Shit Bougie Black People Love: 34. Making and Sharing Their Plans for the Black Panther Premiere

Scene from Black Panther (FilmSelect via YouTube screenshot)
Scene from Black Panther (FilmSelect via YouTube screenshot)

Perhaps, while in Slack or while looking at your Google calendar today, you noticed that an unusual percentage of the bougie black people you happen to work with are taking vacation days on Feb. 16. (And by “an unusual percentage of the bougie black people you happen to work with are taking vacation days on Feb. 16,” you really mean, “All the niggas will be gone.”)


This may have confused you. After all, Kwanzaa ended whenever it is that Kwanzaa ends. And as far as you know, there’s no Courtney B. Vance Day or any other special black holiday they’d be celebrating then.

Adding to this confusion would be the myriad variants of black clothing you noticed this co-worker ordering from and Zara when you accidentally peeked at their computer screen yesterday. Black pants. Black jackets. Black socks. Black sleeveless hoodies. Black boots. Dashikis. And even black T-shirts covered with 100 surprisingly realistic pictures of Maxine Waters dunking on Steve Bannon.


Don’t be too alarmed, though. The bougie black people haven’t gone mad. They’re just preparing for the Feb. 16 premiere of Black Panther, which has replaced Jesus and Beyoncé’s Instagram as the center of the bougie black universe.

It’s easy to see why bougie black people would be so enthralled with this movie, as it contains at least a dozen prominent markers of bougie black-tivity. It stars Lupita Nyong’o and men with full beards. There will be dozens of think pieces about it, and some of said think pieces might even be written after the writers have attended a trap knitting class. Black Panther-themed day parties will feature complimentary pitchers of mimosas. Someone might even sneak some room temperature water into the theater and take shots of it each time Michael B. Jordan’s awkward curls remind them of Slinkys.

Be warned, however, that asking your bougie black co-worker about Black Panther the comic book and character instead of their Black Panther-related plans, outfits and vision boards could be tricky. Because they’d then be asked to explain who exactly Black Panther is, which would reveal that they didn’t even realize until last year that Black Panther was an actual superhero with superpowers and not just an actual member of the Black Panther Party who’s just really good at karate. And that would be quite awkward.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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