Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Buppie Extravaganza!!!

Often times the term “Buppie” (Black Upwardly-mobile Professionals) possesses negative connotations by the speaker, and those scarlet-lettered with it are viewed as sellouts who turned their backs on their people and culture some time ago. This is true for some, but not all. Often times when I hear the term I simply think of young blacks who have made it beyond the beginning stages of success, are making good money, and actually possess a considerable amount of control over their futures. Sure, most have taken advantage of equal opportunity programs and have been private-school educated (many times both high school and college), but it is a mistake (and also derogatory) to believe that these people have necessarily forgotten where they came from or wish to disassociate themselves from it. I’ll leave the question of whether Buppies are realizing the dream of our foremothers and forefathers for the history books to answer, but I do know that Buppies (in many cases, not all of course) BELIEVE they are building something special (I write “they” as if I sit on the outside of the Buppie consortium. Call it the trappings of racial and personal self-reflection, I guess. Digression as usual…).

But enough of the somber social commentary, I am writing this to express the amount of fun I had at Brother Lightness’ New Year’s Bash in Harlem. The night was filled with great food, beverages galore, the obligatory white guy (while I won’t demean by calling him “token,” I am finding this occurrence more often. I will explain…), and sophisticated black folks.

Here are some observations:

--OK, about the obligatory white guy. First, let me say that while I don’t know him, I found him to be comfortable in his surroundings. This was key, because when some folks had a few drinks in them, I heard more than a few “there’s a white guy here” comments floating about. In fact, there was one instance when it was thought that my man didn’t know how to dance (black folks, believe me, the truth to that myth is falling to the waste side, slowly but surely) and someone found it necessary to teach him a two-step to “take to da club whitcha.” I was embarrassed on multiple levels. First, the “dance instructor” couldn’t dance, and was drunk on top of that. So his two-step looked more like…a drunk man dancing. Second, people began to stare, which made everyone involved (except, not surprisingly, the dance instructor) uncomfortable. Third, the white guy had more rhythm than the instructor, which should have made the instructor uncomfortable, but like I said, he had been drinking. To his credit, the white guy just played it off, made a light-hearted joke, and kept it moving. It reminded me of the first months I spent at Williams College, after transferring from Florida A&M. I’m sure others have been in similar situations, but when someone makes not-so-thinly-veiled racial comments, one can either lash out or (like the white guy did) get out of the situation as quickly as possible. I commend the white guy for this; I’m not sure most people would have handled it the same way. I’m sure that the number of situations like this will grow, as interracial dating becomes more prevalent, it becomes more acceptable (amongst blacks and whites) that white men are attracted to black women, and white people overall become less intimidated by black people.

--I was really impressed by the diversity in occupation of the folks who attended. From teachers to Wall St. traders, from government employees to marketing head honchos, and from television producers to lowly students like myself, a vast cross-section of employment was represented. It cannot be said that black folks only take advantage of one occupation…

--The dancing that I witnessed at this party was truly entertaining. It has to be said that (paraphrasing The Spirit of Trinidad) Brother Smartness, his younger sibling (who’s stage presence I liken to…well…Brother Smartness, aka “Confidence Personified”), and Bother Brolicness can dance well, and they put on a show for us all to see. As Brother Smartness has shared, House Music is his first love. So when Lightness livened the party from his iTunes catalog with House tunes, Smartness’ face lit up like a Christmas tree and provided the party attendees with his special brand of dance-floor flavor. The highlight of the evening occurred when Smartness completed a flurry of his best moves with a heel click oldie-but-goody similar to this:

--Last but not least, thank you Brother Brolicness, for exposing me to this. That’s a dope beat…


Brother Lightness said...

It goes without saying, I had a delightful time.

Kudos on the recap, Spotless.

Brother Smartness said...

Great recounting.

I suppose next year I'll have to step it up and do the old full sprint, forward roll, axe kick maneuver that got me in trouble at the last house club I attended.

Definitely good times though. I'm already looking forward to December 31, 2008.