• Kyia Young

FiercePOP blogs on African American excellence, creativity

October 12, 2017

Pop culture is a supplement of the world’s economy, specifically America’s. It encompasses the music industry, Hollywood, most things related to mass and social media and more. However, there’s a difference between black pop culture and regular. The question is: what makes black pop culture so significant?

Black pop culture is one of the many branches of black culture. Within it is black music, the infamous “black twitter,” black celebrities, black politics, black fashion, black hollywood, etc. According to encyclopedia.com, black pop culture is international, however, much international black pop culture is inspired by U.S. black pop culture. It is a part of all black cultures around the world that revolves around our “pleasure, enjoyment, and amusement; that represents the identity and politics of black cultures according to each culture’s beliefs, values, experiences, and social institutions; and that is expressed through aesthetic codes and genres.”

Like many other things tied to black culture, U.S. black pop culture dates back to slavery or the early to mid 1700-1800s. Most enjoyment came from celebrating through religious beliefs or negro spirituals, this was considered a form of “black pop culture” because it was expressed through pleasure.

“(Black pop culture) is the crėme brûlėe of pop culture,” Quiara Collor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette senior said. “It is constantly watched and imitated by others. From the music, movies and fashion, black pop culture is a staple in everything that is pop culture.”

There are eight factors that characterize regular pop culture that is applicable to black pop culture: Its components of people, objects, activities, events and the arts; theological aspects, including ultimate concern, faith, religious symbols and revelation and ecstasy; culture struggle, resistance, contestation and opposition; production, circulation, consumption, reproduction and distribution; its socially constructed nature; systems of signs and symbols; mode of communication; commodification, commercialization and stereotyping.

In addition, black pop culture is a stemation from black racism and societal oppression according to Kevern Verney’s book, “African Americans and US Popular Culture (2003).” He notes several aspects that relate black pop culture and the concepts of race and racism:

  1. “The persistent negative stereotyping of African Americans in popular culture, and the impact this had on the racial perceptions of both black and white Americans.”

  2. “The role of popular culture in holding back or facilitating change in U.S. race relations, particularly between blacks and whites, but with far-reaching impact on race relations of all groups in the United States.”

  3. “The recurring historical paradox that whereas white Americans have frequently recognized black cultural achievement, African Americans themselves continued to be perceived as socially and racially inferior.”

  4. “The enormous, and continuing, contribution made by African Americans to U.S. popular culture.”

  5. “How Hollywood and the entertainment industry in particular have encouraged racism through misrepresentations and caricatured images of African Americans.”

FiercePOP, the newest blog based on black pop culture, was established by my best friend Quiara Collor. She created this outlet to express black excellence and creativity through the entertainment industry and any other factors promoting positivity within the black community.

“FiercePOP is a blog that I hope to turn into a brand one day, based on black pop culture. I’ve always loved black pop culture and wanted to finally shed a positive light on it,” Collor said. “I plan to make this huge by establishing its own magazine publication or TV channel. For now, it will start off as a website and YouTube channel.”

Follow FiercePOP on Instagram and Twitter: @Fierce_POP and Facebook page: FiercePOP. Stay tuned for our FiercePOP series that will go into depth about the different elements of black pop culture, including modern day black pop culture news and updates!


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