PostBourgie is a running, semi-orderly conversation about race and gender and class and politics and media and whatever else we can think of. It represents the views of its authors and not those of their respective employers or organizations with which they are affiliated.

Holler: Facebook [1]  Twitter [2] +[3].

PostBourgie’s banner and icon was created by the great Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

The word ‘postbourgie’ was coined during a semi-serious conversation with my friend, Ro. I’m not sure what prompted it, really. It was likely in the aftermath of Bill Cosby’s infamous pound cake speech. Or maybe some overheated panel discussion in which proper Negroes concern-trolled about ‘coonery’ in the media. Or maybe it was some dude lamenting how black folks have fared since The Great Fall from the Unparalleled Golden Age of Upstanding Negritude.

Anyway, we were raising our eyebrows at something, ‘cuz  that’s how we got down. We both grew up in the ‘hood — she in Brooklyn, me in South Philly — so the classism that animates so many conversations about the Myriad Ills of Black America always seemed to make our antennae twitch, our side-eyes activate. We were, in fact, the kids folks were always talking about and preaching at! We couldn’t help but doled out impassioned eye-rolls to the teachers who said we ‘spoke well and to the bourgie folks who got indignant about ‘ghetto names.’  We didn’t do cotillions or frats or sororities. We didn’t know which forks to use. And we weren’t embarrassed by any of it, even though we kept getting the impression that we were supposed to.

ANYWAY. We were laughing because as young adults — news junkies, hip-hop heads, smart-asses and autodidacts  — we were suddenly smack dab in the middle class, wielding much of the same privilege we’d always been distant from and criticized.  We were skeptical toward the politics of respectability. And yet! We were now surrounded by and socializing with self-congratulating Negroes who patted each other on the back because they were about something and self-congratulating white folks who patted themselves on the back because they had black friends. (But damn it if we ain’t love the sushi!)

So where did we fit in?

We agreed that labels were silly and reductive. So, naturally, we created one.

“I guess we’re post-bourgie,” she said. Or I said. It doesn’t really matter. Then we chuckled.

— G.D.

PB is:

  • i’d like to take a step outside of my normal hateful self and say that this really, really is an awesome blog. like a rarely read blogs. but this one, i support.

    i’d wear a tshirt that said ‘post-bourgie’ on it. really i would. not so much cause im *that* dedicated to this place, but because i think that id feel smarter than people who would have to ask me what it meant, and i’d feel like a part of some secret society whenever met with the knowing smirk of someone who at least knows what ‘bourgie’ means.

    holy shit.

    make tshirts. now. thanks.

  • Thank you for the kind words.

  • nichole

    a shirt that reads post-bourgie… i dig it.
    would folks accuse you of selling out?
    can a post-bourgie person sell out?
    a pickle.

    anyhoo, i love this blog, too.
    it makes me wish i were constantly in grad school.
    only with people who looked like me.

  • I’m loving your blog. post-bourgie has a nice ring to it.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Greetings. I found your blog via Edge of the American West, and I’m glad I did.
    I could not be whiter (Teutonic-Scandinavian heritage), but my love of Faulkner and Latin American culture led to a dissertation on miscegenation narratives in the literatures of the Americas. But “post-bourgie” resonates with me, too: if not for my education and good fortune in getting a teaching job . . .
    Anyway: thanks for writing an entertaining and thought-provoking blog on race and popular culture. I look forward to returning.

  • Thanks, John B.

  • K.

    aaaaah. the blog title totally makes sense after reading this. love it!

  • You mean it didn’t make sense before?

  • K.

    No, as I’ve never heard the term ‘post bourgie’ before.

  • I totally relate to being Post-bourgie..I spell bourgie as boughee – phonetically -, with one exception – I joined a sorority. I’m glad I did, but I still carry/carried the same sentiment of the Priviledge class thing with me. I actually found infiilatrating such an establishment eye-opening. I support the goals of purposes of Black Greek lettered organizations, but sometimes the conversations and antics are too shallow.
    Keep it up

  • I just stumbled into your blog today. It’s a great read.


  • 1milehi

    ditto the above. what an enjoyable site. i’ve added it to my links page at the black house, bhonline.org. :-)

    keep up the good work!

  • where’s the RSS on this jont, bammas?

  • shuggie

    Just for the sake of accuracy, G.D.: …a semi-serious conversation between a friend and ME, not I.
    Power to your mixin’ it up!

  • Rhome: i’m working on that.

    Shuggie: learn me. i’m lost here.

  • thanks for the “about us.” the thinking and writing is great here. and i’m with the rest – when are you going to get on cafepress with some post-bourgie t-shirts?

  • Jackie

    Glad to be here and I have to thank my cyber friend Gardy for the intro. PB is in my favs. Look for me to post a lot. oh and b.t.w. I luv the concept behind the name. Right On!

    Jackie (Darkie)

  • You’ve got a new fan :o)

    I’ll be back and around!

  • Stacia, I’m from Grand Rapids and a huge fan of The Wire!! I’ve been trying to recruit more fans here! Very few people have heard of this show–apparently not many people subscribe to HBO, but I must confess I watched it through Netflix. Amazing show! Looking forward to checking out this blog more in the future.

  • longbench

    love it, love it, love it! I’m late in finding you, but I’ll be sticking around until post-bourgie becomes pre-revolutionary?

  • Thanks for linking to my feed, I appreciate the love. You guys have a fantastic blog here, I’ll be sure and add you to my blogroll, stat. Drop me a line if you ever want to talk about anything or you have some material you’re looking to promote.

  • I absolutely love the description. Absolutely. Love it.

  • ladyfresshh

    Wow time really has flown…btw i want a t shirt too

  • hustleandfloe

    Big up, kind folk. I too, now living in nyc for 10 years have marvelled at how fellow negroes have marvelled at me, e.g. He’s from Texas – And he don’t sound like…. And look he got shoes on and everything.

    It was an underground railroad that got us all up in this eastcoastness – no organically grown negroes. MLK predicted and decreed this.

    We are one.

    The false separations only blind us to racism more overt than I ever saw in Texas. I’ve had to train a few people here how to be better at that game – in my first week in nyc telling a realtor who answered a door, surprised that I was black (AH, Oh, Uh – I don’t have the keys for this one.) – Ma’am when you hear footsteps, first use the peephole and then when you see a negro coming, the southern thing to do is to remain deathly still. No one’s home. Step it up! [She spoke nothing but morse code after that incident.]

    too much ramble. just wanted to say thanks for the vibe.
    do pass through: http://hustleandfloe.wordpress.com/about

  • Pretty cool. I can’t remember how I came across this, but I like it. And the comments are certainly interesting!

  • How do you get a PostBourgie t-shirt, hoodie, track suit, hat, bracelet?! Joking. But I’m serious about a baby-tee :-)

  • just have to say that i love coming to discuss things on this blog. i’m doing my best to keep up with all the smart people here and contribute.

  • I love the blog. I’ve been reading it for awhile now. Great stuff. I even put it in my blogroll so I don’t forget the web address.

  • Hi Jamelle,

    I saw your comments and links on my post today and just wanted to say thanks for reading at Culture11. Just curious how you found us and what you think of the site. I hope you will email me at Ericka@culture11.com. Appreciate your comments!


  • Molly

    Thanks for a great blog. It is so substantive and relevant that I have a hard time reading anything else now.

  • cjdubb

    you guys on facebook?

  • Ally

    Gotta’ say I love your blog. I ran across it and can’t stop reading. I love the intelligent opinions… sometimes funny and definitely thought provoking. Thanks for this and I plan to be a regular contributor… although as Scott mentioned above, I’ll definitely have my work cut out if I plan to keep up!

  • you guys are/have been awesome for a long while now. you should totally start a facebook group!


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  • literanista

    I recently discovered your blog and quickly devoured most of your posts. This educated, Puerto Rican, biracial sister from the hood (Spanish Harlem represent) lifts her cafecito and sushi roll to you – bravo for a job well done. I’m so loving the intectual banter mixed in with some true street cred and free of labels. Damn, do I sound like Stan? Naw, seriously, keep it up, the blog is dope.

  • Lindiwe

    I stumbled here during a wild blog circle I couldn’t get out of and I must say I’m glad. At first I was mildly irritated with the name (because it’s a name, and we’re all so desperate to self determine and define *ugh*) but the more I thought about it the more I liked it – more so now that I’ve read why you chose such a title… I would definitely consider myself and many of my friends in the same boat and I find the term very apt for the sake of pin pointing this specific … “niche class”? I love words that claim spaces and allow the people within to thrive and I believe you did so as soon as you said it – typed it – posted it.
    So thank you for that!
    I look forward to spending time on your site.

  • What an interesting blog. I have added it to my blog roll. Congrads on your Black Blog Award!

    Seriously McMillan

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  • UnoDosTrice

    Love the blog–articulate, humorous, informative! Stumbled upon it via Tumblr. I’m digging thru the archives now….

    Sb: I need a book that speaks to the latter part of your ‘about me’ (ie But here we were as young adults —news junkies, hip-hop heads, smart-asses and autodidacts who grew up in the hood — suddenly smack dab in the middle class, wielding much of the same privilege we’d always criticized.)…. Any suggestions?

  • Anon in Philly

    this email is about a technical problem I am having. Every time I go to itunes, none of your newwer podcasts are listed as available for purchase and download. When I download them off the blog, A)there’s no clear identification as to where the mp3 is downloading to B)and a window opens up to play it as a Quicktime movie. Forgive me for mot being tech savy but none of this works for me I want to listen to the podcats in itunes and on my ipod and it seems to be unable to do this due to the current configuration you have. The most recent podcast listed for download in itunes is from january or february of 2011. Can you update the available podcasts in itunes so I can download them? I love the blog; you guys are doing big thangs.

  • jeanette

    I didn’t even know there was a space for “us.” Yes!

    -We doled out impassioned eyerolls to the teachers who said we ’spoke well.’ Ditto to the bourgie folks who got indignant about ‘ghetto names.’ And we didn’t do cotillions or frats or sororities.

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  • Discovered this blog looking for commentary on how the memory of MLK has been “whitewashed.” I remember King and what happened when he went North (Cicero anyone?) and began to challenge systemic inequality and war. He was vilified by both whites and blacks. He was indeed not “safe” nor a Santa Claus. Thanks for the post. I’ll be following you and encouraging my students to as well.

  • Kathryn Wegner

    I can’t believe this blog exists! I found a reference to postbourgie on pg. 509 of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Americana. Also a great read, by the way.