I appreciate everyone here for reading the excerpt... it's a short essay from a KNOCK THE HUSTLE chapter entitled "universal hustle" which looks at black and ethnic marketing professionals and consumers and related cultural artfoms are maniupulated for profit and power. It's the result of my 13 years in the advertising and marketing industries working on clients ranging from Mercedes Benz, AT&T, Cingular Wireless, McDonalds, Showtime Networks, Wrigley's Gum and countless others.
It's also the result of a lot of deep throat-style interviews with clients and colleagues with generations' worth of industry experience who let me write their experiences under the vow that i'd never reveal their names because they'd get blackballed and sued.
(in the marketing and ad fields many professionals are required to sign confidentiality agreements that prevent them from talking to the press or working for competing clients for the duration of their employment. I signed one myself once or twice, but screw it. I saw way too much dirt to keep quiet anymore.)
Now to clarify one other thing: For those who commented that this seems like "victimhood/blame the white man" pathology, you're obviously entitled to your opinions, just keep one thing in mind:
These are facts.
When you watch TV and see black folks singing and dancing and rapping for chicken products, it's because the client (who is usually white) and the creators of the ad (who are often white or black but more concerned with getting paid) have decided to portray black folks in that light. When you watch commercials were the people of color are consistently fair-skinned and "mainstream-looking" that's the result of people intentionally perpetuating a specific agenda of the lighter you are (the closer to "white" you are) the more acceptable you are... it's called color casting and the ad world haas been doing it for generations, long before Hollywood, in fact.
I could go on, but the point is, there is no victimhood in me. I'm simply pointing out facts and truths that many people aren't privy to and showing how these tactics affect all of us.
My hope isn't that people say, "let's sue the ad world/let's march on the white man". my hope is that people start paying attention to what's really going on as it relates to marketing, consumerism and culture and decide to stand up to it and protect themselves from the negative aspects of it.
but then again, maybe i'm just a victim...
if you're interested in more excerpts, hit www.knockthehustle.com--you can download a few files that i put up and read more of the book. the files are pretty small.
I'll try and post a few more in here just to share more stuff that i've seen. y'all'd be surprise at what folks of all colors do when they're behind closed doors trying to figure out how to sell stuff.