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'Show Time' Styling

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The "Cool Dudes" who can maneuver their way into the spotlight to do their " show time" styling enjoy a "rep" of popularity that often translates into money.

Ones style is the special way one does something. Thoughts, emotions, expression, behaviors, and things can be stylized. Group I Styles stay within a given structure (as in conforming to tradition and custom); Group II Styles "lean" outside the structure; and Group III Styles stand outside the structure. In general and in things of a non-moral nature, Group I styling is a feature of Europeans while Group II and III are features of Black people. Jazz musicians are known for stylizing their emotions. Creative basketball players stylize their "dunks." Among certain Black Americans styling is key to "acceptable" or "permissible" forms of speech -- i. e. the manipulation of language and/or mannerisms designed to blaze the group’s emotions and thereby gain status.

Black American verbal styling is an art more concerned with the creative form and context of expression than with content. When serving as a beautiful expression of ones emotional state, it is spiritual, healing, and entertaining. Its aim is to bring all viewers, readers, or listeners together into an ethos sense of “one mind.” Being functional, it is always about actions equally meaningful to the performer’s and the Black audience’s shared system of values (see Bailey, Word Stories Originated by Ancient Africans for elaboration)--and most often, among Black Americans, in a setting of fun.

There is a mental special faculty of creativity which gathers all the components out of what is perceived and out of what is present in ones memory so as to arrange and combine these components into a new form. No component itself is created.

Still, the new form in the categories of Group II and III represent “style.” To describe this style fashioning faculty requires understanding the concepts behind two different words -- flare and flair. “Flare” originally (1550) referred to a flame or blaze that darted up suddenly; and when the flame was against a dark background, its light shown so brightly as to dazzle or blind the viewer. In the 19th century if that blaze was characterized by wavy flame-like forms it was called Flamboyant. On the other hand, “Flair” (Old German 1390) originally related to a keen perception of smell, as seen in a dog that hunts game by scent. Since it took discernment or shrewdness to pick out the correct scent, the meaning of “flair” was extended into a sense of special ability, natural aptitude, or talent. The way African Americans have generated their entertainment creative style is by the package that results from recognizing the true worth of the activity at hand (flair) and wrapping it in a blaze type style (flare). To create Flare/Flair requires knowing different planes of existence and extracting pieces off the pertinent ones. As well exhibited by the mid-1980s Magic Johnson led Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team, flamboyant flair/flare is called “Show-Time.”

Show-Time consists of: (1) winning; (2) creatively showing off; (3) having fun; (4) displaying a swagger; and (5) imparting the silent but quitely evident messages of: “you can’t top this”(a challenge) as well as, in a humorous vein: “I’m (or we) are cool and you are not.”

An essential point is for the Show- Time group to play to the crowd.

The winner of this friendly encounter is determined by which performer has the most creative flare, as judged by the amount and intensity of the audience’s “oooohs and ahhhs.” The performer’s “flare moves” are like sudden burst of flame displayed as free-wheeling beautiful creativity, wide-open spiritedness, and either making something unusual out of the ordinary or the taking of the ordinary to extraordinary heights. The very same pattern of Group Mind synthesis between the performer and the audience occurs in many others areas--a sort of "Call and Response."

website: www.jablifeskills.com

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