On Twerking

TWERK1We’re on a Twerk Rollercoaster and can’t seem to get off. Don’t believe me, check out Oxford Dictionary. The whole phenomenon is played since mainstream got their hands on it. I don’t want to ever hear the word again (except for on “Whistle While You Twerk”), but just a few things on my mind first:

1. There’s no need to fight over the ownership of twerking. Quite frankly, there are more important things to be concerned with in the African-American community and America in general. If you’re going to talk about twerking, don’t go a step further without mentioning a few folks: Any and all bounce artists from New Orleans, Luke Dancers, the Twerk Team, strippers, your neighbor down the street–whoever. All of them have been twerking FOR YEARS. It’s not NEW, nor is it that serious. If you really want to get technical, consider that Africa is the mother of all dance. So, there’s that for your origins.

2. Why must they be examined and combed through with a fine-tooth comb?  News outlets have gone so far as to study the psychology of twerking and create a how-to infographics. Are you serious, New York Post? There’s nothing else to talk about in these United States of America?

3. Twerking isn’t a dance for poor black women. No one really sits around asking themselves what their socioeconomic status is before they break it down. It kinda just happens. Go away with these foolish comments.  To paint a more “acceptable” picture for you, consider that a very wealthy Beyonce is a mild twerker, too. She’s light years away from being poor.

4. If you’re going emulate something, atleast do it halfway right. The only thing Lil Miley did was prove that getting out and just “being her” on stage isn’t enough and illustrate her inaccurate idea of blackness. If you want to broad brush, yes, we love to have a good time. From Soul Train lines, to stepping to even twerking, we get it in. But our culture isn’t one size fits all and it doesn’t consists of majorettes, big booties and loud music.

5. Let’s be clear, on a good day, Hannah Montana’s performance was piss-poor, tasteless and tacky from start to finish. The backlash should’ve been about her lazy stage presence more than her wagging her non-existent ass.

6.   It’s unfortunate that she didn’t understand that Jay’s ode to her in “Somewhere in America” wasn’t a compliment, but more of a satiric rip at Disney queens from White America who love to take a piece of our culture and run with it. She’s too green to realize though that all publicity isn’t good publicity as evident in her recent response to it all.

Though I don’t think this twerking deal is as serious as it’s been portrayed, but it does lift a larger issue. One I’ll write about that later.





3 thoughts on “On Twerking

  1. Once again I am pleased with your work! This is the perfect response to all of this nonsense. As the folks here in NOLA are saying in regards Miley, “Tell that flat h* to have a seat!”

    Great Job, Tillery!

  2. LISTEN. I’m riding in the same car with you on this one. I’m over media and Miley. I’m even tired of being offended and tired of explaining why. This whole conversation is exhaustive and your piece is indeed my period to this conversation. So, if somebody asks about it ~~~~> “Because I Said So”. Great job, ‘Lish!

  3. Twerking. I haven’t said the word in about 12 years before this “wave”. In fact, THIS piece right here needs to be in the New York Post & other mainstream publications. Just to enlighten he people on how much they don’t know. And yes, we do have bigger fish to fry in our community & America in general. And this is not one of the fish. Great work, Alisha!

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