October 15, 2015

The "Very Black" project.

What does it mean? That's the point.
"We ask people how they experience the statement. The T-shirt. Us. Their experiences. Their non-experiences. That's if they care, comment or inquire. It's really engaging and no pressure," [ artist-educator André D.] Singleton said.

For both men, there's no single definition for the phrase "Very Black."

"It is for sure empowering, relatable, vast, inclusive and real," Singleton said. "It means a lot of things to a lot of people. We are learning as we go just as we have our entire lives."


YoungHegelian said...

The Brooklyn-based duo said that the initiative started with "kitchen talks," conversations between the two, where they would reflect on their own personal experiences of growing up black and gay in America.

If those photos are any indication of the tenor of the project, I can guarantee that straight black men will be staying away from this in droves. I know it's changing for younger middle class black men, but for most, you put the term "faggy" on it, and it's as good as dead.

CJinPA said...

If you find "empowerment" in a T-shirt, I feel sorry for you. You will always be searching for external, material validation.

Chuck said...

Feels like a microaggression to me.

Known Unknown said...

Not shown (other options in shirt series): VERY UNEMPLOYED

Brent said...

I really do not care about the term "Very Black", whether it has value or meaning to anybody. Let them knock themselves out.

But I do have a concern about the phrase "encouraging a dialogue around race" or the more accurate intentional "shape the dialogue around what it means to be black". Whenever anyone says there is a need for "dialouge" or "conversation" about (pick one)
• race
• guns
• gender
• sexuality
• Islam not terrorist
• Christians are terrorists

I have yet to find they actually want real, true dialogue. Zero times. What they want is to use a warm term that they internally translate into:

"Listen up Mofo. This is the way it's supposed to be, and if you don't agree, we can now identify and be intolerant and hateful towards you without irony or guilt"

So, no, I will not be participating in your screeds and didactics.
I will, however, be willing to send you an Oxford Dictionary link and and begin the arduous process of educating you in actual definitions of words in American English and social grace in communication.

MadisonMan said...

Very White T-shirts -- frowned upon.

Very Black T-shirts -- Art!

MadisonMan said...

I actually do have a T-shirt with block letters that say "Very White" on it. But you can't see them because the T-shirt is white also.

Scott said...

When people say they are "encouraging a dialog" they really mean "engaging in a diatribe."

I think Orphan Black is more interesting.

Fernandinande said...

"Black black blackity black." What are they selling? T-shirts?

damikesc said...

So, racism is now...good?

Interesting times.

Unknown said...

the white background is microagression.

Anonymous said...

What, no Nigel Tufnel?

Rocco said...

From the title, I thought this post was going to be about this stuff: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/blackest-is-the-new-black-scientists-have-developed-a-material-so-dark-that-you-cant-see-it-9602504.html

William said...

In the article, one of the Very Black wearers is further identified as a cancer survivor. I guarantee that when he was first diagnosed with cancer that that diagnosis trumped all his other identities......How about a t shirt that said Black Is Not The Biggest Deal About Me.

Phil 314 said...

and only $15!

mikee said...

Today at Home Depot I was appalled that the Christmas items were on display already.

However, the inclusion of tree ornaments that were simple, round, glass decorations in a perfectly flat black color caught my eye. Very Black. These will make a perfect gift for a friend whose "Bah, humbug!" attitude over the years has inspired me greatly.

So Very Black. And only $10 for a boxed pair of them. I'm thinking of breaking one before I wrap and send them, to increase the disappointment factor upon his opening them on Christmas morning.