Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Black people, camping and you.

Commercial time! I've been working on a post on ENDA, but it requires thinking and arguments and reasoning and whatnot, so it's been taking me awhile to get it up. But this post just requires me to be funny, which comes just about as easily as breathing ;) And now I'm cracking up, because I always crack up when I say something I think is funny.

OKAY...Watch the commercial below:

Black people in the wilderness! Woot woot! Big house, big cabin, no smooth jazz playing in the background*--This trend of people of color doing stuff that is not stereotypically associated with them might just be here to stay. I say might because it might not.

For example, I was watching this documentary about the 60's and the hippies. They were talking about how when an idea gets really big corporations co-opt it and then use it to sell their products. Like that, I'd like to teach the world to sing commercial that Coke put out. That was all about riding the wave of the various civil rights movements that were going on during that time and contorting it into an opportunity to sell product. Since we elected a black president, it is safe to say that we are looking for something different when it comes to race. Corporations are listening, and so now they're making commercials like the one above.

I am just wary because you know what happened after the 60's and 70's? The 80's. Politically it was a shift back in a lot of ways--the War on Drugs ramped up and really damaged the black community. I can't help but wonder if something similar is going to happen after Obama finishes up. Are we going to see some Reagan-esque guy get elected? The pundits are saying there's no way Republicans can ever win nationally again unless they change their strategy and reach out to groups of color, but is that really true? The Tea Party is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. I could see one party getting complacent/cocky and another party getting fired up and organized and moving everything back a few decades. I'm not trying to say here that I think Democrat= good Republican= bad, even though it might seem like it. I'm just trying to point out the fact that these things seem to ebb and flow and I'm concerned that the move towards more multi-dimensional representations of black people might ebb again. I'm a fan of perma-flow.

In case you were wondering, I actually like camping. If by camping you mean sitting around a fire, drinking beer and looking at the stars. But if you mean not showering, walking far, and peeing on the ground, then no--I don't like camping. But I'm thinking this has more to do with my life experiences and personal preferences than being black.

So what do you think? Do you think the increased and varied exposure we're seeing of marginalized groups is here to stay? Why or why not? Feel free to talk about this or anything else in the comments.

*If you're a new reader, know that I like smooth jazz and many other things that are stereotypically associated with black people. I am not arguing that some presentations are better or worse, just advocating for a variety of representations like white people have the privilege of seeing. I would also strongly encourage you to like myblackfriendsays.com on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter. Thank you kindly (:


  1. Anonymous6:27 PM

    As I was reading this post (and others), I find myself wondering what it must be like inside your mind. I might get lost in there. There is SO much going on.

    And, no, this is not an insult.

  2. Chunk7:03 PM

    I think this is all part of AT&Ts secret plan to be featured on myblackfriendsays.com. Congrats to them.

    I like the ad, not only for breaking type, but also because the family is clearly very well off, making them the Jones, meaning this add is meant to appeal to white folk as well. This breaks the longstanding assumption that the leading characters in an ad to resemble the target demo. The main characters in an ad need mearly to be rich, and everyone will want to be like them. The only color that matters is green. (for envy and money)

  3. Porche8:57 PM

    Throw in making smores, and I like camping just like you do. Waking up cold, with no running water and coffee making is a chore? Yeah, no.

  4. I saw this commercial on actual tv, and the thing that struck me was not about seeing black folks camping...partly cause they are "cabining"...camping involves tents...these folks are on a porch, presumably on a lake front (hence the canoe on the car)...but what struck me was that I was happy to see that OMG black people who have a big house in a suburb with an alarm system and a patriarch who knows how to turn on and turn off shit in his house with a CELL PHONE!!! I think the media doesn't use folks of color in "intelligent" roles often enough, and they certainly don't portray them living a "middle class" (read white?) life? So, maybe my whole comment is reflective of my own internalized racism, and anyhoo...adding to the conversation...