For some reason, everybody is just now realizing that the weird Black kids are dope. But we're nothing new.
The epitome of originality, the offbeat Black girls and boys of the world have always been full of incomparable creativity, but have constantly been overlooked because of their kookiness. I know this from experience.
We found ourselves in situations where our peers, instructors, and even families told us that we were too loud or too colorful, making us think that it was something wrong with being different. As if it was strange to take interest in the things that not everyone enjoyed. And lo and behold, today being "strange" is suddenly budding into the mainstream.
The kids who were made fun of for dressing differently or expressing themselves in unconventional ways are now leading in creative fields and are the Issa Raes and Donald Glovers in the limelight. From being overshadowed by the stereotypes of what a Black man or woman should be to finally albe to shine in their own funky way, the Black weirdos are truly thriving. But why now? The uprising of the Black oddball has been a long one, but with the strong representation in the media from the aforementioned individuals and others like them, we have definitely come a long way.
Shows such as "Atlanta" and "Insecure" have stared to eradicate the idea that Black people should be easily classified and presented the idea that we can be...I don't know...quirky and smart and out of place as well. Picking up where "Girlfriends" and "Living Single" so aburptly left off, the media is finally presenting an authentic depiction of what it really feels like to be young, awkward, and Black in today's society.
But at the same time, it's important that we begin to build upon this representation. Use the structure that is now laid to produce more original content to showcase the beauty and obscurity of the "uncool" Black kids. It's completely possible to beat out the unrealistic standards for Black people in media if it is continually shown that it's okay to be different. And by creating it ourselves, we never give Hollywood the opportunity to whitewash our quirks, which is why these current portrayals are so important. Especially since they promote the idea that we should never sell ourselves short to fit into the cookie cutter mold we are presented with. And still remembering that we do not need to have mass acceptance to feel validation.
We are well on our way to breaking down the thoughts on who Black people are, and the only way we all get further is if we continue to be our unconventional selves.
So, this is a shout out to all the weird Black kids of the world. The Black artist, gamers, and philosophers that were always told that they were too odd for their own good. Keep doing your thing. Never be afraid to keep being who you are.