Follow my Existential Exile. . .

Friday, March 18, 2011

truth be told "they" really do love us. . .

No Vietnamese were harmed in the making of this photo.
New Negro.
A term popularized during the Harlem Renaissance, it was first used by the scholar Alain LeRoy Locke. To have used the term "New Negro"(because no one in the 21st century uses this term except these people) was to imply a more outspoken advocacy of dignity and a refusal to submit quietly to the practices and laws of Jim Crow segregation. Most Black people "up on their history" know this already. What I'm trying to figure out is, why a group of designers from Japan felt it necessary to use this term in their brand. I mean, Black people don't even say this anymore. It's 2011 ASIAN PEOPLE!!! WTF Did you miss the memo??? Black people don't dance around in top hats and black paint; Black people don't wear hip hop gear and call themselves "new negros", because there is nothing "new" about wearing hip hop attire, and no one has used the term "negro" since 1975. I admire the flattery. I appreciate the infatuation. But I find it troubling that my culture is being taken out of its context. Take for example the "New Negro" brand. I have noticed this baseball cap for a while. It adorns the shelves of two of Saigon's hip hop stores. After seeing it a second time, I had to do some research.

New Negro Group Co.  [I don't see anything "Black" or "American" about this logo.]
"We are not just a clothing company. . . Our intention is to change the mind of the person who wears our clothes [i.e. Vietnamese boys?] and everyone who sees them. [Riiiiiigght, cause Vietnamese actually know where the heck the phrase "new negro" comes from] When you wear our bold collection you are refreshing your mind to a possible new world. [Are Asian's the new Black People?] We are the Defenders of the Dream of Unity. [I assume ref. of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech] Spread the word: "Peace, Love and Respect, by showing your true color [Again, if your audience is Asian, then that color would be "yellow" not Black] . . . New Negro." Our clothing expresses the "New Mind" we feel when dressed for the New Life of Respect for Everyone.

Innocent enough, the overall angle seems to be based on positive vibes. I still have no clue if the company is run by real live Black people, or a group of Japanese staging as such, or others. Why does it matter you ask? The problem is this: When you come to America, you will NEVER find Black people participating in the commerce of goods and services that are based on another culture that is 180 degree difference from their own. If you go to Harlem, you won't find a man selling Puka shells on the street and calling it "The essence of Filipinos." When you go to Chicago you won't see Black people in China town selling whitening cream. We don't bastardize other cultures. We don't try to take hold of someone else's cultural practices and make it our own. But maybe we should? Perhaps we should start to participate in the global economy, educate ourselves on the practices and customs of other cultures and based on supply and demand take part making millions off of the needs of these foreign customers.
Korean's have it down to a science!
Shouts out to the My cousin's Martial Arts Academy!!


  1. I know that few years ago you designed few t-shirts (just call me human)

    On that blue t-shirt you got the "negro?" word on imagine if i was Asian and if i have decided to wear it! would you take offense just because i'm not black American?

    That New Negro Group brand is worldwide and not only based in Asia plus you got lot of American rappers who was wearing this brand in their videos (RZA, Ruff Ryders etc...) and when i say Ruff Ryders, im talking about MC Jin, the American-born Chinese...and i don't know from where you had the information about those Japanese designers who used that name in their brand...and who said it was a Japanese brand after all? you sure about that? can you drop some links? and if they are black Americans!? would you change your point of view!?

    well let's talk about the word "negro" now and about it's a Spanish word and it means black (color, not person), a word used by the white European during the colonialism to define the African slaves from Nigeria and Niger...the sad part of that story is most of the Afro Americans are still using that word in their daily basis to communicate with each other and you can hear it in lot of rap and R&B songs, on TV and radio, in lot of movies and the list goes on...maybe if they decide to stop using that word, the world will stop using it as well...don't you think so?

    Any black person that uses this word clearly has a problem with his own identity, a word that was invented as pejorative to describe black people.
    To me, it would indicate a certain degree of self-loathing. Any self respecting black person would clearly not even want this word to enter their thinking process...

    "When you come to America, you will NEVER find Black people participating in the commerce of goods and services that are based on another culture that is 180 degree difference from their own" sure about that!? what about Martial arts then!? in my knowledge there's lot of Afro black Americans who are practicing martial arts and even black American celebrities who are fascinated by that culture(Jim Kelly, Michael Jai White, Wu-Tang Clan etc...) you also got your cousin's Martial Arts Academy...would you call that bastardization of the Asian culture as well!?

    I don't want to talk about Hip Hop because if i do i will write a whole book! but just to let you know!
    Hip Hop is a world wide thing today! we're in 2011 and you need to wake up! that movement is based on love/respect (positive vibes)! and it's not only a "black American thang".
    Based on what you wrote about that subject, it's totally negative...some pioneers in that movement like KRS-one (rap) Grand Mixer DST (DJ) or the Rock Steady Crew (B-Boys) or Biz Markie (Beat Box)or Afrika Bambaataa and his Zulu Nation wanted to spread that movement all over the world, it was their goal and they made it...based on some videos, they said clearly that they are proud that other cultures are following the movement, it was their mission and they succeeded...
    did you heard about DMC's World DJ Championships or some other Djaying contest!? do you know what's a BBoy contest/Battles? those competitions regrouping people from ALL OVER THE WORLD!? (Blacks, Asians, Caucasians etc...)

    So if you REALLY know hip hop (and i don't think you do), you will never write such things as your...culture!?!?!? lol is being taken out of its context..
    What about Eminem!? a very talented WHITE rapper who's way better then hundred of other black American he bastardizing your...."culture" and taking it out of its context as well!?

    It seems that you got absolutely no idea about that hip hop culture...

    nuff said, just meditate about it...

  2. Hey "anonymous"
    Thanks for the feedback. Here is the link to new negro brand.

    I never professed to be an expert on anything, not hip hop, not clothing and not even design. I do have a right to express my opinion, just like this hat company, has a right to use the word "negro" in its name. I did clearly state that the use of the word "negro" is a bit outdated. But thank you for pointing out that these hats are bought and sold in America and world wide.

    As for speaking of hip hop as part of my culture, well since I am American, and have only lived in America, again, I have the right to speak with an American perspective. And, if you know your history, hip hop was started in America. Yes, it has caught on to other parts of the world, but it still began in New York City, NY, USA.

    And for your comment of my comment "When you come to America, you will NEVER find Black people participating in the commerce of goods and services that are based on another culture that is 180 degree difference from their own", I should have said exploiting the needs of another culture, because I am critiquing the fact that Koreans will set up shop in the hood, selling hair products to Black women, who are need of these products, but you never see a Black person selling whitening cream for Chinese women in Chinatown, we just don't do that. . .

  3. Oh and I would take offense if a blue Martian wore a shirt with "Let's get high niggaz!" on it, It's ignorant no matter who wears it. :-)
    Thanks for your comments and for reading the blog.

  4. That New Negro Brand don't do only caps but they also have hoodies, tshirts, pants, shoes, accessories etc..but anyway i'm not here to promote this brand.

    Based on the link that you have posted,

    Unfortunately there is nothing about the origin and the creation, nothing is mentioned about any Japanese designers too.

    I saw the phone numbers in the contact tab and i can tell that it's SPANISH! the number is 0037 93 etc..Spain country code is (37) Barcelona (93)

    I found their official Facebook fan page as well:

    The creators of this page are from Spain and most of the comments in the wall and the pictures are in it just confirms the origin of the brand! it got nothing to do with Asia or Japan like you've stated!!!

    For your opinion concerning Hip Hop it is your legitimate right to give your perspective of course (even if it got no sense), but ONLY your own perspective...why putting all the other American people in your perspectives? are they all sharing your way of thinking and your logic? well i don't think so...

    Not all of us are the same black man...Don't perpetuate the ignorance. Be better, if you know better...Im a black man too but escaped the indoctrination of my fellow Black Americans...Stay up and build rather than tear down ok?

    "you never see a Black person selling whitening cream for Chinese women in Chinatown, we just don't do that" sure about that!? well check this out (3:36)! China is all over Africa today and they do have black people selling Chinese products.
    and if you want to go deep in the subject just write China in Africa on Youtube.


  5. At least respect and be honest to your readers by correcting all the fake information that you gave if you don't want to approve my message (Brand, Japan etc...) remember that there's people who read this and they deserve a real information, not a fake one!

  6. "Anonymous"
    Please do not take anything personal. I only update my blog once or twice a week. Thank you again for the feedback!

  7. Truth be told? so why aren't you answering to my previous questions? what about the black American artists who are bastardizing other cultures as well?

    Those rappers who used lot of sounds and samples from other musical cultures, performing dances from other countries?
    Like Busta Rhymes who sampled lot of Arabic, Indian and Panjabi sounds in his music
    Or Beyonce who dances Kuduru in her last video (Run the world)
    Or some other Rap/R&B videos where you got women performing traditional dances like Mapuka and M'alayah (aka "booty clapping" the lamest name i have ever heard!)
    Or those young new black American (artists?) like Nicky Minaj who did collaborations with some euro-pop white DJ's like the french David Guetta (Where them girls at)
    Or Kayne West who did a track with the Electro french band Daft Punk (stronger) and the list goes on...

    how would you call that!? bastardizing!? aren't they exploiting the needs of other cultures???? well you need to recognize...

    Hip hop itself was created by bastardizing some other musical cultures such as Blues, Rock Steady, African Beats, Rock n Roll, Jazz, Soul, Disco etc...without that bastardization, there's no Hip-Hop...

    Do you know that whites mostly buy Rap/Hip-Hop songs? there's lot of sell out rappers today who are making lot of money that they don't deserve because they ain't real artists! (my opinion)...
    fact that's how those rappers get rich by making the black American race look bad/lame in videos...
    When was the last time that you've seen an educated video by a rapper? You won't see one because the white folks are paying them to look and sound lame, retard and ignorant...
    if i was you i won't be "proud" of what Hip-Hop became today! it ain't a culture anymore (my opinion)'s all about the dollah dollah bill$!

    "they" really do love us? comment.