Sunday, August 19, 2007
What's good folks? Gene from YBPguide.com blesses us with another piece about revisiting the club scene during a trip to a Vegas Convention. As you get older, the club scene and experience definitely changes (or SHOULD change). To some degree I think we can all relate. Hope you enjoy.
I don’t really do clubs.
I try to stay away from them for more reasons than I care to share, but it’s been more than a year since I’ve been to one. And I have no idea when’s the next time I’ll be forced to go to one … okay, maybe I do. One of my brothers is having a bachelor party Labor Day weekend. I doubt I’ll make it … but I digress.
Needless to say, despite the fact that I don’t go out like that, I DO know where the best place for me and mines to party is: black professional organizations’ convention. Period.
Besides the (usually) free admission and free food and drinks (sometimes), it’s just a real comfortable environment. Most folks there are too intelligent to act ignorant and those who are too ignorant to behave intelligently don’t come to these kinds of functions … usually.
I kinda came to this realization some years ago when I was at the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention in Washington, D.C. I’d been on my club fast – with a few relapses – for about two years by then and forgot how much I enjoyed dancing with a group of people.
But convention parties being my spot of choice was confirmed last week at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Vegas.
I pretty much chilled the first three nights of the four-night convention ... and when I say chill, I mean I was asleep. I’m kind of an “old man” and the chances of me breaking out of my seniority were shot down when my man Brandon Parker arrived – dude is like three years younger than me, but just as old … maybe older. We pretty much spent late nights in Vegas pontificating on issues like faith, marriage, career and fatherhood.
And we were cool with that. Real cool. Most anybody with good sense can appreciate good conversation – especially when it's ongoing for several days.
But one of my brother’s girl’s pretty much TOLD us we were going out with them the last night of the convention (she took the above photo). It was free. There was free food and drinks. It was the last night. And it was in a hotel ballroom across the street. So we really had no reason to fight it … although we tried subconsciously – Parker and I were at the party still in our business attire!
Whatchu know about getting wiped down in a suit and tie!?
Besides being in good company; having good eats and a good DJ and host (my intense enjoyment of Tom Joyner’s hosting skills FURTHER confirmed my old man status), I … was … comfortable.
And nothing sealed that feeling more than the party’s Greek moments.
I arrived with my chapter brother; Parker’s classmate who’s also frat; a soror; my frat’s girl and several other folks that somehow made me feel like I was rolling up in the party with mad frat … even though I wasn’t.
It’s kinda hard to explain – the whole inclusive and far-reaching fraternity concept. It’s almost like some folks are such regulars on the scene that they kinda end up being frat … kinda. Or maybe it’s an MZ thing. I digress.
So when they started playing “my song” – and I have absolutely no clue what that was, I immediately threw up my fraternity sign. It was a natural reflex. The last time I consistently went to parties was in college – and that was nearly half a decade ago.
But anyway, the two brothers in my group immediately did the same! It was one of those good “follow the prophyte” moments! And almost immediately, a SWARM of fraternity brothers we didn’t even know were there surrounded us and threw their signs in the air! Our sorors weren’t too far behind.
It was like maybe they all were waiting for one of us to let the black journalism world know we were in Vegas and in Vegas HARD!
Now if you’re still reading (thank you much if you are), THIS is why I think these kind of parties rule.
Members of two other black Greek fraternities (and one sorority, I believe) started repping as well. Even when the DJ played one of the other frat’s signature songs allowing them to take over the dance floor, my frat and another frat continued repping our respective organizations.
And there was no fighting.
And it was good.
This kind of goes back to my earlier mentioning of being comfortable. Anybody somewhat familiar with the black Greek experience knows that bravado and disrespect for one’s self and all those around you disguised as “not getting punked” leads many to disrespect their founders and their organizations as a whole.
Feeling like I had to take the lead on that as a senior brother got old. Real fast. I pledged a frat, not a gang. But this wasn't a concern at a convention for a black professional organization. It hit me quickly that most of the folks there were about their business and were too concerned with their careers to “keep it real.”
Besides what would a dude look like walking past managers at his dream company in handcuffs because he swung on a dude who didn't move while his frat was party-hopping?! Unemployed!!
Plus the likelihood of the dude you swing on having hiring power somewhere you want to work isn’t worth the risk. And when I realized that we ALL realized that, I looked up in the sky, threw up my sign (both hands, this time) and took it all in.
Good music. Greek unity. Black professionals. A good time.
Wouldn’t it be tight if some things that happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas?!
Gene is a journalist in Phoenix. Check him out at YBPguide.com.