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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🎶🎶

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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…

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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

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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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Jay-Z, Colin Kaepernick, and Toxic Black Capitalism

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Jay-Z’s recent decision to align himself with the NFL has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. And for good reason. Colin Kaepernick has been blackballed by the league for 897 days. With no sign of him returning, despite maintaining a rigorous fitness regime, many are wondering why Jay-Z did not consult Kaepernick before signing on.

Five am workouts five days a week for three long years. Colin Kaepernick has been waiting in the wings since the NFL colluded to bar him from playing amidst player protests. Eric Reid, who stood beside Kaep in solidarity, has been subjected to excessive random drug tests for just as long. As season after season dredges on, Eric says he has no desire to refrain from protesting and has pledged to kneel during the national anthem this year as well. With NFL viewership in steady decline due to boycotts within the Black community, the league has reached out to an unlikely partner to repair their image and boost their ratings, Jay-Z.

Turncoat

A one-time supporter of the national anthem protests that brought awareness to blatant police brutality, Jay-Z has decided that there’s no time like the present to profit from his brother’s struggle. Billionaire rapper Jay-Z has brokered a deal with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Roc Nation mogul is now positioned to serve as a gatekeeper, deciding who’s worthy to take the stage as a Super Bowl halftime act. As the internet reflects on Jay’s very vocal criticism of the NFL and recent Super Bowl Halftime Show performers, the irony and hypocrisy of this situation is lost on no one.

“Don’t Do This”

When news of Travis Scott’s participation in the 2019 Halftime Show reached Jay-Z’s ears, he was quick to ask the “Sicko Mode” rapper not to perform. Citing the poor treatment of Colin Kaepernick as the league turned a blind eye to police brutality, Jay-Z urged Travis to change his stance. But now, the “4:44” rapper is the one that’s turned the other cheek. Stating, “we’re past the point of kneeling”, Jay has all but embraced the ideals of his peers. Considering this partnership an opportunity to change the beast from the inside, Jay said in a recent interview that “this is the next phase.”

“We forget that Colin’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice. In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase. There [are] two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, ‘I hear you. What do we do next?”

Ever the capitalist, Jay-Z has turned the ostracism of Kaepernick and scrutiny of Reid into a means of personal profit. While preaching Black solidarity, he cradles the all-mighty dollar. To onlookers, this poses a moral dilemma, but we forget billionaires often lack morals and have questionable ethics. While it is unlikely that Kaepernick will respond with his thoughts on the matter, his longtime girlfriend, Nessa, and Eric Reid have made their thoughts known.

You can’t trust a man who cheated on Beyoncé to make good life choices

Eric Reid took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to chastise Jay-Z for his decision. Stating, “Jay-Z knowingly made a money move with the very people who’ve committed an injustice against Colin and is using social justice to smooth it over with the black community,” Reid says the fight is on. He believes that it is “unjust” that the NFL is now “championing” social justice to cover their own systemic oppression in blackballing his former teammate. What Nessa has to say was much more scathing.

Sharing a video on Instagram of her boyfriend, Colin Kaepernick, training with his ally, former 49er Eric Reid, Nessa included a lengthy statement regarding Jay-Z’s decision.

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We will never turn our backs on @kaepernick7 because your idols decided to work with the same organization that is actively keeping Colin unemployed all because he peacefully protested against social injustice in black and brown communities, specifically police brutality. So really, how can Jay-Z and the NFL utter social justice in their partnership while keeping Colin unemployed because of his social justice work? • • It’s typical for the NFL to buy different PR looks to cover up their dirt-that’s nothing new. But what is disgusting and disappointing is Jay-Z let them use him. Whether Jay-Z knew it or not (I don’t doubt his intelligence-so I would think he knew) he helped the NFL bury who he said is an iconic figure, Colin Kaepernick. • • Don’t tell me there’s a “master plan and wait for it” because the ONLY reason anything would ever change is because THE PEOPLE are loud and clear and won’t let the league buy their loyalty with their disingenuous moves. The people are letting the league and anyone who works with them know that they aren’t buying the bs. • • Thank you all so much for showing Colin so much support and love. I know for myself, I can’t thank y’all enough for loving my family. • #imwithkap #nokapnonfl ❤️❤️❤️ • • #RP: @kaepernick7: ‪You never turned your back on me or the people, even when the nfl tried to silence your voice & the movement. You’ve never flinched or wavered. I love you Brother! Let’s get it! @E_Reid35‬ ‪ And to the people – I see you, I hear you and I love you! Thank you for having my back!!!✊🏾‬ • • 🎥: @relrelrelrel @djtonedef

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Knowing that Jay-Z is helping the NFL rebrand itself is disheartening but predictable. After all, he is a prominent figure in the Black community. It was inevitable that the league would reach out to a “respected” rapper to leverage his image to increase viewership. In fact, it’s the same strategy they used when they reached out to Travis Scott. The only difference here is that Jay-Z is well within the ranks of the wealthy, privy to those dubious politics, and versed in the manipulation of exploiting his own community for financial gain.

Do you believe that Jay-Z’s efforts will lead to further dissension in the NFL? Or will his position as a gatekeeper lead to a fitting resolution? Do you think his relationship with Robert Kraft influenced his decision?

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Merited Whiteness: Why Chris Cuomo Responded Violently to “Fredo”

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Instead of talking about the obvious wrong of comparing “Fredo” to the n-word, let’s discuss merited Whiteness and Cuomo’s response.

While out with his family, Chris Cuomo was accosted by a man who compared him to the Judas Iscariot of the Corleone family, Fredo Corleone. It’s easy to see why Chris would have perceived the sudden hurling of “Fredo” as an insult, who wouldn’t. Fredo was a man out of his depth. He was intelligent, sure. But he lacked the cunning necessary to navigate life in the mafia. Fredo was a soft-hearted, loveable idiot who said more than he should have to the wrong people. His unintentional slight got him in trouble with a community that felt entitled to his allegiance. This is the very same entitlement that possessed a stranger to believe he held the authority to pull Chris Cuomo’s merited whiteness card.

Fredo’s offense in many ways is seen as something lateral to Chris Cuomo’s presence as a journalist at CNN. The child of the 52nd Governor of New York and brother of the current Governor, who is a staunch critic of Republican politicians and their constituents, Chris stands on the wrong side, to some, in a fight for “American Values.” He is outspoken and detached from his beginnings as a political analyst on Fox News. Being the descendant of a family that is only two generations removed from their Tramonti, Campania Italian origins, The Cuomo’s represent a side of American history that is not often discussed, the assimilation of European immigrants to American whiteness.

When Italians began immigrating to the US, they were not looked upon favorably. But like the Irish and members of other European communities, they united in their “othered” state to gain acceptance, overcome their backgrounds, and race toward the American Dream. But the American Dream isn’t a big house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a dog, it’s whiteness. To be White is to be distinctly American, devoid of cultural attachments and devoted to racial supremacy. But like the Borg, whiteness requires assimilation and shared consciousness. Like their hive-minded chant, Magats would also believe “Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

For families like the Cuomo’s, who were privileged enough to own a business and accumulate wealth shortly after their arrival, the trajectory to acceptance was higher than most. As Henry Pratt Fairchild said when discussing the bestowed privileges of whiteness to immigrants, “If he proves himself a man, and rises above his station, and acquires wealth, and cleans himself up — very well, we receive him after a generation or two. But at present, he is far beneath us, and the burden of proof rests with him.” So how, after a single generation, did the Cuomo’s ascend their station? By becoming fast friends with the Trump family.

After Mario Cuomo represented Fred Trump in an undisclosed legal matter, their families maintained contact. Golfing trips in Florida and New York, letters filled with flattery, and partnerships that benefitted the Trumps as developers and the Cuomos political ambitions. Beyond the business relationships of the two families, you have to wonder what values they grew to share. Judging by a 2008 remark regarding Barack Obama where Andrew spouted “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference.” and Chris’ false equivalence of Fredo and the n-word, they share quite a few. Still, you must wonder why “Fredo” would elicit such a response from Chris. Is it because he feels his status demands subordination? Is it because he felt his whiteness was challenged?

Perceiving the use of “Fredo” as an anti-Italian slur, Chris Cuomo found himself feeling as immigrants did upon their arrival to the “land of dreams.” As explored by Maria Elisa Altese, there is a perception that Italian-Americans have forgotten what it is like to be targeted. Chris Cuomo has lived comfortably in the US as a white man, never before having his status challenged. As written by Robert F. Forester, in a country where the distinction between white man and black is intended as a distinction of value… it is no compliment to the Italian to deny him his whiteness, but that actually happens with considerable frequency.” So in his rage, Chris expressed how entitled he felt to the benefits of whiteness, it’s inclusivity, and how no one like him wants to be Black.

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Should I Have to Disclose That I’m HIV+ If I’m Undetectable?

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