The 2006 Barbershop Notebook Awards
Lest those who have affected the black community in interesting, complex, and largely problematic ways in 2006 go unrecognized . . .
As we begin the New Year, so, too, we look back upon that which has recently passed. We're inclined, when we do this, to give a nod of recognition, and a plaque or trophy, perhaps, for meritorious achievements in a variety of public areas. Not to be outdone, I have created my own "Barbershop Notebooks Awards" for the black community. There is, of course, one twist: rather than focusing on the "good ones", I have located people who have affected the black community in interesting, complex, and largely problematic ways in 2006. Furthermore, each award is, appropriately, named after the trailblazing person whose public actions and identity inspired it. Let the ceremony begin.
The Michael Jordan "Never Can Say Goodbye" Award
This award goes to the celebrity who refuses to end their fifteen minutes of fame gracefully, opting instead to fight for a few extra ticks of the clock.
Winner: Janet Jackson
The Kobe Bryant "Homecoming" Award
This award goes to the black or brown person who desperately tries to transcend race within the eyes of mainstream American, only to be reminded that the realities of Blackness are inescapable.
Winner: Harold Ford, Jr.
The Don King "Teflon Don" Award
This award goes to the person who, despite considerable evidence against them, manages to avoid public, professional, or legal punishment for their misdeeds.
Winner: R. Kelly
The Lil’ Cease "Stop Snitching" Award
This award goes to the person who sacrifices all social bonds and commitments in order to advance their own personal interests.
Winner: Karrinne "Superhead" Steffans
Stepin Fetchit "Coon" Award
This award goes to the man or woman whose exploits reinforce stereotypical depictions of African American people.
Winner: Flavor Flav
Michael Jackson "Not-So-Smooth Criminal" Award
This award goes to the public figure who commits a crime that it so stupid that it defies explanation.
Winners: Claude "Sticky Fingaz" Allen & William "Ice Cold" Jefferson
This year, two black politicians committed acts that were so absurdly stupid that they forced The Barbershop Notebooks Awards committee to offer its first tie.