Sat August 24, 2013
Strange Fruit: Linguistic Reclamation, Weaves in Church, and Louisville Humorist Tracy Clayton
Lately, many mainstream (read: white) media outlets have taken notice of Black Twitter. Often their approach seems almost anthropological. "How did this amazing phenomenon come about? Who are these people and what is their motivation?" But as Dr. Story says on this week's show, "Black people talk about political issues amongst themselves, and they have been for centuries. And they sometimes write about it too."
To dissect Black Twitter and the media's response to it, we're joined this week by Tracy Clayton, aka @BrokeyMcPoverty, who writes The Root's Grapevine blog and can also be found at PostBourgie. Tracy is one of the funniest voices on our timeline (in our opinion, and you know our opinion is never humble), and lucky for us, she's from right here in Louisville, so she was able to pop down to the studio for a visit.
Tracy's been called for several interviews now about the black twitter phenomenon, which she defines like so: "It's black people... who use twitter." Or in a more concrete example, "It's like the table of black kids in your school cafeteria."
She says the folks on twitter have been responsible for changes in the real world, both large (no book deal for you, Juror B37) and seemingly small (never come for @honesttoddler, Miss Alba). We agree, and we also appreciate the way black twitter uses very sharp humor to poke fun at those who need it. Witness the #PaulasBestDishes hashtag (we were partial to Strange Fruit Pies, of course).
Tracy also sat in on our Juicy Fruit segment and we chatted about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's ban on conversion therapy in New Jersey, and how emotionally confusing it is when politicians we generally disagree with do things we love (and how we also love seeing folks with supposedly-unconventional body types in the news for positive reasons).
We also talked about the pastor who doesn't want female church members wearing weaves, and filmmaker Lee Daniels' questionable comments about black homophobia, and how an HIV clinic with women and children in the waiting room reminded him of a welfare office.
And it seems like we have to revisit the concept of linguistic reclamation every few months, because someone is always using language that doesn't belong to them. This time, it's a drag performer in Portland hosting an event whose name includes a slur commonly used against trans* folks. We've also heard lesbians using the f-word and gay men using the d-word. So does membership in any of the LGBTQ letters make it ok to use slurs against the other letters?
Our question is, why do you want to?