If you haven’t heard by now, there’s a new realm of Blackness amid the Black Lives Matter movement. A subculture inhibited greatly by Black celebrities who no longer believe in race, or racism. Among those in the “New Black” collective are Kanye West and Raven-Symoné two vocally opinionated figures whose words on race are pretty much always getting the side-eye.
So what is this whole “New Black” situation and does it really mean anything in the eyes of the rest of the world? The website Jezebel discusses this very issues for the latest installment of theJezebel Goes Digging series hosted by journalist Hillary Crosley Cooker.
In the second episode of Jezebel Goes Digging, I look at the recent phenomenon of black celebrities like Kanye West, Common and Raven-Symoné declaring themselves New Black—at the same time that police continue killing Regular Black people all across America.
I don’t know about you, but this idea that someone can buy their way out of America’s racial landscape confuses me. I understand that some wealthy folks’ concerns probably don’t match the concerns of a woman with a journalist’s salary. They move in circles with billionaires, not thousand-aires like me, and it’s rare that a police officer would stop them over something other than a fight with a paparazzi photographer (hi, Kanye).
Still, just because celebrities like the ones I’ve mentioned don’t have to worry about a cop shooting them dead and then claiming they did so out of fear shouldn’t mean they can ignore others who do—especially in this heady time of Black Lives Matter protests pushing against a new police murder every week. But that’s what New Black is: using wealth as a protective hedge to say “I’m different, and the worries of middle-class or poor black folks don’t affect me so they must not be real.”
Peep the video below and feel free to leave your thoughts in comment section below.