“I'm a savage (yeah) Classy, bougie, ratchet (yeah) Sassy, moody, nasty (hey, hey, yeah) Acting stupid, what's happening? Bitch (whoa, whoa) What's happening? Bitch (whoa, whoa) I'm a savage, yeah Classy, bougie, ratchet, yeah Sassy, moody …”
I bet you sang the lyrics to this Megan Thee Stallion song Savage or watched the accompanying choreography on some social media site.
People of all cultures embraced the catchy melody.
TikTok, a social media site specializing in short videos, has given me life during this pandemic, particularly those faces of brown hues that look like me.
Black culture is getting me through this quarantine.
I’ve spent countless hours entertained by the duets, split-screens and green-screen backgrounds of people dancing or singing along to videos. Repetition of song challenges, voice-overs and inspirational messages take me down the rabbit hole.
It has become a major coping mechanism I acquired during this unprecedented time.
We all are finding ways to cope during this period.
I see people getting crafty in the kitchen, creating different games and taking advantage of quality time with loved ones.
It’s also importatnt to note the potential for negative coping mechanisms. I’ve also watched videos of day drinkers, weed smokers and Amazon shoppers. These actions have the potential to develop into addictions. People react differently, but addictive behaviors over a period of time can have negative consequences.
Depression and loneliness can also be triggered during this unprecedented time. Smart phones and social media have become a way to shorten the distance and remain connected.
I encourage people to reach out to loved ones and specifically check on their mental health. There’s also the option of writing letters and mailing them like in the days before technology.
Through TikTok, I have been exposed to more positive images of the current black experience, including essential workers like cops, military service members, and healthcare professionals ranging from CNAs and social workers to doctors and nurses.
Many races, religions and sexual orientations represent the plethora of content.
I don’t represent the many.
Black people have survived many of atrocities that have disproportionately affected us. We have withstood sociopolitical injustices, police brutality and other barriers.
Much like Megan Thee Stallion’s song above, Drake emerged again with the Toosie Slide. Dance challenges and duets appeared overnight. Black people held no exclusivity.
But black culture just does not get the credit for its influence.
There is no country music without blues.
Rock and roll would not exist without Chuck Berry.
The global influence of hip hop culture started in the boroughs of New York City.
Black culture is continuing to guide us through another difficult moment in history thanks to social media.
A few disagreeable pages have come across my feed, but I keep scrolling.
This entire period is difficult for people to process. People continue dying from complications of COVID-19 or the disease itself. People are furloughed from jobs. Children are missing out on the rest of the school year. Students will not have the traditional graduation ceremonies this year.
The pages I follow tend to brighten my morning when it seems a little hard to get up. Tabitha Brown – @IamTabithaBrown - has such an authentic smile and being. Another page I follow is @TheConsciousLee for topics geared toward the political black experience. @CoffeyAnderson is a country music singer I subscribe to. Lizzo hosts my favorite celebrity TikTok channel.
We all find different ways to cope with this grief, but arguably the most disenfranchised group of people are seeing us through. Even Micheal Jordan comes to save a few Sundays with ESPN’s The Last Dance in the absence of sports matchups.
I just keep wondering when will the love of black culture trickle down to the people who create it?