do it for the vine
July 22, 2015 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Black users on Vine: celebrating blackness 6 seconds at a time.

An entire crop of users who joke about the predictability of BET movies’ opening sequences, the hilariously unique auntie swag of R&B singer Mary J. Blige, or the nonsensical reasons black people sometimes give for hanging up the phone all articulate and satirize their experiences without giving a point by point guide to their cultural references. Users like DeStorm Power, Jerry Purpdrank, Darius Benson, Summerella_ and teen sensation Jay Versace are gaining attention and giving people liiiiife. The platform is awash in digitally rendered inside jokes: if you know, you just know.
posted by standardasparagus (10 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Holy shit, I had no idea "or nah" really originated on vine. That example was from December 2013, which seems to align with Google Trends, but jesus, it feels like the kind of phrase that's just always been there.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:36 PM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am concerned with the increasing number of news sites that have run out of material and are focusing on Black online communities like anthro case studies. This makes me really uncomfortable.
posted by Ashen at 9:07 PM on July 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


YouTube got me hooked on Vines not too long ago. Jerry Purpdrank is consistently funny, edged out only by AlliCattt.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:09 PM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ashen:I am concerned with the increasing number of news sites that have run out of material and are focusing on Black online communities like anthro case studies. This makes me really uncomfortable.

I agree that kind of framing is really problematic, but is it relevant to the link in OP? It looks like the author of the Guardian piece is a NYC-based Ethiopian expat, so even if we assume the worst (that she was contracted just so that they could deflect this kind of criticism), this seems like black culture being reported on by a black woman in a mainstream news source, and that seems like a Good Thing.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:38 AM on July 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


If you are not regularly checking the frequently hilarious wolftyla's vine then your life lacks all meaning and I feel bad for you.
posted by um at 4:23 AM on July 23, 2015


>I agree that kind of framing is really problematic, but is it relevant to the link in OP?

Yes because while her being an Ethiopian expat is nice and all, it's still cultural surveillance on behalf of a larger entity, and it does nothing to negate who the article is written for. I disagree that cultural surveillance is a Good Thing, at all, especially because most writers frame discussion of their subjects so poorly as to add to its deleterious effects.

I was also being polite about how the entire post made me physically cringe.
posted by Ashen at 4:55 AM on July 23, 2015


And there is an ocean of a difference between "this is a post about Black Twitter and its influence on the political climate in the United States" and "look at what Black people are doing! Isn't that so interesting?" An entire ocean. One is simple reporting; the other is cultural surveillance.
posted by Ashen at 4:58 AM on July 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's a vine thing. You wouldn't get it.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:25 AM on July 23, 2015


it does nothing to negate who the article is written for

I think this is an important point.

Understanding is important. Breaking down barriers is important - that is, if both parties want them broken down. White people should be exposed to more Black voices.

However, the way that article is framed made me cringe as well, because of how it is so much "look what Black people are doing." Black people do something funny that makes a cultural reference; they're "celebrating Blackness." The fact that they're not catering to a White audience is pointed out so the audience knows they're about to have an "authentic" cultural experience - and also, so they can pat themselves on the back if they're cool enough to get it.

Or maybe I can put it another way: There is a difference - a delicate, but important difference - between acknowledging and respecting that other experiences exist and othering, and the way this is framed made me feel icky even though I enjoyed the links.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 5:33 AM on July 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can respect that reading of the article, but to me it seemed less of a "look at what black people are doing, isn't that interesting" and more of a piece on "this is Black Vine and its innovation is shaping the culture of Vine itself". It's in a very Buzzfeedy millenial voice that may make it seem trivializing, but is consistent in tone with other things not about black culture. Given the scope and topics of the author's other work, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
posted by JauntyFedora at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2015


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