Not All Black Girls Can Dance

The Black Feminist Geek

serena and malia

No one is safe from the twerk police.

After separate videos of Malia Obama and Serena Williams dancing hit the internet, I’ve seen people blasting both of them for not being able to dance, and I am at a loss.

In case you missed it – Malia was feeling herself in the crowd at Lollapalooza and now everybody gotta comment on her rhythm. Serena did a twerk video (for a “mainstream” audience, I think should be noted) and now everyone feels compelled to criticize her because she didn’t twerk hard enough in a 1 minute video.

It’s just too much. I couldn’t dance that well when I was a teenager either (or now, tbh), but who the fuck cares?…

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4 thoughts on “Not All Black Girls Can Dance

  1. Thank you for linking this article (I left a comment at the source). It does a great job illustrating the ‘damn if you do, damn if you don’t’ double standards that are used to shame Black women, their body and the way they express themselves.

    It’s a fact that Malia would have been called fast if she really went to town and dropped it low. I don’t even think she was twerking. Just moving her body and enjoying the music. It’s also true a Black woman who can perform gravity defying stunts with her glutes will be called a ratchet, nasty h* faster than you can pop two balloons.

    Now I didn’t think Serena’s twerk abilities were top notch but who cares. She was being carefree and having a little fun. Which is why I LOVE the way the author described her ‘technique’: “Serena’s little booty pop wasn’t hurting anyone. It was mild, non-confrontational twerking. It was twerk-lite and that is ok.”

    Lol, Cute! Anyway, twerk master or not, she’ll still bury you on the tennis court.

    “Not every black girl can dance.”

    And that is perhaps the most important thing to remember here.

    There’s no such thing as “every Black girl”. Black girls are not a monolith and they have the right to be individuals. Some can twerk, some don’t want to, some prefer ballet, some like both, some can’t do either because they’re not physically able to, etc. We just need let be. Can they live? 😀

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