There’s an error in this video that I did actually catch before it posted…
I wanted to open with that because it’s honestly hilarious. I copied the original introduction for this video – which I had originally drafted and recorded last year before the world was Like This – which means that I didn’t update it to include how much work I’ve done across this project.
At this point in 2020 after a solid year of working on this project, we’re at eleven articles, twelve related articles, two Spotify playlists, nine videos including this one, two pieces of Patreon-exclusive content, countless twitter threads, and two podcast appearances.
That is a lot of work, y’all.
And I am honestly maybe only halfway done. Two thirds if I squint.
So, let’s turn to “talking Black”. This was actually one of the original things I wanted to talk about early on in the project when I was less invested in the artists and industry so coming to it as I’ve gotten very invested has been… difficult.
Because it is very hard to speak critically about something that you love (these artists and the fandom… mostly) but that also has contributed to harm (because antiblackness as entertainment leads to antiblackness as practice).
Choosing to essentially dredge up past antiblackness from idols I like (or flat out adore in the case of Namjoon) to talk about continuing practices of antiblackness in and out of the idol stage… was tough. Whenever this series takes on a critical avenue, I worry that folks will miss the point of it all: that we should open ourselves up to expect more and better from these artists they love so that they can be better.
Whenever I do the critical takes instead of love-ins like I am prone to because I love what I’m listening to…
I worry that people will dismiss me as a “fake” fan without really engaging with what I’m saying because real fans across the board apparently don’t- or aren’t allowed to- have critical thoughts. Sometimes, I even worry that I’m doing my own favorites a disservice. I worry that people don’t get that I’m truly only capable of criticizing these artists and this industry because I care so much about these artists.
(Trust me: I do not critique things I do not value on some level. Notice that you’ll never see me talk about things like the Simpsons or Family Guy? Not because they’re not possibly harmful, but… I don’t watch them? I can’t comment on things I don’t consume or care about. Ya feel?)
I show my love and that a piece of media or a fandom still has value to me… by thinking and writing critically about those things. Other people show their love by… not doing that. And that’s okay! Those things can coexist if you let them!
Sometimes it’s tough to navigate how to talk critically about something like these idols “talking Black” and the very real presence that kind of antiblackness has in Korean entertainment and how it shapes how Koreans do view Black people… It’s hard because I want the best for these celebrities I’m fond of but also… for us as fans.
And how on earth do we get both of those things?
Not by ignoring it, at least…
Links Referenced in This Video:
- The masterpost for my series: https://stitchmediamix.com/nonficpost/wfrll-kpop/
- Taylor Jones’ What is AAVE?: https://www.languagejones.com/blog-1/2014/6/8/what-is-aave
- h__1won on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/h__1won/
- Zico’s Tough Cookie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaXjx3JxTwc
- CL’s The Baddest Female: ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LP4foN3Xs4
- Angela Reyes’ Appropriation of African American slang by Asian American youth: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/english/angela-reyes/repository/files/18942789.pdf
- Tami Winfrey Harris’s What’s So Wrong With Sounding Black: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/colorstruck/201009/whats-so-wrong-sounding-black
- Girls’ Generation Yuri Under Fire for “Acting Black”: https://www.soompi.com/article/372238wpp/girls-generation-yuri-under-fire-for-acting-black
- Jooheon’s time on Radio Star: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clggiNB1CQ4
- Wendy “talking black” in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35PSq0g-XEk
- Red Velvet’s Wendy, a genius, imitates white & black women (again) on ‘Talk Mon’: https://www.asianjunkie.com/2018/03/05/red-velvets-wendy-apparently-a-genius-imitates-white-black-women-again-on-talk-mon/
- RM on ShimShimTapa: https://youtu.be/3eVPGQDGckU?t=181
- RM on Star Zoom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbwcjmbcFyY
- RM’s interview in Singles: https://bangtan.tumblr.com/post/114241507544/interview-april-edition-2015-of-singles-rap
- Race and Ethnicity in English Language Teaching: Korea in Focus – https://amzn.to/3faRutS