Harlem Shake Back in? Puhleaze, Folks Get Your Lives.

So, whenever you find out that some cool dance you did in college is back in, it makes you scratch your head. And, this is even more true when you hear it from your mom. Last week, I had this conversation.

“Jennifer, do you know how to do the ‘Harlem Shake’?”


“The Harlem Shake”

“Yes mom. We did that like ten years ago Freshman year of college. It isn’t new.”

“It’s back.”

“No it isn’t. You must mean the ‘Wobble’ or something. ‘Cupid Shuffle.’ The ‘Harlem Shake’ is never coming back.”

So, I am majorly disheartened to know that I may be eating my words. This video graced my Facebook timeline this morning.

Like really? Hanging from the banister though? Yes, that is my alma mater. And, yes, I am EXTREMELY embarrassed. So, hersh please and we will move on to someone else’s embarrassment. Apparently, there’s a fUCLA version too.

The Harlem Shake is apparently coming back on college campuses around the country. Check out the Florida Gators as they attempt to “get-it-in.” Watch the guy on the back left hop around like a frog…

And, I am pretty sure that this one is dangerous. It’s the University of Georgia swim team…Harlem Shaking…under water.

Is this too much? I think so. Especially when the description of the video includes the word “SKOOO.”

So, while I find this entire phenomena awesome and amazing, I am sad to report here some devastating news that will totally blow everyone’s mind [get’s microphone].


The people in these videos are not even doing the Harlem Shake. They are mocking folks who actually know what the Harlem Shake is and know how to do it.

And it isn’t just college kids losing their dang minds. The Army done lost its mind too.

Sleeping bags? Someone is skiing? Two people in one shirt? That must be a straight jacket. I mean white folks everywhere have lost their sauce looking like some ignorant meth heads all over the internet.

This is a hot mess times 100. I am done. I am dead. Yes, I think this killed me. In case you were wondering, here is what the REAL Harlem Shake looks like. Feast your eyes on the original Harlem Shake circa early 2000s.

See the subtle differences between what these people are doing and what all the prior folks were doing? I haven’t figured out yet if I am offended or not. But, I think I am leaning toward offended. No, I am not from Brooklyn or Harlem. I am not even from New York. I am from the Bay. Born and raised in Oakland, California. And this reminds me of when folks wanted to transplant “Going Dumb” a few years back.

Here is what happens when white folks do it.

It is just so wrong on so many levels. Here is the thing, this not really about race. It is about soul. There is something in the music and beats that moves you. Not all black people have it. And, not all white people don’t have it. But, geesh, you’ve just got to know when your seat is calling you. And, I am currently building custom seats for the USC crazies, the fUCLA [b]Ruins, the Army “Touched Squad,” and every other fool you just watched looking, well, quite foolish.

Here is the most disturbing part, the guy who “created” this mass hysteria with his viral song is being credited as if he is bringing the dance back. The download has even hit No.1 on iTunes.

Here is one last video. It’s the one that started it all.

What do you think? Is this a hot dang mess? Or, is it cute that folks want to dance like Black folks?

The following two tabs change content below.

Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.