Any testiment that begins with the words 'As a black man, I..' is one that should raise eyebrows of skepticism. That is not because there is something wrong with the tribes invoked, but because what follows is inevitably trying to represent something that may or may not exist. I'm not saying that blackness doesn't exist, rather I'm saying that perhaps it only exists in the confession. In other words, the only thing that is universally true about blackness is that it begins with voluntary negrosis, the conscious act of making oneself darker than they are - an action of conformity, of taking a particular fork in the road of identity, a racial construction in progress.
I understand that there is no black American cultural orthodoxy because that racial construction is always in process, often at the Peasant level. (c.f. 'ratchet'). There are recognizable forms. In music, there is R&B, Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Hiphop. Within those forms there are better and worse examples, and of course the influence of these cultural inventions is wide and deep. A lot of people get wrapped around various axels of authenticity but no one dares say "Miles Davis IS Jazz". What Mahalia Jackson sung may be the best example of Gospel, but nobody gets to say that all gospel singers since her are lesser shades of black.
This all comes to mind in the context of the complaints of a number of black American college students managing the microaggressions that have come to give rise to their profiles in recent weeks. Today, the Kwaku network produced "I Too Am Harvard", with its hard bitten confessions. Not long before that, UCLA Law students pleaded their discomforts and receive this kind of response from the sympathetic.
There is, of course, some intellectual tradition in all of this that is not vapid or silly. That's because the tradition is written as literature. It would have been nice to see some mugshots with a bit more creativity, though I certainly wonder if the dude in the Alpha jersey isn't mocking himself all hoodified. Be that as it may, one hopes that the literary tradition can indeed survive Tumbler and YouTube as it takes its hits today by kids who think they represent.