A few years ago I started my own trend of using Halloween to honor our black icons and iconic moments through my costume. Like most black families, I grew up not celebrating Halloween because of its dark origin, but I can’t lie I love to dress up. In the recent years I’ve been Janet Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, dressed as a Black Panther from the Black Panther Movement, and Selena (woman of color).
Last year I wrote a blog on this trend titled, “Halloween, But Make it Black”, to highlight myself and other black people that have knowingly and unknowingly followed this trend, and to encourage other black people to participate. I featured celebrities such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Fabolous, Niecy Nash and many others who have actively celebrated black excellence through their costumes. Although Halloween falls on a weekday this year celebrities have already show cased their costumes that celebrate black culture and black icons. The cast of Black-ish always shows off their black pride in their special Halloween episodes, this year they dressed up as the characters from the hit movie “Us”. Journalist Elaine Welteroth took us back to the 70s dressed as Diana Ross, and Gabrielle Union showed us that black really doesn’t crack as she a daughter Kaavia dressed a members of the cheer team, The Clovers, from Gabriele Union’s hit movie, “Bring It On”. As we anticipate Beyonce’s costume looks for 2019, we’re all still gushing over her dressing as Lisa Bonet last Halloween.
Halloween is such a dark and evil holiday and the only thing scarier than a scary movie, Friday the 13th, or Halloween itself, is being black in Amerikkka. Black people have gone through so much pain and trauma, as well as lost so much of our history and traditions because of our dark history here in America. In recent years black people have found new ways to celebrate our uniqueness through catch phrases and hashtags like, “Black Girl Magic”, and “Black Excellence”. It’s important for us to celebrate the culture and traditions that we’ve created here in America, and “Halloween, But Make It BLACK” is another way to celebrate our blackness.
This year I decided to make a playlist to go along with my trend, “Halloween, But Make It BLACK”. I wanted the playlist to have an eerie, yet truthful vibe that tells the story of being black in Amerikka. I’ve paired Halloween classics such as “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell with controversial classics like “Fuck The Police” by NWA and “This is America” by Childish Gambino. We’ve come so far as a people but unfortunately still have so far to go. While using Halloween as a way to celebrate blackness through our own version of cosplay, “Halloween, But Make It BLACK” the playlist will tell the other side of our story. The playlist features other artist such as Solange, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay-Z. It begins with telling the story of police brutality, then transitions into frustrations of culture appropriation, and then goes into songs that speak on the taboo that is mental health in the black community. I wanted the playlist to tell the many sides of the black communities struggle in Amerikkka, and show that no matter what type of hell we may be living on earth, we always preserve as a people. Whether you listen to and enjoy the playlist, or express your pride for your blackness through your costume, I hope “Halloween, But Make it BLACK” will encourage you to celebrate your blackness and fuel the activist in you.
“Halloween, But Make It BLACK” the playlist can be downloaded on Apple Music & Tidal: