So here we have a poster for a club night at Flight Lounge called Holy F!ck using an image of black children being hosed by police during a civil rights protest in 1963 (this one taken by Charles Moore to be exact). The theme of the show? ‘All Black Everything.’ As in, yeah they actually went there and it’s exactly what you’re thinking it is. Here's the writing for the ad below:
“It’s a week of firsts. Tonight, for the first time ever, I will DJ (mix, cut up and destroy) a party. Together, Jordan Rondel and myself are DJ Darkness Brothers, playing the most thugged out of all thugged out joints on the planet. Our playlist includes: Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Snoop, Pharaohe Monch, 50 Cent, Missy, Kanye, Dre and MOP.”
Um, ‘black’ isn’t just hip-hop and hip-hop isn’t just black. Unless you haven’t turned on the internet for the past two months then you should be well aware that the biggest selling artist this year (not to mention the fact that he has the number one album in the country) is a white rapper.
Apart from these tediously forged identities from black popular expression (Isaac commented saying the name DJ Darkness Brothers was taken from Chappelle’s Rick James skit), the inclusion of the picture and the brash insensitivity is what’s at stake here. Since it’s obviously time for a history lesson, let’s get right to it. In 1963 the Birmingham campaign was started by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and headed by Martin Luther King Jr. Racial disparity in Birmingham was at a breaking point and at one point children peacefully took part in demonstrations which saw over 600 of them end up getting arrested. Once the jails were full, one of the main police tactics to dissuade the protesters was to use fire hoses which were so forceful that they would push women over the tops of cars. The other tactic that police used was to set German shepherd dogs on the protesters.
The show wasn’t put on by Isaac Likes and the poster wasn’t designed by him either. Earlier today, an anonymous commenter said that they designed they poster but that it was inspired by The Roots Things Fall Apart album cover (I really don’t think that I need to go into the differences between the ideas on that album and a poster for a hipster club night) and that no racism was intended. In reference to using the name DJ Darkness Brothers, Isaac stated that it’s playing on the fact that both him and Rondel are white but playing music by African American’s. “Being a Baha’i, I have grown up with people from every different ethnic background, and perhaps that’s why I feel so comfortable making jokes of this kind..At the end of the day, that’s what it is. A joke.”
In reaction to the few comments on his site that accused him of being racist for using the image, he replied apologising from the distress it caused and said that “Obviously no racial insensitivity was intended.”
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