Cooning is a verb derived from the word coon. The word coon itself is short for raccoon.
A coon is defined in the urban dictionary as being a person of African descent whose sole purpose was/is to entertain white people.
Cooning emerged in the 1920s during slavery. After a relentenless daty’s work some slaves were required to entertain their masters. The entertainment antics included elaborately wild dances, punctuated by degrading patronizing dialog and song.
At one point over several years, cooning declined as blacks achieved more rights opportunities and became accepted on a somewhat equal platform as their white counterparts. However, cooning never really died a complete death. It festered over the years manifesting its self in one form or the other.
Modern day cooning is prevalent in many venues. After positive strides made by the Cosby Show, Spike Lee movies, and various roles by Denzel Washington, Angela Basset, Samuel Jackson to name a few those strides are snapped back by blacks that feel making a stereotyped mockery of themselves is okay.
Cooning has come back to slap Black people back to the 1920’s and 1940’s, the heyday of cooning.
In June 2009, Spike Lee charged writer, producer, actor, Tyler Perry with portraying coonery through the characters in his plays and movies.
Now, Tyler Perry’s Madea Character is a real positive, yet headstrong personality that can be found in almost every black neighborhood. However, in my opinion, a grown man dressed up like a big old woman, makeup complete, is sure as hell flirting with the coonery line if not crossing it. A female could have assumed the character and played it more realistically and bought more depth to it.
But let me get back to Spike. I don’t see how Spike could throw the coonery rock in the first place. When he himself has used coonery to propel his own career. To Spike’s credit, he has produced some positive works, but he can’t say his slate is completely free of coonery.
Since I’m on entertainers, let’s not omit the rappers. Some of them anyway. They flood the landscape with their gaudy materialism, for
They flood the landscape with their gaudy materialism, their flashy high-end cars, overstated jewelry, coonery laden attire, crouch grabbing stances, and an endless run of video vixens. Way too many seem affixed to portraying how hard they are by rapping about their violent escapades and bringing the stories to real life by skirting with or crossing legal boundaries altogether. Then there are those that remain at the forefront by just simply figuring out other
Then there are those that remain at the forefront by just simply figuring out other coonery laden ways to go to jail and manage to glamorize doing it. Please don’t take this as an attack on the entire rap community. There are some rap artists that are out there grinding out everyday, and dropping positive knowledge all over the place.
When it comes to the offensive artists, it’s not their stories that are problematic, they should keep it real, however it’s their actions, literal delivery and façade they use to get their stories out. Song and dance in any form should be artistic, never oppressive or degrading.
Athletes aren’t innocent from coonery either. It’s all good to celebrate, to bust a move or two after scoring, but this frequent showing the hell out in the end zone and on the courts only shows that even if you are paid millions of dollars a season, not one penny of those millions can buy common decency and self-respect.
And then there is the ghetto phenomenon.
A certain sect of the nation’s lower income inner city population have embraced a whole culture that thrives on coonery at one turn or another.
This would be the ghetto culture. There is nothing glamorous about being in an oppressed and c ompromised state that I can see.
Most lower income inner city dwellers, for whatever reason have found themselves in a ghetto environment, and to their credit, they aren’t proud of it and work hard at succeeding to acquire a better way of life. Then there is that percentage that embraces and empowers this oppressive, stereotypical, social and economical incarcerating way of living. Thus validating the ignorance of mainstream media’s perception of them.
For those that think I’m off the base, think about this. When you hear the word Ghetto, what color person comes to mind? I’ll say it for the timid, Black. In reality if you run some true numbers, you’ll find just as many whites in a ghetto state of living as blacks. But you don’t link whites with ghetto, and you know why? White folk don’t cosign it. They don’t embrace it, and they definitely won’t own it as a broad brush definitive of an established sect of their community.
How many white rappers do you know are making money off of shouting oppressed and degrading lyrics about their community, families, and exploitation of their own women? Those
Those cooning ghetto prom outfit pictures that appear on the email circuit every year, who are they coming from? Who’s in them? I don’t know how many people I’ve met that openly state, “I’m Ghetto” with pride. Now before you hit the comment section and start cussing me out, consider my definition of
Now before you hit the comment section and start cussing me out, consider my definition of coonery.
Coonery-unsolicited degrading self-demeaning behavior for attention and laughs. Have the big red painted lips of the 1920s not reemerged as a mouth laden with gold and platinum?
Have the big red painted lips of the 1920s not reemerged as a mouth laden with gold and platinum?
To be sure, whites and other ethnic groups have their fair share of crazy buffooning meth and crack smoking, zonked out, backwoods, redneck characters that show their behinds as well.
The creators of the show COPS built a successful TV series off of cooning white folks. The thing is, the other ethnic communities don’t glamorize
The thing is, the other ethnic communities don’t glamorize coonery and bafoonery of their own, and collectively, don’t subscribe to it as any percentage of their cultural definitive. Do you see anybody trying to take ownership of a decaying decrepit trailer park?
No, you don’t.
Do you see the entertainment industry pimping young white, Asian or Indian males in large clothing and gold or platinum-laden mouths?
No, you don’t, and it’s because other ethnic groups as a whole are not going to get behind that and support it, let alone do it.
For some reason that totally escapes me, the black community can get behind some despairing things. As in this case, and this article, Coonery. This is also another example of one immortalizing their own self-defeating behavior.
When we willingly degrade ourselves by participating in, or endorsing a negative, defeatist demeanor, it’s problematic in that it sends a message that we are insolvent in the areas of self-respect and intelligence.
If we don’t respect our own self and community, how can we expect anyone else to do so? If we are alright thriving within decrepit degrading environments and being expolited by our own , why should anyone intervene?
Dr Jawanza Kunjufu, a renowned education consultant and author states in his book Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys,
“that in order for black boys to become black men they need to see black men”.
I’ll add to that very powerful statement that they don’t need to see the facsimiles adorned in big flashy clothing and mega weight jewelry, showing out because they’ve been bought out by some corporate dollar.
They need to see black men coming home, taking care of home, going to work respectfully, and treating their black women respectfully through not just their actions and their words, but through their commitments to not just their women and children but their communities as a whole. Real black men that are not defined by a style, or misaligned culture. They need desperately to see real black men that don’t have time for and don’t engage in patronizing demeaning
Real black men that are not defined by a style, or misaligned culture. They need desperately to see real black men that don’t have time for and don’t engage in patronizing demeaning coonery or bafoonery to gain acceptance or to make a dollar. Through this the boys will learn, they gain respect through self-respect, and they don’t have to kiss one ass to get it.
Coonery, the styles, the attitudes, thereof will continue to plague and resign its participants to the lower rungs of the social, economic, and employment ladder if not rebuked. Who seriously is going to employ a
Who seriously is going to employ a self-ordained fool? Who’s seriously going to go out of their way to educate a
Who’s seriously going to go out of their way to educate a self-professed clown?
The message that begs to be heard is Coonery, the worst form of sellout will continue to imprison and ridicule if it’s not admonished to the back of the Black community’s landscape to perish away. Wake up and address it people and you can get beyond it.
I’ll leave you with this to sip on real slow.
“You don’t sell out you buy out, you don’t kiss ass you kick ass.” And keep your back straight – if your back is straight no man can ride it.