Thug Kitchen’s Brand Of Technicolor Blackness

It goes without saying that “thug” is a loaded word, which in our politically correct, post-racial society, has become the polite way to say “nigger” in mixed company. So the title that Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis chose for their food blog is deliberate. So is the voice. It’s a brand, through and through, which is why it’s appealing (and easy) in the eyes of publishers. I can easily see this being available for sale in the Apartment section of Urban Outfitters. It’s less important to argue whether or not Holloway and Davis could have gotten this deal if they were Black; rather, it’s important to recognize that they got it because no one knew for sure. Much like the race records of the early 20th century, making the race of content creators less conspicuous is a successful, tried and true marketing strategy — even as the product one is selling is culture.

The site’s humor, of course, is to be found in the stark contrast to perceived “thug” culture and refinement. The crudeness of the language and the life it implies, versus the sumptuous wholesome home goodness of domestic success. This is great, we are supposed to think. Because thugs don’t even know what garbonzo beans ARE! Black people only love collard greens! Those are the assumptions that hold the glue together. That, and the heavy borrowation of the voice that makes Ghostface Killah a joy.





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