Friday, November 09, 2007

One Million Positive Negro Impressions & Counting

A month or two ago I saw a movie at the Magic Johnson movie theater on 125th street. And as I walked from the escalator to the movie theater I was struck by the walls being covered with black celebrities of all shapes and sizes, and from all different eras.

My first thought was, ok, that makes sense, this is the Magic Johnson movie theater in Harlem. Cool. Then all of a sudden I was tickled about galleries like this, or as another example, the showcasing involved in Black History Month, as just our most basic form of advertising black people: We are trying to sell black people. Or more specifically, sell other people on black people.

As I walked past the pictures, I could almost hear the commercial: Buy black people! You might end up with a Muhammad Ali, or a P. Diddy, or an Alicia Keys, or a Magic Johnson.
(results not guaranteed, might end up with crackhead, convict, etc.)

So with that in mind, there was a list composed by Adam Smith (I think it was Adam, but I couldn't find it online) that explains the 21 stages a customer goes through as he continues to receive impressions of your product. It's supposed to demonstrate a little of the psychology behind repeated impressions. I've translated it here via the concept of marketing negroes:

21 Stages by Adam Smith

1st – We don't see the negro
2nd – We don't notice the negro
3rd – We are conscious of the negro
4th – We faintly remember the negro
5th – We check out the negro
6th – We turn our nose at the negro
7th – We say "oh brother" about the negro
8th – We think oh, here's the negro again
9th – We wonder about the negro
10th – We ask a neighbor about the negro
11th – We wonder where the negro comes from
12th – We think the negro must be good,
13th – We think the negro must be worth something
14th – We remember we wanted to be down with negroes
15th – We can't afford the negro
16th – We think we will invest in a negro
17th – We makes a memo regarding the negro
18th – We curse our money situatoon
19th – We count our money
20th – We make plans to invest in the negro
21st – We invest in the negro ...

And I guess at this point is when someone says "awww, Alicia Keys, what a sweet talented negro girl. I like her."

Would someone say that? Someone normal? Maybe the terrorists say things like that when they find themselves in Magic Johnson movie theaters.


  1. I'll take Aunt Jemima...I love pancakes.

  2. I think most times it stops at the 11th step.

    I don't know how often you go up to 'Two-Five and Magic Johnson, but they're not investing in... they're taking away. It damn sure ain't how it used to be up there.

    In the near future (say a year or two from now, give or take), those images in the theater will only serve to remind the Borg that once upon a time, Black people lived here. It's not to sell "us" on anything. Like on the Grand Concourse.... sometimes there are still Jewish names on the doorbells or how some apartments still have the 10 commandment scrolls on the doorjambs, though Jewish people haven't lived there in decades. Just a reminder of a bygone time.

    "Resistance is futile....

  3. Anonymous11/13/2007

    wonder what you make of this:

  4. i'm trying to figure out why i keep laughing my ass off on your blog.

    did you know that lester walton, the long time journalist, sports and drama critic, lafayette theater manager, and liberian diplomat spent his entire life and career in from the early 1900s to the 1950s fighting and advocating for white people to capitalize the spelling of the word "Negro"?

    so, i always do. my way of pourin' liquor for the brotha.

    this post is extra funny because of how true it is. and it does get all the way to step 21 but i think that step 22 is "we regret we invested in the negro but we live with it and we always look out from the big window so that we don't let him go to far up the road over yonder, especially because they have other Negroes up around the bend over there."



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