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.
TheseĂ‚Â 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 ofĂ‚Â 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,Ă‚Â complexion, future,Ă‚Â inheritedĂ‚Â traits, musical talent, business acumen, connection to theĂ‚Â Illuminati, andĂ‚Â existenceĂ‚Â (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.Ă‚Â .
And, aside from theĂ‚Â likelihoodĂ‚Â 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”)