Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Blue Ivy Carter: The First Black “Celebrity Baby”

Everyone reading this can probably recall two or three news events that impacted you so much that you’ll always remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you first heard about it.

These occurrences, forever etched into our consciousness, can be split into two different types, and both types have to do with how we felt when we first became aware of them

Type 1. “This is some historic sh*t.”

Type 2.Damn. I didn’t realize it at the time, but earlier I witnessed some historic sh*t. I should probably make sure I remember this.”

For instance, I was sitting on the couch at my parent’s house during the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl, and from the moment Ron Artest jumped into the stands I knew I was watching something I’d always remember. I immediately knew it would be a landmark event, immediately knew it would dominate any conversation I had for the next 72 to 96 hours, immediately knew it would have a transformative impact on the NBA, immediately knew that I’d always remember exactly where I was when it happened, and immediately knew it would cement Ron Artest’s status as the highest-functioning crazy motherf*cker on the planet.

On the other hand, the “etchededness” of 9/11 — an event I’m sure would be on most American’s lists — wasn’t as immediate. Sure, I remember exactly where I was when first hearing that tower one was hit by a plane, but it wasn’t until later that morning that I realized exactly how historic of an event that would be. (The first thing I said after my roommate woke me up to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center? “They need to stop letting Harlem n*ggas in flight school.”)

The news of the birth of Blue Ivy Carter does neither. I will not remember where I was when I first heard saw it trending on Twitter, and if anyone outside of the Carter/Knowles circle has “Where I was when I first heard Beyonce had a baby” forever etched into their brains right now, they must have some sh*tty-ass brains.

With that being said, I wonder if, 20 to 25 years from now, the birth of Blue Ivy Carter will be an historically relevant moment. I realize this seems like hyperbole — she’s not even two days old and it sounds like I’m already reserving her star on the Walk of Fame — but she’s already made history. She’s the first African-American ever who was famous before she was even born.

Think about it. There have been black child stars (Michael Jackson, Emmanuel Lewis, Raven Symone, etc), black stars who had children at the height of their fame, famous children of uber-popular black people (Malia and Sasha Obama) and even established black stars who had children while at the height of their fame and saw those children become famous while they were still children (Willow and Jaden Smith).

But, never has there been a child produced by an African-American couple while both mother and father were A-list celebrities; a baby whose potential first name, last name, size, facial features, complexion, future, inherited traits, musical talent, business acumen, connection to the Illuminati, and existence (Remember, there was an actual debate a few weeks ago over whether Beyonce was even pregnant.) was discussed, debated, joked on, and theorized about by hundreds of thousands of people before she was even here.

With all that being said, I have no idea what all of this means. I have no idea if her birth is truly the most “post-racial” moment ever. I have no idea if Blue Ivy Carter is truly the most post-modern baby ever. I have no idea what her birth signifies, or if it even signifies anything at all. .

And, aside from the likelihood of Blue Ivy Carter being the first African-American baby to cause a multi-million dollar bidding war for the rights to print her pictures first, I (obviously) have no idea how the life of the first black celebrity baby will play out. I know it won’t be “normal” but I’m not going to assume it’s going to be completely abnormal either.

But while I don’t know what any of this means, I do know that the birth of Blue Ivy Carter definitely matters. How, you ask? I don’t know. I know that it matters/will matter, but I don’t know why. Ask me again in 20 to 25 years.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • Iamnotakata

    I just want to say that I don’t give a sh!t about Beyonce having a baby.And they gave their child a dumb a$s name!!! The f*ck is a Blue Ivy Carter? A watch?….get out of here with that “celebrities” are dumb… Let’s hope that child ever has to look for a job…

    • MizThickaDenThick

      I said the same thing on FB earlier about the baby’s name and caught shade!

      • http://iamyourpeople.com/ I Am Your People

        The f*ck is a Blue Ivy Carter? A watch?

        Solange’s middle name is Piaget.

        • 90sgagirl

          Blue= for Jay-Z’s blueprint albums
          IV(y)= Roman numeral for “4″ which is Beyonce’ favorite number..b’day, her wedding, husbands b’day, mom’s bday all are on the 4th
          …Now if this infants parents weren’t celebs we’d say this is ratchett.

        • http://GenevaGirl.net Geneva Girl

          You lie!?! Piaget? That’s some tricked up mess.

    • http://www.awordorthree.com Crystal Marie

      Well that’s the thing… will her name ever really be a hindrance to her success?

      Nah. Plus Beyonce’s name is Beyonce… and look where she ended up.

      • http://www.twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

        I think they meant when it came to a regular job. I don’t think it will be as big a deal as it would be if they named her Tanishinaquasha.

        #JustSayin.

        • http://www.shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

          Condoleezza did just fine. I have never had an issue there are many successful people with questionable names.

          other than the fact that my twitter feed went crazy, i am more impacted by the 80 yard touchdown that took denver past the steelers. I mean really?????

          • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

            RIGHT?!?!!
            how in the heezy did the steelers d let that happen!!!?!?!

    • CindyAndTheCity

      I’m thinking Blue is a step up considering Bey’s best friend named her child Apple. Regardless, can’t say my life has been all that impacted by the news. And by all that I mean not at all.

      • GirlSixx

        “Regardless, can’t say my life has been all that impacted by the news. And by all that I mean not at all.”

        +1!!!

        Ivy Blu, Blu Ivy, Bluevy, Iv’B… Whateva..

        Smhl

        • MsPackyetti

          “Ivy Blu, Blu Ivy, Bluevy, Iv’B… Whateva..”

          A *dead* +1.

          Don’t get me wrong–a baby is a beautiful thing.

          My thing is, there were literally hundreds…nay thousands of babies born around the world on the same day. All of them equally as special in the grand scheme, and many of them with normal names.

          I say we all just start saying congrats to people we don’t know who happen to have babies on any given Monday.

          Its the same damn thing.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Let’s hope that child ever has to look for a job…”

      are you being ironic?

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        LOL, hope so. Her job will be EXISTING. lol

        • http://twitter.com/dynamicdeeva Tia

          she has a single already (they have her vocals on the end of the song) I put this down thread

          http://hypebeast.com/2012/01/jay-z-featuring-b-i-c-glory/

          • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            LOL, yup, heard it earlier today. It’s very sweet. Father/daughter relationships make me weak. *faints*

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        She HAS to be. I’ll accept nothing else.

    • 90sgagirl

      @Iamnotakata Blue= for Jay-Z’s blueprint albums
      IV(y)= Roman numeral for “4” which is Beyonce’ favorite number..b’day, her wedding, husbands b’day, mom’s bday all are on the 4th
      …Now if this infants parents weren’t celebs we’d say this is ratchett.

      • http://GenevaGirl.net Geneva Girl

        Celebrity or not, it’s ratchett.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          yeah, it still kind of reeks of ratchetness

          • That Ugly Kid

            I honestly don’t consider this name very ratchet. But this is coming from a guy who’s seen names such as Queentiana, Oliveralosha, Granolayesha, and others I’ve had the displeasure of witnessing.

    • SororSalsa

      My favorite comment over the weekend was that Blue Ivy sounded like a dodgy nightclub.

      I gotta hand it to Jay-Z though….he’s got some big cojones to name his daughter after his ex.

      • e-3la

        haha “dodgy nightclub” yesss

  • MizThickaDenThick

    That poor poor Baby…thats all I have to say…

    • http://www.awordorthree.com Crystal Marie

      The pressure. Must be cray!

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “The pressure. Must be cray!”

        tu motherf*ckin shea

        • http://iamyourpeople.com/ I Am Your People

          Being a the child of celeb parents can be rough. Case in point: one would think that if you’re the daughter of supermodel Iman and skinny-azz NBA player Spencer Haywood, you’d be tall and thin, instead of chronically obese even after gastric bypass. You never know, Blue Ivy could have no rhythm and look like her dad

          • Todd

            Excellent point. Sometimes people lose out on the genetic lottery.

          • SunaoButterfly

            “You never know, Blue Ivy could have no rhythm and look like her dad.”

            …Ouch.

          • Sha

            I. Just. Died!

  • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

    I was sitting in the family room with my uncle when the Pistons – Pacers fiasco popped off. Epic.
    But I do argee. Conspiracy theories aside, there does seem to be something significant about the birth of this little girl. But not as significant to me as the birth of the next door neighbor’s pitbul puppies. *shrug*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      But not as significant to me as the birth of the next door neighbor’s pitbul puppies. *shrug*

      i take it you’re going to be installing an electric fence soon?

      • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

        lol No sir. I just want to coo over them for a while before they’re sold off.

  • http://www.shellysaysso.com ShellySaysSo

    Little Blue has to be the first person to be a #1 worldwide trending topic on Twitter while she was in the womb, and then again within hours of birth. That’s boss.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      signs i’ve been listening to too much rick ross? every time i hear the word “boss,” i think of him. ***

      ***comment filed under “pause-worthy comments that the champ considered editing but just said “f*ck it” and posted it”

      • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

        hahahaha Living life on the edge ehh?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          living on the edge of deez

      • mel

        lol

  • http://www.awordorthree.com Crystal Marie

    I’m excited that Blue Ivy is here, but primarily because I wanna see Bey in concert.

    Let the concert tours begin!!

    P.S. the funniest tweet I saw re Blue Ivy came from Conan O’Brien:
    “Thank God Beyonce had her baby and can go back to work. For the past 6 months that family’s had to live entirely on Jay-Z’s salary.”

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      P.S. the funniest tweet I saw re Blue Ivy came from Conan O’Brien:
      “Thank God Beyonce had her baby and can go back to work. For the past 6 months that family’s had to live entirely on Jay-Z’s salary.”

      sidenote: is jimmy fallon a better host than conan? i think he might be.

      • Chanelle

        Sidenote: Is jimmy kimmel a better host than those 2?

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          no

      • http://delaneydiamond.com Delaney Diamond

        Fallon is. Way better.

      • http://www.becauseimwrite.com Muze

        jimmy fallon is the best. then jimmy kimmel. then… well conan doesn’t register with me. lol

      • e-3la

        absolutely! fallon is funny and has, dare I say (I rarelyyy do), swag. conan is bleh as hell.

    • xLadyTx

      I told somebody as soon as I heard about the birth, now that she’s here, she’ll be on stage again in like 6 mos!

      • SororSalsa

        I read today that the Grammy folks were approached by Bey’s people asking for a spot if she decided to perform.

  • http://iamyourpeople.com/ I Am Your People

    All I have to say is, now that Bey finally sat her azz down and had a baby, Keri Hilson can finally get her shine

    *tries to hold a straight face*

    *falls on the floor laughing hysterically*

    • http://www.twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

      Who is this Keri Hilson person?

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Who is this Keri Hilson person?”

        a singer/songwriter who the good people of pittsburgh, pa paid $100 bucks to hang out with at savoy nightclub on NYE

        • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

          $100????? Dammit, why haven’t I done anything with my sub par talent and light-skinnedness?

          • naturalista88

            It’s never too late, ya know *lol*.

          • sunshyne84

            lmfao

          • Chanelle

            a singer/songwriter who the good people of pittsburgh, pa paid $100 bucks to hang out with at savoy nightclub on NYE

            Was this $100 paid collectively?

            • ScoutF

              LMFAO!!

            • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

              *dead*
              “Aye Pookie, call up Ray-Ray n’em and see if they all got $5 on this Keri Hilson bird coming to the club on NYE.”

        • https://twitter.com/#!/deatoya Dee

          That’s it? Hotels in podunk towns command more than that on NYE with NO celebrity.

        • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

          wait. she was in Pitts? I saw Toronto flyers with her name/face as host on it.
          BWAHAHA. FAILURE.

      • NotnamingmychildBlue

        No, really, who is Keri Hilson? Is she famous or something?

    • AfroPetite

      you ain’t s*** for that lmao

    • Chanelle

      “All I have to say is, now that Bey finally sat her azz down and had a baby, Keri Hilson can finally get her shine”

      These were my same thoughts when I thought about that other Beyonce post here! Where were Keri Hilson, Kelly Rowland, Ashanti, Keisha Cole, Ciara, Syleena Johnson, Christina Millian, Nivea, Cassie, Letoya Luckett, Amerie, Fantasia and everybody else who supposedly didn’t get a chance to have their ultimate shine because of Bey….why didn’t they make themselves relevant while she was pregnant? Are there currently any R&B artist out at this time? I ask because I’m kinda gettin old and I’m not on top of what’s out now.

      • MsPackyetti

        I see your point…

        …but I think some of those people just didn’t show up during Bey’s pregnancy because they have no talent. Here’s looking at you, Ashanti.

        And Beyonce…that tricky little thing…she released like, 3 singles and even more videos during her pregnancy. She produced videos that would work in regular rotation in multiple radio/video genres before and early in her pregnancy and then released them sporadically throughout her gestation. I.E. no room for anyone else & the most brilliant music marketing ever.

        What’s SAD is that some of the people you named DID release music during her pregnancy–and they still didn’t catch on.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    It’s B-L-U and if you see the e’ drop em.

    • http://www.twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

      Bodied the whole alphabet, so bury me a “G”.

  • http://www.twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

    Ron Artest may be a crazy mug, but Metta World Peace will always hold a spot in my heart. I thought Blue Ivy was another conference merger in NCAA Football, and Ivy Blue would be the color of the Brooklyn Nets’ jerseys. Either way, blessings to that child.

    Either way, congratulations to the Carters.

    Now, I must get on with my life. Which may or may not include a scholarship for Harlem cats to get into flight school…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      and Ivy Blue would be the color of the Brooklyn Nets’ jerseys

      sh*t, don’t be surprised if that happens

  • Imoteda

    Homie you were alive and living outside your parents home in 1945??? You are so much more awesome than I thought. Ofcourse if you really meant to type twin towers then you’re really not that awesome. Lol

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      lol, nothing like a smart-aleck comment to let you know you need to edit

      • Imtoeda

        Here’s a cyber hug { }

        I thought of the nicest way to point it out though. That was it :)

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik
    • AfroPetite

      Smh. Not like I really expect Beyonce or Jay-Z to care about the other patrons at the hospital but damn. Preventing people from seeing their children just so others can see yours? Such is the world we live in where celebrities are treated modern day gods.

      • http://6monthsto30.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/thirst/ chunk

        I don’t think we can blame that on them, I’m sure that wasn’t their intention. That seems to me to be a hospital systems failure- not a “we’re terrible people and don’t care if y’all kids” moment.

    • http://GenevaGirl.net Geneva Girl

      That’s tricked up. I’d sue. Seeing your kid in the hospital is a once in a lifetime event. You can’t take that away from people. The hospital shouldn’t have allowed it. I’m sure that some ambulance chaser of a lawyer would take on the case.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        I forgot to mention that. They said they rented out a hospital floor…how is that even allowed?? LOL, seems like they could have just hired a doctor, midwife, nurse, etc. and had the baby at home for a lot less.

    • Ro

      The fact they actually rented a hospital wing…smh…that turned my stomach…like the audacity…but then you gotta figure…they let them…so really….yeah. *goes back to work*

      • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

        It is actually a common practice at that hospital. There are many super rich folk who give birth there. The only reason we know about it this time is because it was B and Jay.

    • erika

      You mean they couldn’t deliver at home?

      • KneeCee

        I thought the same thing!