In case you haven’t noticed, black people are really slaying these days. From music to art to literature knowledge and activism and of course fashion. There’s even new language to describe the fabulosity of black people: lit, melanin poppin’ and now, TNS.
TNS stand for the new stereotype, and it is an intentional move by artists to create new ways of seeing– and therefore thinking–about black people. It all started with this photo shoot by artist Marqulle Turner showing black men far from the brutes who populate the evening newsreel. These black men are diverse, sophisticated, cosmopolitan and fresh.
Not to be left behind these womyn showed how to get into formation.
TNS seeks to challenge and provide an alternative to the stereotypes of black people that we look at all the time here at smntks. TNS reminds me a bit of the Sapeurs, the elegantly dressed members of this Congolese fashion club.
Stereotypes are formed in the machine of culture, rarely owned by one person, so can you create a new one on your own? My answer would typically be a no, but these images of TNS come at a time when they are reinforced by amazing images of blacks as thoughtful, creative complex and conscious, from the Sapeurs, to Lemonade to black twitter. Taken together there is a widespread pattern of a new image of blacks in our culture.
So get your crew, get your melanin poppin’ and add your images to the new stereotype.