Culture Hack

A group of people of color, three women and two men, gather at a trail head

Blackness Unboxed: Exploring the Unconventional

lt goes without saying that Black Gen Z are blazing a new trail for themselves, fueled by the momentum of BLM protests in 2020 that has ignited our current era of Black Renaissance. Driving the culture towards unsuspected areas of interest, hobbies, and activities.

 According to Paramount insights: More than half of Black Gen Z say they have hobbies or interests they’re passionate about, and almost half have expertise in things that some people consider “nerdy”. It is clear Black Gen Z are unboxing more than what is typically associated with Black culture. They are unboxing what it means to be authentically Black. 

As someone whose primary friend group is a majority of Black men and women, I realized that we are unconventionally adventurous. Without shame, we have been underground caving for birthdays, hiking for sport, camping for connection, and going on an annual ski trip. When I look back at the activities we have done, I realized never once did we let Black cultural parameters influence what we could or couldn’t do. 

I believe the “Blackness Unboxed” mentality is continuing to spread and give more young Black people more agency and liberation over what they can be interested in. Take @_asipoftee_ a young Black hiking and outdoors influencer. She does group hikes and camping in Georgia and the southeast regions of the country. Her mission is to encourage diversity in the outdoors. 

Tee is just one example of how Black influencers are becoming the gateway to more Black Gen Zers unboxing their Blackness. With the younger generation acutely aware of self-discovery, let’s join in on unboxing and celebrating our hobbies and passions. You might like what you discover. 

-Kimberly Heard