May 13, 2014

African-American cultural homogeneity

From the NYT:
RACE IN SPORTS
Different N.B.A. Loyalties for Black and White Neighborhoods
MAY 13, 2014
Nate Cohn

It is no secret that the N.B.A. is especially popular among black Americans. About 45 percent of people who watched N.B.A. games during the 2012-2013 regular season were black, even though African-Americans make up just 13 percent of the country’s population. 
In addition to being numerous, African-American fans also seem to have different patterns to their N.B.A. rooting. Hometown basketball teams tend to earn a lower share of Facebook “likes” in heavily black areas. Many black fans instead seem to gravitate to teams with national followings, like the Heat and Lakers, over the local team.

There's nothing wrong with this. After all, NBA teams are not like old time European soccer teams that actually were manned by locals, they are hired gladiators mixed randomly. So deciding to root for Oklahoma City because you like Kevin Durant even though you couldn't find Oklahoma on a map makes as much sense as rooting for the local team.

There are no doubt multiple reasons for this, but one point I don't see made too often is that these days African-Americans have a strikingly homogeneous national culture. Sure there are local variants, but the culture is largely propagated by electronic media and defines itself in opposition to national white culture as seen on TV, so it's pretty much the same everywhere.
       

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blacks are very front-runner when it comes to sports loyalties. They are also player-specific, they root for players rather than teams.

As for being nationally homogenous I disagree. Every city has it's own hip hop music culture. Religiously they are different too with Christianity still ruling the day down south while Islam has made huge inroads here and Philly and up north. They dress differently too depending on the city.

Anonymous said...

After the rape charges, Kobe became a rallying point for blacks and the Lakers (already seen as a darker counterpoint to the Celtics) surged in popularity amongst them. (Yes, I know they were also playing extremely good basketball at the time, but Kobe in particular became a hip-hop cultural hero.)

Similarly, when whites seemed to turn on LeBron post-Cleveland, the Heat became the team du jour amongst the f___ whitey crowd.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the stars--Kobe (well, before he was old and injured), LeBron, now Durant. They buy their jerseys and the shoes they advertise.

Bystander said...

"so it's pretty much the same everywhere"

Probably even more so since the introduction of the interwebs. When I was in the Marine Corps and stationed in Memphis during the mid-80's, I didn't see any of the accoutrements of the "gangsta" subculture from back home (Southern California). Fast forward a dozen years to a business trip back down to Memphis, and you would have thought you were in South Central.

fredyetagain

Whiskey said...

That's true, but it will be interesting to see if the league being essentially All-Black will continue to make money, particularly when other marginal players go the Michael Sam route ("hey, I'm GAAAAAYYYYY! Draft me and play me or you are homophobic meanies!")

After all, the NFL is going all-Gay, All-Black, All The Time. Michael Sam will be kissing his boyfriend every game, as PK at VDARE.com notes, Sam is signed as a Visa spokesman, USATODAY has put the NFL on notice that Sam had better be a star, and SI had him on the cover.

Pretty much every Rams game will feature Sam kissing his boyfriend, and you know the NFL is going to promote the Rams heavily with that team taking up the majority of ESPN and CBS and NBC broadcasts.

Its only a matter of time before other marginal guys in the NBA play the same card, and the league becomes at least as gay if not more as the NFL.

But yes, point taken to the national homogenity of Black culture. In contrast to the very different cultures of White New England, the Coastal South, Deep South, Mountain West, Midwest, Southern Plains, and Oregon/Washington/Northern California (ultra-hippiedom).

Dave Pinsen said...

This question could probably be answered empirically via analysis of Black Twitter.

Anonymous said...

""""""As for being nationally homogenous I disagree."""""

Whatever. Check out their SAT scores and GPAS sometime. Still putting down the wrong answers across the board.


""""""Every city has it's own hip hop music culture."""""

That's true. Sorta like how in SoCal they tend to drink purple Kool Aid but in Philly they drink cherry Kool Aid and in New Orleans its Hawaiian Punch along with Johnnie Walker.

But they do tend to drink Kool Aid quite a bit, don't they? I'm referring to 18and up and not just 6-9yr olds.



"""""Religiously they are different too with Christianity still ruling the day down south while Islam has made huge inroads here and Philly and up north."""""""

Yup, the prison population has been a major source for NOI and of course, Jay Z promoting it in concerts with his medallion.



"""""They dress differently too depending on the city."""""""

How so? Suit and tie in which cities? Dresses past the knees in which cities? Didn't think so.

But no matter how you slice it, it's still the same wrong answers on the SATs along with the purple Kool Aid, and they are kool aid drinkers, BIG Kool Aid drinkers.

And card players, can't forget the cards even if it tends to have one side/face.

Anonymous said...

Huh. I had no idea that that much of the NBA audience was black.

This seems like a significant business weakness from the NBA's standpoint--half their audience is concentrated in 15% of the total population, and that 15% doesn't have golfing's economic profile. It seems as though they should be looking to expand into the white and latino markets.

Anonymous said...

OT, Cory Booker, you know the guy who read torah at Cornell was a complete failure at reforming Newark schools with Zuck's 100 million

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-gave-jersey-100-130400933.html

The New Yorker had a 12 page expose on the disaster:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/19/140519fa_fact_russakoff?currentPage=all

Anonymous said...

Is there a difference between major league loyalties and minor league and college loyalties?

Blacks may be more mobile than you think. A lot of Blacks move because they want to (the second great migration of blacks is back to the south). Many move because of programs like section 8 or they work for the government. So I would wonder if they are loyal to the LA teams because they have some history in LA.

Anonymous said...

Blacks tend to like flashy and athletic players, particularly those with 'swag'.

I think the best example of this is their adoration of Allen Iverson (who also happened to harbor some not so subtle dislike of whites). White fans weren't as hot on him-- he was a ball hog whose style didn't lead to "winning basketball."

NBA mandated stricter dress codes for those in street clothes to mitigate the ghetto street culture perception.

Anonymous said...

I have always found this strange but one thing I noticed is that blacks who had a father at home root for the local team and bastards (for lack of a better term) are front runners. I think if a father doesn't care about you or your mom, why should you be loyal to your community team? I don't know the reason but I am willing to bet money that if there was an analysis on bastards and non-bastards you would find that bastards are front runners and non-bastards are loyalists.

Anonymous said...

"As for being nationally homogenous I disagree"

I also disagree. I just spent a year living in Oakland and it seemed like half the young black kids I saw there dressed like black versions of hipsters or stoners. I also saw a lot of black kids and young adults skateboarding. Very different overall from the blacks I see here now in the South.

Anonymous said...

"""""Religiously they are different too with Christianity still ruling the day down south while Islam has made huge inroads here and Philly and up north."""""""

Yup, the prison population has been a major source for NOI and of course, Jay Z promoting it in concerts with his medallion.

The Nation of Islam is NOT real Islam.

Dave Pinsen said...

Lena Dunham is happy with him.

Booker stopped following me on Twitter after I tweeted something to the effect that for a smart, likeable pol, he has some really stale policy ideas. It's like he's completely unfazed by evidence.

Dave Pinsen said...

In defense of Iverson, when you are one of the league's top scorers, you should be a ball hog.

Nancy Boy said...

Homogenous Steve? How much time have you spent with blacks in different areas, to know? I don't know any different, it just seems like an easy mistake to make - everyone would seem homogenous from a distance.

wiseguy said...

I suspect that part of the reason Johnny Football (his jersey on draft weekend had sales that were similar to those of Luck's, RGIII's, and Tebow's combined) is so popular is that he is a rich white boy and unapologetic about it.

I wonder if he is much more popular among whites than blacks.

Ed said...

OT, Cory Booker, you know the guy who read torah at Cornell was a complete failure at reforming Newark schools with Zuck's 100 million

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-gave-jersey-100-130400933.html

The New Yorker had a 12 page expose on the disaster:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/05/19/140519fa_fact_russakoff?currentPage=all


Progressive reformists-0
Nicholas Wade- 1

Anonymous said...

Huh. I had no idea that that much of the NBA audience was black.

I read an analysis of the 2013 NBA finals TV ratings that said that 60+ % of the audience was non-white.

JayMan said...

American Blacks probably don't have the genetic lumpiness American Whites do. Hence, while you get (primarily) IQ variation from state-to-state and region to region, you see none of the huge cultural variation you see with Whites.

Anonymous said...

"""""Religiously they are different too with Christianity still ruling the day down south while Islam has made huge inroads here and Philly and up north."""""""

Yup, the prison population has been a major source for NOI and of course, Jay Z promoting it in concerts with his medallion.

""""""The Nation of Islam is NOT real Islam."""""""


No duh.

And NEITHER do the MAJORITY of blacks follow Orthodox Islam (a la the version from Mecca). I thought you were referring to black Americans. Yes, no?

FACT: 80% of blacks are born out of wedlock. IF this trend holds (and there is no evidence that it is subsiding) then by about 2024-2027 the out of wedlock rate for blacks will hover around 90%.

FACT: About 66% of total number of black males between 18-24 are either in prison doing time for a violent crime, are dead from violent crime, or are about to be charged with a crime. This of course is where the vast majority of NOI (black version of Islam) converts are found. The converts aren't happening down at Leo's Barbeque or on the corner of Guy's Groovy Grab Bag outlet store or a few blocks down on MLK Boulevard at Shantiquious's Liquor Store.

THEREFORE, those young adult black males in prison are a sizable population and the majority of the Islam that they convert to from Christianity is NOI. NOI is black centered. Basically it's Liberation Theory from a racial perspective.

Perhaps the title post should have been more accurately stated: African-American Racial homogenity, and then most would agree.

After all, who here will say that blacks are not at all consciously aware that they are black, and that they don't have a particularly distinctive black culture that "ain't white" or not about to "act/behave white"? Really? Seriously?

There is a reason the NBA has been perceived as a thug/ghetto league for a couple of decades. Hint: It's not whitey's fault. Perhaps with the influx of Europeans into the league it will start to change although that is debatable at best and would meet with some resistance at worst.

Anonymous said...

"""""""I read an analysis of the 2013 NBA finals TV ratings that said that 60+ % of the audience was non-white."""""""""""


This year's US World Cup ratings will most likely be around 95-98% non-black.

PGA Tournaments (e.g. The Masters, US Open, British Open, etc) are 99% non-black.

MLB is getting whiter all the time.


Anonymous said...

"The Nation of Islam is NOT real Islam."

Is there a functional difference? Never met a devout Muslim of either variant.

Anonymous said...

Just as well black culture, if you can call it that, is homogeneous. Last time there was an East Coast vs West Coast rivalry a couple of famous rap stars got killed.

Thursday said...

I can't speak for all of America, but there are definitely a few places where blacks have distinct local cultures. Southern blacks are different from northern blacks, for example, with blacks in places like Louisiana and Texas being particularly different.

fondatori said...

Yeah, years ago when I was walking through a tough neighborhood in Milwaukee, a brother came up and asked me who I wanted in the NBA finals, the Bulls or the Pacers. I said the Pacers, which was true. I figured he also would like the Pacers, since people from Milwaukee generally hate Chicago sports teams. I was wrong though: he threatened to kill me if he ever saw me again.

Anonymous said...

"""""Thursday said...
I can't speak for all of America, but there are definitely a few places where blacks have distinct local cultures. Southern blacks are different from northern blacks, for example, with blacks in places like Louisiana and Texas being particularly different.""""


No matter the region, its still basically the same. The hood is the hood no matter the state and a few similarities in ALL the hoods in US remain the same.

No matter the state, the crime rates the same all over the US. High, quite high, among....well.

And there's a couple of other things that blacks throughout US have in common.

They really don't like whitey. They dont.

Knock out game. That is all over the US and seemingly, its played by the same rules no matter the hood.

No matter the locality, check the crime rate. Which group is committing the majority of the violent crime? (Hint: It's not whitey, so which group is it?)

Rap, as in Gangsta. They may use different beats and sounds but the themes are the same throughout the US.

Notice, how upset they get if a Trayvon is nixed but they don't really seem to mind when they get rubbed out by their own, which occurs each and every single day?

Wonder why?

Guess its events that are beyond their control and they just can't ever prevent it.


Anonymous said...

NOI is black centered. Basically it's Liberation Theory from a racial perspective.

NOI is also an 'easy' version of Islam that most importantly is black-friendly (as you noticed.) Real Islam, the stuff from the Quran, is racist towards Africans.

Anonymous said...

""""""Real Islam, the stuff from the Quran, is racist towards Africans."""""""

Very few black Americans are aware of that fact. To them, Islam = NOI, and after all, in NOI official theory, Christianity = white man's religion.

Lots and lots of similarities between National Socialism of Germany and Black Liberation Theory.

tsotha said...

After all, NBA teams are not like old time European soccer teams that actually were manned by locals, they are hired gladiators mixed randomly

I'd probably watch sports if the athletes were all locals. What the hell do I care if guys I have no connection to play a game?

Maxwell Power said...

I can't speak for all of America, but there are definitely a few places where blacks have distinct local cultures. Southern blacks are different from northern blacks, for example, with blacks in places like Louisiana and Texas being particularly different.

In the U.S. there is both an overriding antebellum black mono-culture and the regional variety alongside it. This overculture has the agenda of being opposite of whites but doesn't wholly shun overlapping groups like western frontier blacks, Creole and tropical islanders. Cape Verdeans in R.I. show little in common socially with mulatto 4th-generation Howard alums around Prince George’s County or Leimert Park but that doesn't keep them from subscribing to a media-conveyed "national" identity of blackness. I would call it a looser dynamic than, say, Russian/Serb, or the Arab thing

Anonymous said...

Except it's possible your total team score could have been higher had you not hogged the ball.

Anonymous said...

Before the Enlightenment, about twenty years ago in London, a group of Arsenal fans taunted the Chelsea supporters with the chant "our racial epithets are better than your racial epithets."

Scandalous it was.

Now everyone cheers on which ever neo-Belgian the Russian oligarch owner has managed to procure to represent the community; and the Enlightened masses sing "our gangster's richer than yours".

amendment_xxviii said...

"Every city has it's own hip hop music culture." Is that an argument for or against homogeneity?

poolside said...

One black trend that fascinates me is the "bro shake," which is now ubiquitous.

You know the bro shake ... where you clasp thumbs and pull the brother close to pat him on the back with your free hand.

Of course, black people have refused to shake hands like white people since the 1960s. But why are white people so cowed that they've adopted that stupid practice?

I saw a clip of post-match soccer players from the Ukraine shaking hands and they all did the bro-shake, like they were rappers or something.

I mean, I can see having to adopt that approach if you were one of the few white guys in the NBA or something. But you play soccer in Ukraine.

It's hilarious to see 65-year-old white NFL coaches and 75-year-old white NFL owners doing it, but there they are.

Don't any white people have any backbone anymore? Can't someone just say "that's not how grown men shake hands?"

ben tillman said...

It's partly "big man" syndrome, but it's mostly the difficulty Blacks have with the concept of teamwork and teams. The NBA includes lots of Black guys who can play ball in a team framework. Black people in general, however, put the individual ahead of the team.

ben tillman said...

I have always found this strange but one thing I noticed is that blacks who had a father at home root for the local team and bastards (for lack of a better term) are front runners.

A family is a team. Black kids who have families should be expected to be more interested in teams when compared to Blacks kids from households without fathers.

Anonymous said...

"So deciding to root for Oklahoma City because you like Kevin Durant even though you couldn't find Oklahoma on a map makes as much sense as rooting for the local team."

That would make sense, since the average black NBA fan would also have a hard time finding his hometown on a map.

Anonymous said...

"The Nation of Islam is NOT real Islam."

I wouldn't the Christianity practiced by most blacks to be real Christianity either.

Anonymous said...

>>ben tillman said:
"""""Black people in general, however, put the individual ahead of the team."""""""

That's because their culture teaches them that the concept of team and teamwork in general are racist. Its all a whitey plot to keep the brothers down.

Get rich right now or die trying, cause no one's gonna help you and they'll piss you and diss you when you can't contribute any longer. Therefore, stick it to them first since team = racism and a plot to keep you down.

There is a reason why one of blacks favorite movies across the board remains Pacino's Scarface.
All they have to help them is their little friend and nothing else.


Anonymous said...

""""""Except it's possible your total team score could have been higher had you not hogged the ball.""""""

That's not what they mainly care about. They care about the benjamins. They know full well that the more points they put on the board the more millions they will get paid.

Unlike Stiviano, they actually have to work ON the court for a living.

Whitehall said...

My basic question about professional sports team fandom:

Which corporation am I supposed to root for?

Marc B said...

Blacks have loyalties to sports teams with an overtly urban black culture, particularly teams that Whites don't relate to much outside of the local area. I've noticed a lot of black love for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in recent years.

Eric said...

Anyone know what the racial breakdown is of NCAA mens basketball viewers? More diverse, or more vibrant than NBA viewers?

jody said...

i've posted before about how africans in the US have homogenized into one generic culture. and it's a pretty boring and uninteresting culture too. it's something to be completely ignored. occasionally imitated by other groups to typically annoying, hilarious, or terrible results.

it wasn't this way 30 years ago.

the hipster thing is not really all regional. i see this in most places i go. it's just africans copying hipsters. it's not common among africans, but it is widespread. you see this in many cities.

the homogenization of africans into one boring monoculture has made them pretty stagnant. or perhaps what really happened was that after africans were allowed total and complete freedom to do and say and behave any way they wanted, they quickly, in a few decades, fully realized their cultural expression, and that is where it will stay from now on, changing only slightly over time.

Mark Caplan said...

Two points:

The vast majority of northern blacks are actually Southern blacks or recent descendants of Southern blacks.

To a great extent black culture has become homogeneous not just nationally but globally.

Steve Sailer said...

College basketball viewers are more Republican and more likely to vote:

http://takimag.com/article/tigers_republican_shaming/print#axzz31iVSh9QT

Cail Corishev said...

I think I saw somewhere that blacks watch more TV than any other group. TV certainly encourages a homogeneity of culture -- probably even more so if you watch certain ethnic channels.

That could also explain the sports team thing: blacks in general have less money, so they're probably less likely to go see the local pro team and more likely to watch sports on TV, where it's just as easy to watch the team that's currently on top or that the TV talking heads talk about the most.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've noticed that college sports have a whiter audience. Also with regards to pro sports fandom, blacks tend to be frontrunners, cheering whichever team has the coolest uniforms, player they like, or is good at the time (or any combination of the three).

Anonymous said...

Blacks are notorious bandwagoners when it comes to sports teams. And I don't mean anything nasty or hateful by that, it's just the way it is. Back in the 90s, the Cowboys were "Black America's Team."

Anonymous said...

During the Celtics/Lakers Wars in the 80s, quite a few black kids around Boston wore Lakers gear, as the Celts were too under-brothered with all their white stars. As Spike Lee touched on, nothing made a black baller grit his teeth like a Larry Bird game jersey.

Of course, the Celtics couldn't even sell out the Boston Garden on a regular basis in the 60s while they were the second team with a black player, the first team to start 5 blacks and the first team with a black coach...all while winning 11 NBA titles in 13 years. The mediocre NHL Bruins were selling out at the same time.

Iverson could have done with a less points and maybe a few more bites at the championship apple by maybe acting like a team player.

Anonymous said...

"FACT: About 66% of total number of black males between 18-24 are either in prison doing time for a violent crime, are dead from violent crime, or are about to be charged with a crime. This of course is where the vast majority of NOI (black version of Islam) converts are found. The converts aren't happening down at Leo's Barbeque or on the corner of Guy's Groovy Grab Bag outlet store or a few blocks down on MLK Boulevard at Shantiquious's Liquor Store. "

Could someone provide a source fo this claim? And a more detailed breakdown would also be nice.

Anonymous said...

Is there really much regional variation in white youth culture in the US? Would an average white kid from metro Atlanta stand out at all in terms of dress, speech or musical taste from a group of white kids in Seattle?

ATBOTL said...

When rap music started, rappers were all from NYC and had the accents.

When rappers from the South started getting airplay on radio in NYC, around 2000, young blacks in NYC started adding ludicrous pronunciations to their dialect, like calling hair "hurr," that they never said before.

You would here one of these Memphis or Atlanta type pronunciations being used in a song and then a few weeks later, hear black kids in line at Wendy's saying it 25 times in a minute.

Anonymous said...

Why the particular interest in this topic?

Anonymous said...

>>jody said:
"""""""the homogenization of africans into one boring monoculture has made them pretty stagnant. or perhaps what really happened was that after africans were allowed total and complete freedom to do and say and behave any way they wanted, they quickly, in a few decades, fully realized their cultural expression, and that is where it will stay from now on, changing only slightly over time."""""""""""


So as a group they've plateaued, or as Steve might say, its regression toward the mean.

Ed said...

Nate Cohn is lurking on this site too?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/upshot/different-nba-loyalties-for-black-and-white-neighborhoods.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

Maxwell Power said...

Much of V.S. Naipaul's longform piece "The Killings in Trinidad" is devoted to the tortuous PR gymnastics of the story's modest-IQ subject, a Trinidadian native, as he affects an American-style black firebrand sort of image before a credulous 1960s London audience

Anonymous said...

"Iverson could have done with a less points and maybe a few more bites at the championship apple by maybe acting like a team player."

Same analysis for Carmelo Anthony, who is a lazy no-d ball hog.

admin said...

Funny thing about college basketball. Whites love it. But in the NCAA the rules are much more stringent than in the NBA. In the NCAA they'll actually call traveling violations, but not in the NBA for the superstars. Traveling violations and match-up zone defense are racisss!!!

Cheenjoo Pearl said...

Putting a whole group of people into one lump sum based on basketball and the hood lifestyle. Nope, not racist at all--let alone an absolute reliable and valid analysis. Good grief! Is this really how you all see people who are not like you...white??? Atrocious.

Cheenjoo Pearl said...

I can't believe I read this AND the comments on here. Wow. Yeah, a whole group lumped into one based on the NBA and hood statistics and behaviors. Yeah, valid and reliable. But this is REALLY how people different from "white" are viewed, right? This would be laughable if the beliefs weren't detrimental to the lives of so many.

And to the Christianity comment, concerning Blacks not believing in real Christianity...and I'm sure the white version is and as always been...authentic??

Atrocious.