I occurs to me as I watch and giggle at the low-rent humor of this stand up comedienne, that there are very few things remaining indigenous to black culture that haven't been exposed. If there is novel black comedy or cultural baggage out there, it's because it's new. I truly think we have reached the moment in American history when the preponderance of black business is out on the street.
It's a bit surprising if not abrupt, and I'm sure that I have read similar sentiments apropos the Oscars this year. So I would suggest that WEB DuBois' prediction about the color line is more or less confined to the prior century. Obviously as an Old School partisan I'm suggesting that ideology and class are taking the place of race in the context of bourgeois struggle but I recognize the reinscription of those into old racial stereotypes as well. Still, I think it's a lot easier to resist than ever, because on the whole there is a lot less bitterness in those tropes. American kids who are not ethnic play with ethnicity in a way that really defies the old hatreds. There's a much lower bar for calling something 'racist' - sensitivities are up. Yet at the same time playing in that space is a lot less deadly for all concerned.
An open black ethnic source may or may not be useful. I'm accepting the idea of black caste as a self-replicating culture. In this I think I may be signing on to Thomas Sowell's idea of black rednecks.
The title essay posits a "black redneck" culture inherited from the white redneck culture of the South and characterized by violent machismo, shiftlessness and disdain for schooling. White liberals, gangsta-rap aficionados and others who lionize its ghetto remnants as an authentic black identity, Sowell contends, have their history wrong and help perpetuate cultural pathologies that hold blacks back.
While I think it's good that this is open source, I don't think it's good for 'progress'. That is to say that with a completely known black culture, the power of black cultural comparison to illumnate anything is reduced to zero. We're basically back to the line from 'The Message' where Grandmaster Flash says 'and everybody knows what you've been through'. So maybe this is it. Maybe we have reached a point, at long last in American culture, where there are precious few black things that you can't understand.
Think about it. Are there really any truly obscure kinds of black knowledge being dropped anywhere? I think not. I think our generation has aired all the laundry. We have milked it for all it's worth. All that's left are current events and new waves of revisionism.
Obama's trip to Selma is indicative of this. Selma has officially become a cliche. Obama went, so Clinton had to go. Coincidence? Hardly. Now it's Americana. Hillary put on her old fake(?) southern accent and told the cowed crowd that she was in "no ways tired", proving how tired her act actually was. If Obama needed some blackness credibility cookies, all he has to do is get his Black Snake Moan on. Maybe he could get his wife to read a quote from "The Bluest Eye". It doesn't take much.
What else leads me in this direction? 'Happy Feet'. Once again I had to watch this penguin movie on the plane, and the only 'foriegn' thing in it is Hispanic. All the Prince songs and Earth Wind and Fire songs are mainstream. (Prince, by the way, is a Las Vegas act. Did you ever think you would live to see the day?). Speaking of movies, are there any PG movies anywhere in America that don't have a happy hiphop song at the end? I'm thinking no. My last plane trip made the example of "Night at the Museum'.
Black culture is not losing its dynamism, but it has lost its mystery. It's an American thing and everybody understands.