentary from Darell J. Hunt? So many quotable moments. Peep the pure joy in Darell’s voice, alongside a lil shade…just a tad-bit.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Look at his fine ass- Trevante Rhodes. Damn. Truth be told, I’ve given myself to him several times in the past year…yes, in my very vivid dreams. Important to note, every fantasy encounter included enthusiastic consent. 🙂 Below is one of the best scenes in film history, in one of the best films ever made. FIGHT ME.

LYRICS to Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis

 

Literally, the only child I like. You won’t find anything cuter…or fiercer on the inter-webs! “Do it for the vine?”

TRANSCRIPTION

 

To love should be this simple…

TRANSCRIPTION

 

 

Baddass, Nina Simone! Perhaps all the unpaid writers for Ebony should pull a Nina for those lost checks…oops. #EbonyOwes

 

One of my favorite people on planet earth (next to Kandi Burruss). Audra deserves so much more shine for her tremendous talent. And please know that I’ve peeped she’s only an Oscar away from an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). She’s brilliant.

LYRICS to The Glamorous Life: *Audra McDonald singing Glamorous Life*

 

I love when Black people queer white spaces. They are more entertaining (and talented) than most of the performers at this year’s (2017) BET Awards…oops, again.

 

After watching this, I feel….tired. And yes, protect Black children at all cost!

Celebratory shouts and dancing to Wedgie by Taylor Girls- LYRICS

 

 

Just hit play…

LYRICS to Four Women by Nina Simone

 

Just Black children being exceptional…nothing out of the ordinary.

Classic. But lowkey, this was an important declaration for the group, hence this fake CNN opening and closing.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Kelly Rowland: I’m the second lead vocalist for the group.

Latavia: *coughs* I’m Latavia

 

This is the young Black woman who created “on fleek.” I swear creation is the key to our liberation. Pay Peaches here.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Peaches: “We in this bitch, finna get crunk. Eyebrows on fleek, da fuck.”

 

Because Black girls tell the truth. TRUST BLACK GIRLS and WOMEN.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Black Girl with 45: “You’re a disgrace to the world.”

 

Now you know we all have one of these “faux gifted” people in our family. If you don’t know who this person is, then it’s you!

TRANSCRIPTION

Beginners Chorus🎶🎶

A post shared by GotDamnZo (@iamzoie) on

 

Pay close attention to the hand geometry

Dancing to Wet Dollars by Tink- LYRICS

 

Said this to my therapists the other day…

“Because it’s an inner cry bitch”

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Miss Jay is damn good- I could almost believe that this is a real business concept…

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Ugh. Soul melting voice. But why is this song called Redbone tho? (Please answer in the comments)

Sings Redbone by Childish Gambino- LYRICS

 

 

Be mad! Please be mad. This Black girl below is more helpful than most Black adults. read: Black cis het men

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Black Feminist thought in a sea of white feminists…

TRANSCRIPTION

And somehow we still equate talent to success, and success to happiness…

I hate this song, but love his voice.

Mike Yung singing Unchained Melody- LYRICS

 

Reminder from the Lorde.

“There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions” by Audre Lorde: *reading the essay found here*

 

I mean, I guess Sheree had the last laugh with Chateau Sheree, but it definitely was a journey…a long journey…

TRANSCRIPTION

 

One of the best singers ever…EVER…FIGHT ME…I’ll win.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Because Tituss is SO much more than Tina Fey’s prop #MoreThanTinaFeysProp

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Black, Queer, and Trans People not only on the margins, but at the origins…

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Lowkey…I’m with auntie ‘Retha, this pie is flat out nasty. But I love Patti and this video. Just sayin’.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Hamilton meets Beyoncé Giselle Knowles…ahem, Carter. Can we ask for more? AND India Carney (in the center) is all things and everything all at the same damn time.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Listen. And then listen again. Wait an hour, and repeat!

Poet recites the poem “Black Privilege”

TRANSCRIPTION

 

This is what I tell the students I work with…

I include Iyanla’s laugh, but exclude the centering of ashy Black men. Oops.

TRANSCRIPTION

Again, we come from a creative people. We’re too damn much. Bahahaha.

TRANSCRIPTION

Cue the tears…and anger, as white supremacy was the root cause for David and Ava not receiving Oscars for his performance and her direction. Tho, white validation can never be a measure of Black excellence.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

I remember.

And how Tasty, or Sweetie, or whomever she is didn’t get up and leave the table is still a loss to me…

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Most of you think this look and performance only took a black trash bag…but look closer (I’m still unsure of what you’ll find).

Dancing to Missy Elliot’s “Rain” (Supa Dupa Fly)- LYRICS

 

The woman’s reaction in the front row is typically my reaction when I realllllyyyy like something. Keep that in mind potential suitors…actually I react that way to good food too.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Because drunk Crissle is really the best of all of us… #TeamHarriet

TRANSCRIPTION

 

I feel similarly about Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits. And I’m waiting on someone to remix this with a Nina Simone track. Tew much?

But fo’real, who got this recipe?

TRANSCRIPTION

 

GOAT.

And cold-blooded- sending a message to her competitors, like the Terminator, “I’LL BE BACK…on top. Soon.”

TRANSCRIPTION

 

One of the best television characters to ever flee the paper to the big screen…Rest in Peace and Power Nelsan Ellis.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

Because I love you Janet, I know you would want to be placed near Bey.

TRANSCRIPTION

 

BOW DOWN.

Share. Share. Share! And like James Wright says, “Support Black Businessessss”

This is the work of Cody Charles; claiming my work does not make me selfish or ego-driven, instead radical and in solidarity with the folk who came before me and have been betrayed by history books and storytellers. Historically, their words have been stolen and reworked without consent. This is the work of Cody Charles. Please discuss, share, and cite properly.

 


Cody Charles is the author of Re-Imagining Black LoveGetting To Know Rosa Lee: An Overdue Conversation With My MotherBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers)Student Affairs is a Sham, 19 Types of Higher Education Professionals, and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

If any of my writing helps you in any way, please consider tipping here =>cash.me/$CodyCharles(Square Cash),@CodyCharles(Venmo), or paypal.me/CodyCharles<=

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Alexandra Shipp Doesn’t Understand Colorism and It Shows

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Alexandra Shipp is suffering from the same light-skin plight that Tinashe claimed stifled her career two years ago. Oh well…

After hearing that KiKi Layne was in talks to step into her queendom as Storm, Alexandra Shipp wasted no time chiming in on Twitter. Her hot garbage take has since sparked yet another conversation about colorism in Hollywood. Alexandra stated, in so many words, that Black people aren’t supporting her because of her skin tone. Proving she, like so many, does not understand colorism as a system of oppression, Alexandra makes it clear there’s still work to be done.

You see, Alexandra, no one is attacking you for having light skin. They’re simply expressing joy over the much-anticipated portrayal of Storm as she was intended — a dark-skin, beautiful Black woman. This was a monumental opportunity for you to offer praise. Instead, you chose self-pity because a skilled actress is taking a role you aren’t entitled to. Let’s look at receipts, shall we?

KiKi Layne has been nominated for:

  • The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
  • The Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor
  • The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble.

You, Alexandra, have been nominated for a Teen Choice Award and a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award.

Because you, and others who look like you, have not had to search for representation to feel included, you may not know how to respond to this. I get it, You think you worked hard, earned that role, did it justice. Sorry, baby, but you thought wrong. The one-time wife of T’Challa deserves to be a dark-skin queen and there’s nothing you should do about it.

It’s bigger than you.

For two decades, we have waited for the mantle of Storm to be assumed by a woman who truly looks like her. For once, little Black children who share that skin-tone would feel seen as they look upon their favorite superhero. Imagine children looking at Storm the way they knew her and the way they thought they could be; strong, beautiful, dark-skinned, and more talented than you.

Furthermore, your conflict with the change in the cast should not be conflated with other pressing issues. Don’t weaponize Black Lives Matter to represent losing a job because you’re talentless. Where is your grace, queen? You’ve been coasting on mediocrity in an industry that has made you proud of your light-skin privilege. Now that dark-skin is profitable, the industry is accepting of some actresses with melanin more popping than yours, and you want to play the victim? Ms. “90 percent of the racism I’ve experienced in my lifetime has been at the hands of fellow Black people.”

Girl, bye.

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Protests Ensue Over Death of Jameek Lowery

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Jameek Lowery streamed his final moments as he sought assistance from officers in a Paterson, New Jersey station. Having passed in police custody, community members and family want answers.

Scared and Alone

Jameek Lowery was disoriented, foaming at the mouth, and shoeless. Asking for water and visibly unsettled, 27-year-old Jameek admitted he’d taken ecstasy just moments earlier. Hoping officers would help him find proper care, Jameek trusted them with his life.

Police say they called an ambulance and accompanied him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, but what happened during transport is unclear. The Passaic County Prosecutor claims although hospital records do not indicate acute trauma, Jameek suffered physical force and compliance holds during the ride. While transport took between five and twelve minutes, the prosecutor alleges that Jameek was unresponsive upon arrival. Jamir King, Jameek’s brother, says Lowery suffered a fractured eye socket and broken cheekbone after the recording.

We want answers now!

Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale maintains everything that could be done to help Jameek was.

 “They will do the autopsy, everything will come up and then we’ll know where we stand, and the answers will be given to you. I want you to have those answers. Right or wrong, I want you to have those answers.”

Jerry Speziale, Paterson Police Director

Unhappy with what Paterson Police have provided since Jameek’s death Saturday, protests have ensued. Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter attended the Tuesday night protest, providing his support to the family and commenting on what he knew so far.

“He was extremely paranoid, he was terrified, and he had no shoes on. What I did notice was his face looked good and within a few hours he was dead.”

Hank Newsome, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York

City Council members were also present during the protests, providing comfort to the family as they begged for answers. Lowery’s sister Jamilia Laurie said, “My heart hurts, I can’t explain how I feel because I don’t know how I feel. I can’t go to sleep at night. I’ve been up since this happened. I cannot sleep.”

Justice for Jameek

Late into the evening, things came to a head as protestors clashed with police on the street, spilling out of City Hall where the rally took place. Holding cell phones to record the officers, police lined up on the other side, equipped with mace. People began chanting “Justice for Jameek,” “Black Lives Matter”, and “No justice, no peace”. Police fired upon the crowd with mace and a large crowd was seen fleeing the Paterson Public Safety Complex building, shielding their faces and coughing.

Wana Fulcher, a protestor on the scene commented on the frightening state of police relations in Paterson.

“I have four sons myself and this is very scary. Your child can’t even walk down to the store without being harassed by an officer. Who can we run to?”

Wana Fulcher, protestor

Community leaders and Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh are supporting the investigation into what happened to Jameek. Several news outlets have attempted to reach Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale for further comment with no success.

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On the Subject of R. Kelly

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I was 14 years old when R. Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. It was 2002. TP-2 had been out for a while and everyone was vibing to “Fiesta” and “Feelin’ On Yo Booty”. He was preparing to perform at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City when the story broke. A videotape had surfaced, allegedly showing R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. The Black community was silent.

I overheard my adult cousins discuss the tape at family gatherings. Everyone that had seen it seemed to agree. Without a shadow of a doubt, they all knew they were watching Robert Kelly, the pied piper of R&B. Yet there was no outrage, no public outcry or demands for justice. It was sickening. At the time, I lived in Detroit, Michigan, home to DSA. DSA was known as The Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, but it was famous for birthing the princess of R&B, Aaliyah Dana Haughton.

Buried

When Aaliyah married R. Kelly in 1994 in that secret ceremony with forged documents, Detroit knew. When conversation surrounding the nature of their artist-protégé relationship was questioned, Detroit knew. In televised interviews and radio segments when their voices and body language could be dissected, the truth was bare and as a community we denied it. For the second time, I watched a city turn a blind eye to R. Kelly’s predatory behavior for the love of his music. For what? Because it was more difficult to hold one man accountable for his hebephilia than sacrifice music to bump to? We collectively did ourselves a disservice, the same disservice we do to little Black girls and boys who are preyed on by family and religious figures.

Ignoring the presence of sexual deviance in the Black community does not make the trauma survivors battle daily disappear. I couldn’t understand why people made excuses for rapists or held victims accountable for their pain. “Just separate the art from the artist.” How? Why? The artist is using his status and artistry to directly engage, lure, and abuse Black girls. R. Kelly isn’t the only person to do this. Many celebs have used the promise of fame for sexual favors. Hell, employers use this exact same tactic. In the working environment, people in positions of power will dangle promotion and incentive to bargain sexual favors and people excuse it.

Second Chances

As a community, we must demand better. From the moment those 21 counts of child pornography surfaced following the release of the infamous tape, R. Kelly’s career should have been over. But it wasn’t. He went on to release the Chocolate Factory album, selling more than 3 million copies and going platinum. With the help of a delayed trial, he worked diligently, released gospel music to clean his image. By the time he went to trial in 2008, the Black community had two-stepped his depravity out of their memory. He was found not guilty.

People use twisted language like “Those girls were fast. Where were their parents?” Working long hours to clothe and feed that child. No parent is in all places at all times so save that bullsh*t. Such rhetoric does absolutely nothing to absolve sexual predators of the reality that they took advantage of naive adolescents or starry-eyed adults. Just call it what it is. Or are you afraid that acknowledging his deviance means calling out the same evil in those around you?

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