Can black people be hipsters?

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Iris Phillips Profile
Iris Phillips answered
Yes, absolutely. The hipster scene might have developed as a middle class white thing this time round, but the original hipsters in the 1940s were mostly black. At the time the question was whether white people could be hipsters.

  • Why the Difference?
To be perfectly honest, this continual differentiation between black and white never ceases to cause amazement and disgust. If you put everyone into a darkened room no-one would be able to tell the difference.

Why should a black person not be allowed to be a middle class older teenager or young adult who likes indie rock from the 90s, reads Clash and Vice or takes the occasional look at Pitchfork Media?

  • Melting Pot
Let's face it, the so-called hipster culture is already being described as a melting pot of tastes, styles and behavior. It already has all the elements of a variety of postwar fringe movements.

Hippie, beat, grunge, punk, it is all there, jumbled together into some kind of cultural mishmash without a hint of regard to any of the original movements, so why not add a little of that colorful black culture.

In short, everybody wears what they want. All of a sudden every male within miles decides to swap those baggy pants for a pair of skin-tight jeans or leopard-leggings, slaps on a hat, grabs a skate-board and hey presto, we have a hipster.

  • The Real Problem
One has to wonder whether the real problem is not so much the hipster thing, as the middle class one. Why, oh why, does the thought of a middle class black person cause such waves of shock and horror? Was Obama's election not really a sign of improvement after all?

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