I can’t be a Black hipster or a blipster. The first “hipsters” were Black. “Hip” the word is Wolof in origin. I’m just being me, Black.— Yeshi (@YESHICAN) November 19, 2011
The english word ‘hip’ comes from the Wolof ‘hipi,’ (or “hippi’, or xippi’ depending on the source, transliteration varies of course) and apparently can be roughly translated as “to be aware/in the know” or “to open one’s eyes” (depending on the source”). Apparently ‘hep’ derives from this (as in hepcat) and eventually hipster, as the first hipsters were black jazz musicians, and then the term later extended to the middle class white dudes who became jazz aficianados and hung out at jazz clubs and smoked and whatever (see 1940’s hipster culture). Then I guess the term was picked up again in the 2000’s referring to the winkingly insincere, biting-ironic middle class kids who listened to indie/lo-fi/shoegaze music.
I was an aspiring hipster for a long time.
Now for obligatory blipster bingo
I keep waiting for white people to go, “OMG, look, there’s Black people playing Jazz, let’s call it BLAZZ!!!!”
Appropriation completes it’s cycle when they’ve finished forgetting the source then turn around and accuse POC of stealing what they’ve been doing all along.
The bolded. That’s happening right now with all the hoopla over Frank Orange. Like blackfolk didn’t have a LONG history of out artists before certain privilege drenched folks started declaring they were “Born This Way”. But who cares about historical accuracy when those with power use it to formulate false narratives that invalidate, stigmatize and oppress us?