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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

(Kenyan Hip Hop In Sheng Language) Gidi Gidi Maji Maji - "Unbwogable" (YouTube examples & lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the now classic 2002 Kenyan song "Unbwogable" by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji 


Part I presents some information about that song and showcases two YouTube examples of "Unbwogable" by Gidi Gidi Maji  Maji. The lyrics to that song are also included in this post.


Part II presents some comments from the discussion threads for three YouTube examples of "Unbwogable" by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji.


The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Gidi Gidi Maji Maji for their musical, cultural, and political legacies. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.


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SHOWCASE YOUTUBE EXAMPLES


Example #1: Gidi Gidi Maji Maji - Unbwogable [video]




Stefan Klopp, Jun 23, 2006


Gidi Gidi Maji Maji performing their hit song Unbwogable at the World Urban Forum Global Hip Hop Concert in Vancouver, BC, Canada on June 22nd.
-snip-
"Unbwogable" is a Sheng word from Kenya, East Africa. That word combines the Lou (Kenya) word "bwoga" with the English suffix "able".

Here's a definition for the word "bwogable" that was posted in this video's discussion thread by Gloria, May 2020:
"Bwoga is a luo word meaning scare so unbwogable means unscareable"
****
Example #2: Gidigidi Majimaji - Unbwogable [sound file]




GrownNSexyMusic, Aug 29, 2012

****
EXCERPT ABOUT THIS SONG 

From https://medium.com/@ericgatobu/sheng-how-a-kenyan-urban-vernacular-is-gaining-national-acceptance-39683045ad94 Sheng: How a Kenyan urban vernacular is gaining national acceptance
Eric Gatobu, May 20, 2019 

..."In 2002, when Kenya was gearing up for a momentous regime change, the collective optimistic disposition of Kenyans was encapsulated in one Sheng word — Unbwogable. A witty song by the duo Gidi Gidi and Maji Maji which was co-opted by the then National Rainbow Alliance (Narc) as its campaign anthem embodying its message of an unstoppable march into a new dawn in Kenyan leadership. Unbwogable’s lyrics reflected the true nature of Sheng, an amalgam of English, Swahili and other Kenyan vernacular languages. Narc won in a landslide victory against the independence party, Kanu"....

****
LYRICS: UNBWOGABLE
(by Gigi Gigi Maji Maji)



[Intro]
Okok Primary School, ewi got
Mano kumwadakie omera...
Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well hehe!
Okew gi ngato
Gidigidi Majimaji in the house
And Tedd Josiah
I am unbwogable! (Twende Tedd)

[Verse 1: MajiMaji]
What the hell is you looking for?
Can a young Luo make money anymore?
Shake your feet baby girl, en ango?
Majimaji nyakwar Ondijo, I'm a Luo but who are you?
What are you? Who the hell do you think you are?
Do you know me? Do I know you?
Get the hell out of my face because, hey
I am unbwogable
I am unbeatable
I am un-suable
So if you like my song, sing it for me I say

[Chorus]
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable


[Verse 2: MajiMaji]
Yawa jodongo nyaka upar
Joma okonyi nyaka ipar
Joma otingi nyaka ipar
Majimaji nyaka ipar Ondijo kwaru yawa
Oginga Odinga dong aparo i
Tom Mboya dong aparo i
Ouko Robert dong aparo i
Raila Amolo dong aparo i
Gor Mahia dong aparo i
Okatch Biggy dong aparo i
Orengo Jimmy dong aparo i
Julie 'Dunia Mbaya', Joluo malo malo ute

[Chorus]
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable

[Verse 3: Gidigidi]
Yes Sir, an owad gi ng'a?
Nyakwargi Ajengo Jakobodo ng'a ma tugo koda?
Listen nobody can bwogo me
Neither nobody can bwogo this
Gidigidi big name I'm saleable
Kama pilipili, yes, I'm terrible
Kanyamwa Homabay ng'a ma chalo koda?
Do you know Gidigidi is unbwogable?!


[Chorus]
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable

[Verse 4: Gidigidi]
Agwambo gini tek manade ni? Yawa gini pek manade ni?
Jobondo gini tek manade ni? (You are unbwogable!)
Orengo gini tek manade ni? Yawa gini pek manade ni?
Jougenya gini tek manade ni? (You are unbwogable!)
Anyang' Nyong'o gini tek manade ni? Yawa gini pek manade ni?
Joseme gini tek manade ni? (You are unbwogable!)
Joe Donde gini tek manade ni? Yawa gini pek manade ni?
Jogem gini tek manade ni? (You are unbwogable!)
Ochuodho gini tek manade ni? Yawa gini pek manade ni?
Rangwe gini tek manade ni? (You are unbwogable!)

[Chorus]
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable
Who can bwogo me?
Who can bwogo me?
I say, who can bwogo me?
I am unbwogable


Brian Adams (2020) added these lyrics were added to the discussion thread for the example given as Example #2 in this pancocojams post.

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Visitor comments are welcome.

2019 Article Excerpt- "Sheng: How A Kenyan Urban Vernacular Is Gaining National Acceptancee


Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post is part of an ongoing series about Kenya's Sheng language.

The content of this post is presented for cultural and linguistic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Eric Gatobu, the author of this article and all others who are quoted in this article.  
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/05/an-introduction-to-kenyas-sheng.html for a 2015 pancocojams article about Sheng whose title is "An Introduction To Kenya's Sheng Language &  Kenya's "Mchongoano" Insult Jokes". 



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ARTICLE EXCERPT:  SHENG: HOW A KENYAN URBAN VERNACULAR IS GAINING NATIONAL ACCEPTANCE
Eric Gatobu, May 20, 2019

Earlier this month on Labour Day, a Kenyan Member of Parliament electrified a public gathering and Kenyans online when he used his opportunity to speak at the live televised event to showcase his apparent mastery of the Sheng language.

Joshua Kutuny, a 41-year-old MP for Cherengany Constituency in Kenya’s Rift Valley region reignited a long-running conversation about the status of Sheng in formal spaces. The rarity of such an occurrence in Sheng usage had a local newspaper stating that he had just taken Sheng ‘to a whole new level’.

Sheng (an acronym for Swahili-English slang) originated from among the urban underclass of Nairobi as a constantly evolving linguistic code based on Swahili and English and largely influenced by many vernacular languages spoken in the multicultural Kenyan capital such as Dholuo, Luhya, Kikuyu and Kikamba.

Tracing its roots from colonial Kenya where there was a heightened incidence of rural-urban migration, Sheng has evolved from its initial use as a vehicular language for new urban dwellers drawn from different regions to a vernacular of an appreciable number of people born in and after the 1980s according to Dr Aurélia Ferrari, a sociolinguistics researcher.

Sheng’s classification is highly contested in a number of competing views about its nature. While sometimes fronted as pidgin, Sheng originated in areas with already established lingua francas — English and Swahili. Sheng also differs from creoles in the sense that it is not exactly the main language of the majority of its speakers and neither does it draw from one dominant language.

Dr Mokaya Bosire, a Linguistics professor at the University of Oregon disputes the classification of Sheng as mere code-switching as in the case of what can be called ‘Swahili of Nairobi’ (or ‘Swanglish’ in Tanzania) or even as an urban dialect of Swahili based on a markedly different structure and geographical spread.

“Sheng is not localized into a particular geographical area and Sheng speakers span the many urban centres of Kenya unlike being congregated in Nairobi, the cradle.”

Bosire offers a more encompassing classification of Sheng as a hybrid language owing to its synthesis of varied elements of several languages to create a new linguistic-cultural composite product.

Negative Connotations
What is not in contention, however, is Sheng’s unassailed rise in popularity over the years and a seemingly growing acceptance of this code in spaces formerly deemed too formal for its use. This is despite an enduring negative connotation associated with Sheng as a language for the uneducated, unsophisticated, poor troublemakers from the ‘hood’.

Duncan Ogweno (or Dunky in Sheng), a force to be reckoned with in the gradual institutionalisation of Sheng, and the founder of GoSheng Services, the foremost curator of the Sheng language and culture for over the last three decades observes that the negative connotations associated with Sheng have persisted over the decades.


“The stigma associated with Sheng is pretty much enduring and that is largely because of stereotypes borne and cemented by people of means.”

[…]
In 2002, when Kenya was gearing up for a momentous regime change, the collective optimistic disposition of Kenyans was encapsulated in one Sheng word — Unbwogable. A witty song by the duo Gidi Gidi and Maji Maji which was co-opted by the then National Rainbow Alliance (Narc) as its campaign anthem embodying its message of an unstoppable march into a new dawn in Kenyan leadership. Unbwogable’s lyrics reflected the true nature of Sheng, an amalgam of English, Swahili and other Kenyan vernacular languages. Narc won in a landslide victory against the independence party, Kanu.


[...]
“Sheng is actually a national language since no single tribe can lay claim to it. It is not official yet but it soon will be,” Freddie, who also doubles as a landscape architect and youth mentor says.
Ogweno is well convinced of the inferred ethnic-neutral status of sheng and its potential to ameliorate ethnic strife that threatens to divide the country. In partnership with fourteen other organisations under the Tuvuke Initiative Ogweno says Sheng was invaluable in post 2007/8 election violence youth messaging ahead of the 2013 general election as a tool for preaching cohesion.

Mainstream Advertising
Perhaps the most visible demonstration of Sheng’s growing stature is its acquired position as the de facto language for advertising and awareness campaigns over the last two decades. Advertisers realise that Sheng’s brevity can enable them to concisely deliver messages to Kenya’s majorly youthful population. Advertisements like Ni poa kuchill (it’s cool to abstain), Mkopo wa salo (loan against your salary), Bankika na KCB (Get banked at KCB) and a myriad other including the government’s own Gava inakusort (the government is helping you out) have helped foster favourable attitudes towards Sheng.

[...]


“By incorporating non-standard Swahili, advertisers not only reinterpret the identity of the product but also enhance the social attitudes towards Sheng,” Prof Mungai Mutonya argues in a study published by the Journal of African Cultural Studies.

While the written use of Sheng is a relatively marginal phenomenon, there are a number of publications such as Kwani? (so what?) that attempt to normalise the idea of Sheng as not just a spoken language only. Shujaaz.FM, a free monthly Sheng comic launched in 2010 reaches up to 5 million Kenyan youth through print, radio and electronic outlets.

[...]

Sheng has spread across the borders to Uganda and Tanzania due to musical collaborations, social media and social interactions. If you listen to several recent Tanzanian songs today you are bound to hear Sheng words such as Ngeta (mugging), manzi (girlfriend), kuwaka (drinking) and keroro (alcohol).


“If people are given proper room for expression in that which they are proficient in, you can be shocked at what they are able to achieve,” Freddie urges."
-snip-
Here's The link to a YouTube video of  Joshua Kutuny's speech in Sheng that was mentioned in the beginning of this article.

**
This article includes a photo of billboards with this caption: These two billboards along Nairobi's Moi Avenue evidence the ascent of the Sheng' language into a de facto advertising language. Some Sheng words seen here are: "Usitense" (never worry) and dabo dabo (double-double).

**
This article also includes a compilation of several photos of posters with Sheng with the words  “Sex? Not now. tume-chill”at the top of the poster and the words “Ni poa ku chill” at the bottom.
Caption: “This campaign to delay sexual debut among adolescents in Kenya by Population Services International (PSI) is one of the most memorable timestamps in Sheng’s journey to mainstream acceptance.

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What "Dis-invited to the Cookout" Means In African American Culture

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series about the phrase "invited to the cookout" and disinvited to the cookout".

Part II of this series provides comments and excerpts about the phrase "disinvited to the cookout" (also given as disinvited to or banned from the cookout/BBQ".

Click 
https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-real-meaning-of-african-american.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides provides definitions, comments, and article excerpts about the African American meaning of the phrase "invited to the cookout"

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and linguistic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all of those who are quoted in this post.
-snip-
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/07/comments-about-excerpts-of-articles.html for the closely related 2020 pancocojams post entitled "
Comments About & Excerpts Of Articles About "Karen" & The "Raisins In Potato Salad" Memes".

****
PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S EXPLANATION OF "THE  COOKOUT" /"THE BBQ" AS USED IN AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE
"The Cookout (or "the BBQ") in the context of African American culture is a reference for actual informal social events as well as the concept of informal spaces where Black people can relax, let down our guard, and “be [for] real” because the only people who are in those spaces are other Black people who have our well-being at heart  and possibly some non-Black people who have proven that they are our allies (i.e. They also have our well-being at heart.) 



African Americans may disagree which non-Black people have earned invitations to the Cookout (for that year).and which African Americans and/or other Black people have been dis-invited to the Cookout (for that year) and/or which African Americans and other Black people have been permanently banned from the Cookout. 

****
COMMENTS AND EXCERPTS ABOUT BEING DIS-INVITED TO THE COOKOUT

(Numbers added for referencing purposes only)
Excerpt #1
From 
https://thesource.com/2017/12/29/10-celebrities-uninvited-cookout/ byMiss2Bees and Shurida Lundi, December 29, 2017"2017 was a year to remember. The year skipped zero and went straight to 100 right at the very beginning once Donald Trump was elected president. Despite his transparent views on minorities and immigration, he received a surprising amount of support from figures who are apart of urban communities. Many argued that their support for the POTUS was a strategy aimed to bridge the gap between him and the people. But Donald has proven that he’s more interested in building walls, instead of building bridges.

A few Trump supporters have apologized for their actions after receiving public backlash, but they were still uninvited to the cook out this year. On the other hand, other celebrities have publicly humiliated themselves, and/or displayed blatant ignorance, which led to their invitation being revoked also.
Check out The Source’s list of 10 celebs who were uninvited to the cookout in 2017
[Pancocojams Editor's Note: These names are given without the article's commentary.] 
1. Chrisette Michele
2.  Tina Campbell of Mary Mary
3. Omarosa Manigault
4. Stacey Dash
5. Kodak Black
6. Steve Harvey
7. Tyrese
8. Gabby Douglas
9. Charles Barkley
10. Kanye West


****
Excerpt #2:

From https://thegrio.com/2018/02/14/black-people-banned-cookout/ "8 Black folks
who are permanently banned from the cookout" 
Is your fav banned
from the cookout?

by Dustin Seibert, Feb 14, 2018
"
An often overlooked yet enduring aspect of white supremacy is the fact
that if you’re Black and famous, you pretty much represent the entire race
and have to comport yourself as such, whether or not you ask for it.
No white celebrity will ever be concerned about how their actions
affect their whole damn ethnicity – like, I’d
 hate to be Black and
beloved, in fear of my every move being scrutinized and losing
my VIP pass to the cookout.



Sometimes, Black celebs slip up and have to take a little time
away from the cookout – similar to your auntie Yolanda because of
the time she brought up that whole thing about your cousin, her
“special friend” and the baby in front of everybody at the
table before anyone even had the opportunity to say grace.
Don Lemon had to take some time off for the ashiest of behaviors before he was welcomed back for leaning in on President
Donald Trump. Erykah Badu is going to have to sit this year
out for losing her entire damn mind about Cosby and of all people, Hitler.
But some famous Black folks have committed such egregious
atrocities against the sanctity of the race that they’re permanently
banned from the cookout. It takes a special kind of messiness
to get completely banned since we possess a level of forgiveness
that our pale human brethren lack.
Just the same, here are eight people who went and showed their entire ass
to the world and, as such, will forever be turned away by granny at fork-point."....

-snip-
Here's the list that was compiled by that article's writer
(presented as it was given in that article)
1. Omarosa Manigault
2. Tavis Smiley
3. Stacy Dash
4. Any Brotha associated with the Kardasians
5. "Dr" Umar Johnson
6. 'Pill Cosby'
7. Kodack Black
8. Anyone who is Black who voted
for Donald Trump


****
Excerpt #3
From https://www.dashamerica.com/2019/02/20/stacey-dash-what-bbq/ What BBQ?, by Stacy Dash, Feb. 20th, 2019 
"This past week I found out that I wasn’t invited to a BBQ that
I didn’t know existed. I later found out that it was actually a
cookout, that I still wasn’t invited too. I mean honestly,
what’s the difference? Well, I found out when my good friend
Shanice Wilson and manager Milan Zoe explained to me
what the “cookout” was and to the dismay of many,
re-invited me. Apparently, anyone of stature with respect in the
black community can re-invite a disinvited individual. Confused?
Well so am I. Not because of the whole bbq vs cookout dilemma
and my invitation being revoked and then reinstated but
because after fully comprehending “The Cookout”,
I questioned the need for a cookout to begin with.


It was explained to me that the “cookout” is an analogy
for a private club of sorts that has a whole list of special
requirements the most crucial one being that you
have to be black. So why wasn’t I invited you ask?
Well, the trolling Instagrammer who told me I was
uninvited was trying to insinuate that I wasn’t black
or black enough because of my support of Joy Villa. Being a
Republican is another sure way to be disinvited.

[...]
I have been berated for making comments suggesting we
get rid of BET and questioning why we accept black history
to be highlighted and celebrated one month
out of the year
(and the shortest month at that). While my comments may have
seemed like disrespect to the entities that were created to celebrate
black people it was actually quite the contrary. Much like the idea
of the cookout I ask the same question I’ve always asked. Why do
we as a people have a continuous innate need for separatism?
How do we expect equality while simultaneously creating both
physical and figurative environments where a certain hue of
melanin is the VIP ticket in? How can we ever expect inclusion
when we are taking the time to even separate the BBQ vs The Cookout?
To a color blind individual, both look like a gathering of people
enjoying good conversation while enjoying great food. But for
all that is good and Holy please do not confuse the two.
I found out the hard way that insinuating that they were essentially
the same thing was just pure disrespect In its highest form. Sigh…"...


****
Excerpt #4From https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/4/1924191/--
God-don-t-like-ugly-is-what-my-grandma-used-to-say, 2020
”We watch TV too. We see the “acceptable” black people
selected to be pundits to interpret our behavior to white folks.
We often laugh about the crap they sell you. Almost all of them spent
their time helping torpedo Kamala Harris. Duly noted,
even if we weren’t voting for her.
Van Jones does not speak for black people. Nina Turner does not
speak for black people. Joy Reid does not speak for black people.
Cornel West does not speak for black people. Shaun King got
dis-invited to the BBQ a few years ago.”…

****

This concludes Part II of this two part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Visitor comments are welcome. 

The REAL Meaning Of "Invited To The Cookout" In African American Culture

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the meaning in African American culture of the phrase "invited to the cookout" [or the BBQ] and disinvited to (or banned from) the cookout (or BBQ).

Part I provides definitions, comments, and article excerpts about the African American meaning of the phrase "invited to the cookout" (also given as invited to the BBQ" or disinvited to the cookout/BBQ".) 

Click 
https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/07/what-disinvited-to-cookout-means-in.html for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II provides comments and excerpts about the phrase "disinvited to the cookout" (also given as disinvited to or banned from the cookout/BBQ". 

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and linguistic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all of those who are quoted in this post.
-snip-
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2020/07/comments-about-excerpts-of-articles.html for the closely related 2020 pancocojams post entitled "
Comments About & Excerpts Of Articles About "Karen" & The "Raisins In Potato Salad" Memes".

****

PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S EXPLANATION OF "THE  COOKOUT" /"THE BBQ" AS USED IN AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE
"The Cookout (or "the BBQ") in the context of African American culture is a reference for actual informal social events as well as the concept of informal spaces where Black people can relax, let down our guard, and “be [for] real” because the only people who are in those spaces are other Black people who have our well-being at heart  and possibly some non-Black people who have proven that they are our allies (i.e. They also have our well-being at heart.) 



African Americans may disagree which non-Black people have earned invitations to the Cookout (for that year).and which African Americans and/or other Black people have been dis-invited to the Cookout (for that year) and/or which African Americans and other Black people have been permanently banned from the Cookout. 

****
COMMENTS & ARTICLE EXCERPTS
(Numbers are added for referencing purposes only)


Excerpt #1
From 
https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/invited-to-the-cookout
added and updated by Matt, 2019

" 'Invited to the Cookout' is an expression used to describe [an informal social gathering attended by members of]* the African American community, exclusively. However, the phrase is often [also] used to describe [an African American informal social gathering that is also attended by]* an outsider who has shown themselves to be an ally of or friend to African Americans. The phrase has also been used to [refer to informal social gatherings by African Americans which] exclude members [of the African American community] that have expressed opinions that are antithetical to the interests of the community.
-snip-
Pancocojams Editor's Note: I added the words in brackets to enhance/correct the meaning of these statements.


[...]

Origin
While it's likely that the expression had been used offline, the phrase was first used on the internet on February 29th, 2019 [date correction 2016]. That day, the hashtag #WhitePeopleInvitedToTheCookout trended. That day, Twitter[1] user @_BushidoB_ tweeted, "#WhitePeopleInvitedToTheCookout Leonardo DiCaprio, Betty White, Justin Timberlake, Paul Wall, Steve Nash (feel free to add to the list)." The tweet received more than 800 likes and 500 retweets in three years (shown below)

Spread
That day, Twitter[2] user @MartelDHarris tweeted a photograph of Adele and the caption "#WhitePeopleInvitedToTheCookout when I saw Adele do her hand like this, I knew I could fix her a plate." The tweet received more than 19,000 likes and 16,000 retweets in three years (shown below, left). Throughout the day, others shared versions of the meme (examples below, center and right).

[...]

#WhitePeopleInvitedToTheCookout
None. Them and their dry assed potato salad can go back
where they came from"
1:00 am 29 Feb. 2016"...
****
Excerpt #2
From 
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/invitations-to-the-cookout-have-now-been-rescinded_b_59e644e4e4b0e60c4aa365ad “Invitations To The Cookout Have Now Been Rescinded”
Our criteria for entry have just become more strict.
by Isis Miller , 10/17/2017; Updated Oct 24, 2017
“The cookout is a long-standing tradition in the African American community dating back to God knows when. It’s a non-holiday specific, (although they do often coincide with such holidays as Labor Day and MLK Day), where Black families and friends gather for barbecue, spades games with trash-talking drunk uncles, aunty rivalries over who made the best dish, Luther Vandross blasting on the radio, and carefree Blackness at its peak. It’s the safety of belonging. It’s where you can let your guard down and simply be without having to swat at the incessant stings of microaggressions. It’s the place where no code switching is necessary because it’s just you and your tribe. It is being home in your skin with your kin.

But on occasion you will find that there is a white person at these gatherings. It is assumed that said white person is “down,” the precursor to what we now call being “woke.” They have earned their invitation usually by having grown up with the family, dated someone in the family, or simply having been around long enough to have been properly vetted. They know the etiquette and the rules. They don’t say the n-word, even when its part of the song. They don’t show up with some strange casserole. They bring a liquor of some sort (Hennessy being the obvious choice). And they certainly don’t invite other white people. And if anything were to go down they know it would be their duty to speak to the police, using their privilege for the good of those who lack it. They are simply happy to be there and we are happy to include them on the fun and maybe even send them home with a plate. These recipients of the illustrious cookout invite were the original allies.

These cookouts have, in popular culture, become synonymous with our lives, our social justice movements, our sacred spaces, our places of respect. So when a white person puts aside prejudice, stands up against racism, and uses their whiteness for good, someone on Twitter will announce that they are “invited to the cookout.” They can sit with us. They can join the spades game (as long as they don’t renege). They can electric slide their way into the inner circle of Blackness, status pending.

But that’s over. It’s cancelled.

And all because of this foolishness:
SwirlBae added three new photos October 10 at 7:10pm
“Get ‘Invited to the Cookout’!
Celebrate the allies, the partners, homies, and swirly plus-
ones in your life with a gift from the newest lines of inclusive
tees and hoodies from  SwirlBae!

This is why we can’t have nice things.

The theoretical (and very much literal) cookouts we’ve been hosting for generations, our sacred sites of unadulterated, live-out-loud Blackness are being threatened by the forces of gentrification. We are about to become a minority at our own events. Because just like every slogan, trend, movement and hashtag we create, it is then coopted, commodified, and watered down until it is unrecognizable or unredeemable. Because it is never enough for white people to simply be happy as a spectator. They must own, take up space, profit from Black culture, Black creativity, Black genius. And even when they serve up poor and borderline insulting imitations of us, they are given the credit.

Yet, we as Black folks are partly to blame. This is what happens when we hold White “allies” to the lowest possible standard of human decency and start passing out invitations to the places in our movement, our community, and our lives without understanding that being an ally is not static, it is action. It not comfortable and it is not stagnant. It is putting in the work to unlearn behaviors, while confronting those in your family and social circle about their own behaviors. It isn’t asking Black people to teach you or offer suggestions, as there are already guidelines on how to do this work. But this is the outcome when white people are allowed to speak for us within our own movements. Its what happens when we allow this notion of “solidarity” and “unity” to lull us into a false sense of security in thinking our interests and well being will be centered. Its what happens when white mediocrity is rewarded and heaped with praise. The places that have long since been for us become colonized.

[…]

Nope. I’m not here for it anymore. The cookout is getting too damn crowded. The caucasity will reach new heights and next thing you know they are going to start bringing artisanal cheeses and unsweetened tea. Spades will be replaced with backgammon. The wobble will be replaced by the hockey pockey. Barry White will be replaced by Bruce Springsteen. Red Velvet cake will be replaced with some dry ass bundt cake. This is not the world I want to live in.

Once again, it is time we reevaluate how we protect our magic and our spaces. … it is important to be ever more vigilant. So while I do believe that white allies exist and are necessary to the success of movements for social justice, it will take more than lip service and bomb ass potato salad to get into the cookout.

And though I am guilty of inviting Colleen Dag (a.k.a “Becky Knuckles”) over for a plate ― a decision by which I still stand ― until stricter protocols are put in place, any and all invitations will be under further review.

****
Excerpt #3
From 
https://www.theroot.com/white-folks-can-t-just-come-to-the-cookout-because-they-1792357577  "White Folks Can’t Just Come to the Cookout Because They Perform Blackness" by Michael Arceneaux, 2/16/2017
"Whenever a white person does something remotely decent related to black people or black culture—be it displaying basic decency or performing some act with competence—a chorus of Negroes will declare, “They can come to the cookout!”

For our new white readers, “the cookout” is essentially what most of us across these United States refer to as a barbecue, though there are other culinary equivalences that amount to the same thing (black folks gathering for food, liquor and celebration as only we can): say, a crawfish boil, a fish fry or something similar. So, when someone of African lineage extends an invite to someone melanin-deficient to the metaphorical cookout, they’re more or less saying you’re cool enough to hang with us now.

[….]

Maybe living in Habanero Hitler’s America has me more skeptical than ever, but I do know a lot of you beloved black people need to quit sipping pickle juice and calling it Champagne. Stop doing this cookout thing for every sixth white person. Hell, not even all black people deserve to come ’round us.

When they open the door for you, just say thank you. If they have rhythm, cute for them. When they don’t shout a slur at you in anger, just thank Black Jesus that you don’t have to catch a case. When they call out racism, nod. It’s the least they could do. Don’t tell them to bring napkins to the fake cookout.


It is Black History Month. Do better! Be more selective. Most of all, remember that they probably voted for you-know-who or, at the very least, know someone who did and ate their casserole anyway."

****

Excerpt #5
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc&feature=emb_logo "Black Jeopardy with Chadwick Boseman - SNL" posted by Saturday Night Live, April 7, 2018
These comments were posted in that video's discussion thread between April 12-April 16, 2018
1. hulagirl67"**BLACK COOKOUT RULES AND REGULATIONS**1) Don't arrive until at least 75-90 minutes after the start time designated on the invitation.
2) Don't come empty-handed.


3) NOBODY gets a plate before Big Mamma.


4) DJ must dos --> "Before I Let Go" by Maze, "Love Like This" by Faith Evans, and "Summertime" by Fresh Prince


5) Be prepared to Wobble.


6) Pros only at the spades table. This is for your own protection.


7) Don't go into the house unless you have to pee.


8) Don't expect for your chair to still be unoccupied when you return.


9) Only great aunts are allowed to fux with the potato salad so no need to keep asking if anyone knows who made it.


10) For you take homers: If they did not come, put in on the food, or help in any way, they do NOT get a plate. PERIOD."



**

REPLY

2. Jackeline Frost

"hulagirl67 as a black person I confirm this true"



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3. Zion, The Person

"As a fellow black person, I can also confirm this."



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4. Esohe Osaghae

"These should be official rules, number 4 is so true"



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5. Eastside Sage

"💯% Accurate"



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6. miggie2099
"you need to put this on a plate or wall scroll and sell it for $10"

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7. Aaron Verico1
"On everything this list is true. Lol.
I'll also add that dominos apply as well, that only pros can play at the table, at Black cookouts.
The stakes get even higher, if alcohol drinking is involved.
The sh&t*-talking and putdowns go to another level. That's definitely been the case, with my dad, uncles, and some of my dad's friends at the table. Lol.

I would also add "Outstanding" by the Gap Band; as a must-play song at Black family reunions, or cookouts.
I wish my fam would have more of them. They're always a blast. 💯"
-snip-
*This word is fully spelled out in that comment in that YouTube discussion thread.

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REPLY
8. InuMiroLover
"Kids must dance for the entertainment of their elders and they dont get anything but hamburgers and hot dogs."

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9. julez4002
"4. September - Earth Wind Fire not Karen's cousin Taylor Smith."

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10. chocprincess7
"Facts. Lol !"

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11. C1rcu1tBr34k3r
"Funny how this is Universal across the nation."

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12. Some Guy
"Black guy here. The list is legit."

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13. Candie P
"Lmaooo. Number 10 is right on the money in my family 🤣🤣🤣"

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14. Rohan Davey
"For #4, don't forget the Cha Cha Slide

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15. Raj Beekie
"I don't think the last one is well known. If it is, it is not often precticed."
-snip-
"Precticed" is probably a typo for "practiced"

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REPLY
16. Mia Moore
"Pretty accurate but for number 4 I would add "Candy" by Cameo that's Always played"

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17. Lena Sabine
"And white people must be chaperoned by a FAMILY Member of the HOSTING parties [such as] Mama or aunt Donna."

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REPLY
18. SketchCat !!!
"hulagirl67 you forgot That once you get there you better speak to everybody (which means whoever see you) before eating and let them say ‘you got big last time I saw you you was thiiiiissss 👌🏾 small huh baby Child”"

**
19. Kindell Armstrong
"Theses are unspoken yet iron clad rules never to be broken. If sed rules are broken then the US black councils will revoke your black card and your children’s black card for up to 3 generations."

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20. A Paddy
"You forget to add The Gap Band - Outstanding to the playlist."

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21. Ahmasi
"You forgot that children are only allowed to eat hot dogs and hamburgs. Don't ask for a rib or steak."

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22. PrincessAshley121
"Yea, Um... I'm from a Jamaican family and I cannot relate to any of this at all. Sorry l;"

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23. Sheryl Smallwood
"Quick question- when you bring something, can it be from another culture (ex: Chilean/Argentian Empenadas) or does it have to be American food? Asking for a friend."

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REPLY
24. Ahmasi
"Sheryl Smallwood It depends. But as long as it was approved by both the host and the cook ( They aren’t always the same person) ahead of time, you should be golden"

**
25. frogers3
"Your list is suspect from rule 1. Who in the hell sends invitations to a black cookout? Everyone who hears about it just shows up!!!"
-snip-
Explanation for rule #3 - "Big Mama" is a term for the matriarch of the family (the oldest woman in the family) -This informal referent is used by some but definitely not all African Americans.

**  
Explanation for rule #5 - "Wobble" = a line dance that is usually performed at African American weddings and get-togethers.

**
Explanation for rule #6- "Spades" a card game that is popular among many African Americans

Explanation for the comment given as #9: The name "Karen" in the comment "Karen's cousin Taylor Swift" is a general referent for a White woman and not the name used to refer to  self-entitled and often racist White women who calls the manager or police on Black people (and sometimes also other people) for trivial reasons.

 ****
This concludes Part I of this pancocojams series.
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