Black is The New Black (Again!)

Check out this nifty little piece we saw today – apparently, a tipster at a top PR firm has told the Gawker crew that since the Obama victory, their clients are requesting that more African Americans be added to the guest lists at their holiday parties. Thanks Barack…we are BACK!!!
Honestly, this is straight bullshit to us since we work in Marketing&PR and have dealt with the majority of clients trying to AVOID blacks showing up at their events—not to mention the non-hiring of Black promoters, DJ’s, staff, etc. Now, suddenly we’re in style? Well, just like any trend, this too may pass and then what? Back to Harlem and Brooklyn?Over the past few years, PR agencies, event promoters and venue owners behind some of the trendiest parties in New York and LA have been known to do everything in their power to avoid multiple numbers of brown faces in their venues, in an effort to maintain a “sexy” crowd. DJs spinning Lil’ Wayne, 50 Cent and Timbaland to a non-black crowd with five or six sprinkles is sexy, but let a group of five black men (or women) show up at the door and it’s a wrap. Aspiring party-goers of color would wait in despair as they are told that sneakers are not allowed or the place is suddenly at capacity while others who fit a different profile are let in right beside them. So now that we’re back in style, should we jump for joy? Here’s our chance to show just how proper and normal we are, just like the men and women who were deemed “acceptable” on the alleged “Diversified Holiday Guest List” developed by the same PR agency.

That’s right, and to make matters worse, apparently there is even a “Diversified Holiday Guest List” floating around consisting of “acceptable” folks: Bonnie Hunt, Genevieve “2 steps away from the hood” Jones, Rachel Roy (wait, we thought she was Indian & White?), Marc Baptiste, Kehinde Wiley and others…


Well, because clearly these people are quite limited in their access to people of color, we took it upon ourselves to create our own list. We here at Parlour think that the selected group could use a little remixing with some better, more stimulating (for the record, we LOVE Marc & Kehinde!) Black NYC notables…so, we would like to nominate (in no particular order):

1. Michaela angela Davis (Fashionista, Editor, Activist)


2. Danyel Smith (Writer, VIBE Editor, Fly Girl)


3. Oluwaseye Olusa (Photographer, Smooth Operator)


4. Bev Smith (Writer, Cultural Maven) – When is the next dinner??


5. Mobolaji Dawodu (Stylist, Designer, Cool Cat)


6. Len & Marsha Burnett (Publisher, Culture Makers)


7. Ali Muhammed (Publisher, Hustle Coordinator)


8. Lola Ogunnaike (CNN TV Journalist)


9. DJ Kiss (Party Starter, Style Selecta)


10. Hassan Kinley (Photographer, Beauty Maker)


11. Alexis Peskine (Artist, Multilingual Hottie)


12. Beverly Bond (DJ/ Founder of Black Girls Rock! Inc.)


13. Smokey Fontaine (Creative Director, Publisher, All Around Really Nice Guy)


14. The Parlour Founders & Staff
(Culture Mavens, Party Starters, Fab Divas, etc)


Yes, we KNOW we are missing folks (we had to write this in 10 minutes) – nominate your own in the comments and we will add them!


Last 5 posts by Parlour

  • What about GIANT’s Emil Wilbekin or Smokey D. Fontaine?

  • Whitney-Gayle

    Geesh! Can I at least get an honorable mention…

  • Brooklyn Blue Cars

    I wanna nominate me, myself and I! I’m the utimate e-mail organizer, my goal is to spread knowledge to my brothers and sisters through the electronic highway!

    Brooklyn Blue cars signing out!

  • squeakyjackie

    love that uptown’s len burnett made the list but where us his partner in crime brett wright? they are the dynamic duo of hip…..

  • PlusGirl Hottie

    That club in NYC called “Butter” is the epitome of what this article speaks of. They will tell people its pass capacity when Blacks are standing outside well dressed & then let in grungy white supposed socialites in while they’rer spinning the best in hip hop & r&b!

  • ms kay hsu

    i’m not black but i do have a black heart ha ha. great list- like the people in the list, esp hassan kinley as i remember that shoot!

  • Hov

    I’m appalled.

  • Been-there-done-that

    As someone that works at a fashion and art P.R. firm, I can tell that Gawker’s list was produced by a well-oiled P.R. team that knows the ins and outs of the industry. The list although very different from your wonderful list here – actually spells out good news for blacks in fashion and art as it ushers in a new wave of energy. There are a couple of people on the list that are actually making a huge difference in the game: Nichola Vassell (the only black art director at a major gallery in NYC), Malcolm Harris (his middle name should be hardcore as he takes it to them on a regular basis) and Jason Campbell (who is the editor and chief of the diverse and well read JCReport). All three I believe are of American/West Indian descent and are power houses in their respective field and bring along a huge black following and point of view. I doubt if they invite any of the these three they are rolling up to the door “solo”. They roll in hugely diverse packs and really shake up the game. So no need to fret, Black is Back – but in a real and lasting way.

    I just had to give my two cents.

  • giba

    What about Thelma Golden of Studio Museum of Harlem?? Ditto on Giant’s Emil Wilbekin..How about Coltrane Curtis???? Chioma Nnadi of Fader?? Chris Chambers of the Chambers group, Paper Mag”s Stephen Campbell, There are just way too many to list here…Love that the fabulous Bevy Smith made your list, HUGE fan of hers!!

  • This is so disgusting, but not surprising! It has been happening for years- As a PR/Marketing/Advertising specialist,I am well aware of it with my White clients who think putting people of color in Ad. campaigns suggests that they are “an urban brand” -the last I knew urban means city, non-rural or cosmopolitan, but we as an industry (black, white & in-between) have allowed it to mean Black withnall the connotations that come along with it! The worst of it is when Black folks perpetuate the same behavior by specifically hiring white firms & begging to be included in their events. Instead of suggesting a list of good Blacks to invite to events, we should be having our own upscale events where they are begging to get it in to see what we are about & how we do things!Let’s not make their jobs easier for them by giving them our list!

    We have bigger fish to fry as a people & as an industry than to consume ourselves with invites to holiday parties for people who have no interest in us outside of being decoractive items for their shindigs!

  • jbaker

    please name a party that Coltrane isn’t going to? just jokes!!!

  • Thanks Parlour!! “You gotta Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.”

    But y’all know the game…There’s always a “LIST” and every event aint for everybody. Just look at this thread in this thread. How many people weren’t on the Parlour list?

    Just think about the acceptable non-black people for an urban event? What does that list look like? Who gets the dj gig when a urban company does an event that needs a few sexy non-blacks.

    I’ve long stopped fretting over the event. I’d much rather go about the business of life with my good people of all colors from all over the globe.

    For, I’m always VIP with them. Red carpet all the way. Plus The wife & kids love to see me home early!

  • JET’s just getting started

    Kudos to whomever put this together in ten minutes! We are grinding in several industries that are just beginning to recognize our creativity and poignance rather than our functionality and “cool.” President-Elect Barack Obama has allowed for dialogues to open up new, vast and frank ideologies. We’re only just getting started! The gawker post is just a bittersweet etch in the what once seemed like impenetrable glass of advancement.


  • save to my Bookmarks 😉