Social Night Injustices
Here comes another well-deserved weekend. A time when the majority of us can find rest and relaxation in our lives. It may also be a time to go in, rage, go ham, turn up etc. This is when people of all races take to the streets in search of inebriation and cathartic music, though social outting preferences vary from person to person. Some people like to dress up, some like to dress down. Some are looking for beer pong, some are looking for a place to chill. Some are looking for hookah, some are looking for twerk. A number of variables must be assessed in order to properly execute “a night out”. My friends like to try out new things and love it when a party environment happens naturally (organic ham, if you will). So when I have no plans and my friends hit me up asking about the move for the night, I often take to the streets of the internet. I go on Twitter and search terms like “poppin tonight”, “free before”, “road block” and “parking”. I go onto Yelp and Foursquare to determine the drink prices, parking situation, music selection and cover charge of any venue we plan on visiting for the first time.
My strategy has worked out well for me thus far. I can go into establishments properly prepared for any situation. The great thing about Yelp in particular is the fact that I can read extensive reviews of venues and filter them according to my needs (the future is now bro). One night, I was reading the reviews about a club a friend of mine invited me to. I ordered the comments by date and noticed that the racial composition of the reviews appeared to gradually change as I scrolled down. This comment from an Asian girl pretty much sums up this club’s progression.
Apparently Fridays used to be “Asian Night” at Reign, but now, the niggas done took over. Sorry to infringed on her “Asian paradise”, but clubs don’t stay blackless for long in Atlanta. She’s going to have to get used to it.
As I continued to read the reviews from 2011, I noticed that people were mentioning “no cover” and that they didn’t have to wait long to get inside. One guy said that he arrived at 1:30 in the morning and still got in for free (where they do that at?). Then I scrolled up to the recent reviews, where Friday nights were “Hip-Hop Night”. And everybody knows, hip-hop is just another word for Black. Now that Friday was Black night, the reviews painted quite a different picture. People said that the line was long as hell, parking was $20, the cover was $20 all night, and that the Friday night crowd was a homogenous collection of active melanocytes. Just look at this recent comment:
Why must we be charged exorbitant prices and treated like incoming detainees whenever a club “caters” to our crowd? Does Hennesy cost that much more than Jagermeister? Are Rick Ross’ singles more expensive than Flo Rida’s? I don’t think so. But for some reason, wherever you go, the Black folk get charged the most and have to go through the most bullshit to have a good time. Even the bar I talked about a several posts ago started charging more (from $3 to $7) when their patrons darkened. And they still refused to play rap!
The clubs charge us more because they know that we spend. One of the first things my high school Marketing teacher told me was that Black people spend the most (she was unorthodox). According the research and consulting group, Nielsen, African-Americans’ buying power will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. We take 165.7 shopping trips per year and the national average is 153. However, they also found that Black people spent about $5 dollars less on each trip. I think that last finding may be due to the fact that some of us are trying to save for the damn club. I refuse to get used to my ingroup being charged more for entry and subjected to unfair rules in the club, including “no white t’s and no fitted caps”.
In The State of the African American Consumer Report, Nielsing also found that the number of Black households earning $75,000 or higher grew by 64 percent between 2000 and 2009 and the percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree increased to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women. These increases in income and educational attainment may have you inclined to ball out at the club but remember, we have been presented with significant evidence suggesting that separate is still not equal when you’re out on the town.
This nonsense has got to stop. Just because an establishment is frequented by African Americans, does not mean that the cover charge has to be jacked up, or that the bouncers has to become douchebags, or that the line has to be held until it rivals those of Six Flags’. We’re stressed out as it is, we deserve the ability to party with ease like everybody else.
Be aware of these social night injustices. Realize that you have a choice. It may take a little bit of research, but I your oasis is out there somewhere. But, until you find it, make sure you get to the line by 10:30.