Love the Hood Aesthetic, But Hate the People?

Dear Classist Black folk,

Stop bashing Black people from the hood! Stop using derogatory words to describe them. Stop calling them hood rats, thugs, ghetto, and gutter. Why are we using the language, that racists refer to all Black people as, to demean each other? We have learned to celebrate “Hood” culture and see it as apart of Black American culture. Can we give Black people from the hood, the innovators of the culture, the same amount of respect? We love the long, acrylic nails and big hoop earrings. We listen to trap music while hosting “Trap Brunches” and “Trap Yoga” sessions. Plenty of us use AAVE (African American Vernacular English). So why do you call Black people from the hood uneducated for using it, when you use it to sound cool? Rid the idea that Black people from the hood are all ignorant and naive. Social class does not determine your level of education nor knowledge. I notice that many Black people who were raised nowhere near the hood will take on hood personas for cool points and fame. I see this love for the hood aesthetic as a form of fetishization. How can you love the hood aesthetic while simultaneously looking down on the people who created it? You are looking down on your own people for what? Validation from non-Black people? This is classism and internalized anti-blackness. I’m not innocent either. I’ve spent many years feeling like I was above Black people from the hood, even though I was raised there myself. I thought I was better because I didn’t talk or dress a certain way. I believed that all Black people from the hood had the same mindset. Now I can see how ignorant I was. I am learning to check my own classist and internalized anti-Blackness views. Now it’s your turn.

  Sincerely,

    The Unfriendly Black Writer

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