Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Clubbing in black and white

My post about Onyx catering to African American professionals generated so much discussion about segregation in nightclubs that I wanted to address a couple of issues.

Several readers called me racist (they often do) because I was excited about Onyx coming to Charlotte.

I’m not racist. I’m observant.

I have always advocated that people get outside of their box and party with people of all races and styles. I have complained about the lack of hip-hop clubs uptown and the lack of black faces hanging out in uptown bars and clubs. In the last couple of years that has changed. Uptown clubs have more diverse clientele. We have two hip-hop clubs, V-Lounge and Crush. And Time lounge has a night for nearly every ethnic group. (It was the only way for them to stay open, but that’s another column about “going black.”)

The difference is white partiers are typically made to feel as welcome as black partiers at black clubs. However, I receive countless e-mails and have had conversations with professional black men who have been subject to selective enforcement of dress codes or membership rules at other clubs. I also hear from people who say DJs will stop playing hip-hop if a club draws too many black people.

Most uptown clubs cater to white partiers who are age 21 and up, and have at least a college degree and are typically professional.
The other issue I will address is why blacks prefer to go to predominately black clubs. (Same reason whites aren’t bumrushing the V-Lounge, but that makes too much sense).

We all party differently and have different music.

I’ll use Onyx as an example since it sparked this discussion.
They blasted hardcore hip-hop on Saturday. I had heard some of the songs on the radio and I’d never heard of a few of the tunes.
Neither the Men’s Club nor Uptown Cabaret will play that kind of hip-hop.

The dancers at Onyx performed differently than the ones at Men’s Club. Men’s Club dancers, and the ones at other predominately white strip clubs, are more seductive and do a lot of snaky undulating because that is what appeals to the clientele they want to attract. The ones at Onyx, and other black clubs, tend to be more acrobatic and do more pole work because that is what appeals to their clientele.

If you don’t believe me go to the Men’s Club or even Uptown Cabaret (which is a good compromise between a white and a black strip club) and then hang out at Onyx or Champagne for a night. If strip clubs aren’t your thing, try spending a night hanging out at Tempo nightclub and then spend a night partying at Grand Central.

It’s different.

My desire is that people of all races feel welcome at all clubs and that this city offers partiers a healthy mix of clubs and bars. I also want partiers to be willing to experience different places.

The same way we sample new restaurants and try food we don’t usually eat, we ought to be willing to try new clubs and party with people we wouldn’t usually hang out with.

It’s not as scary as you might think.


Anonymous said...


You try, you really do.

The people who complain made up their mind about you long ago and no amount of common sense is going to make that better.

But the fact that in this day and age you would have to explain that white and black people tend to define "party" and "sexy" differently is pathetic. And unnecessary because they - your detractors - already know this. They just do not seem to have anything much better to do than stalk you with asinine comments.

Anonymous said...


Blake said...

Jameson lost her right to intelligent discourse after she made those RIDICULOUS comments about how if Allen Iverson joined Charlotte Bobcats, that this would somehow enhance the city's nightlife.

After all the dumb things she has written, that little gem takes the freakin prize.

What an idiot! She deserves all the grief and ridicule she gets. Maybe one day we'll laugh her ass right on out of town.

Anonymous said...

"I’ll say this now: Unless a club calls itself a hip-hop club, an urban club, a Latin club or a club for any other ethnic minority, the assumption is that the club caters to white people."

Wrong. YOU make that assumption, the rest of the world does not. You are the one who brings race into everything.

You need to get the "I'm a black lesbian living in a white man's world" chip off your shoulder. Maybe that's why you drink so much - to deal with these issues you create for yourself.

And by the way - if I were you I wouldn't be making comments about other people's weight. You could stand to lose quite a few pounds yourself.

The Observer called tonight, asking if I wanted to subscribe. I told them that as long as Tonya Jameson wrote for them I would never spend money to support a paper that prints such trash.

Are you listening management??? This joke of a column is costing you $$$. Let her write for a free paper like Creative Loafing. At least then readers will get their money's worth.

Anonymous said...

I use to love to go to "black" clubs because I like to dance to the hip-hop music but I dont go anymore. Why? Because of the way black females act when they see a white female. They automatically assume the white girl is there to steal their men. I've had black girls hiss at me when I walked by not to mention all of the other little nasty comments that were said. They purposely seem to bump into you when walking by, etc. I dont think white girls do this when we see black people in the "white" clubs. I go out to clubs uptown though and see alot of different races and people seem to get along. So, I think the people that have a problem with other races in their clubs are the ones that cause the problems.

white boy said...

"I’ll say this now: Unless a club calls itself a hip-hop club, an urban club, a Latin club or a club for any other ethnic minority, the assumption is that the club caters to white people."

I’m having a hard time deciding which aspect of the statement disgusts me the most. Is it the fact that it is patently racist or is it the sheer stupidity of it, I can’t decide? Bars and restaurants are first and foremost businesses. Their first priority is to make MONEY. So they “CATER” exclusively to people who have money (disposable income). When I go out downtown I don’t see a lot of poor white people (yes such a thing does exist) hanging out a Time, Ri Ras etc. On the other hand I have friends who are black who work in the financial industry and make good money that go out downtown (to establishments I’m sure you would contend cater only to white people) all the time. This is a socioeconomic issue NOT a race issue. Why you would choose to be so divisive and try to turn this into a race issue puzzles me? I would echo the sentiments of the previous poster who stated that “YOU make that assumption,(“ the assumption is that the club caters to white people”) the rest of the world does not..”

The reason that you are being accused of being a racist is that you are doing exactly what racists do. You are making sweeping generalizations about all “white people”. Not all white people are the same. The people who want to line dance at Coyote Joes are a very different crowd than the people who you would find at a show at Tremont, or the Milestone. Your problem (and by definition all prejudiced people’s problem) is that you see people first and foremost as members of a racial group, not as individual human beings who happen to be members of one race or another.

Anonymous said...

Hip Hop is NOT a color Tonya! Country is NOT a color Tonya! Pop is NOT a color Tonya! Emenim is an awesome Hip Hop artist. Charley Pride is a great Country artist. Hootie and The Blowfish know how to sing great Pop! Tonya, please remove your shades of color and replace them with shades of unbiased life! I promise you will see that life is a prettier picture than you ever envisioned.

Anonymous said...

FYI...the "V-Lounge" used to be called Varga and it catered to everyone. The only difference is that when it was Varga, the owner played a little Techno throughout the night to keep the club's population diverse.

Millie Saperstein said...

Tonya - Stop pretending you know ANYTHING about nightlife in Charlotte, kill the "Paid 2 Party" blog in favor of a new one called "Black Dyke On A Motorbike".

I mean, if you're going to continue to unfairly label things, you shouldn't have a problem, right?

Anonymous said...

Well once Varga became a prodominently black club, the females there were nasty to any white females there. I went just for the music and was hissed out, bumped into, etc. But, how come most club shootings and fights happen at the "black" clubs. I wouldn't go into a "black" club now just for fear of getting hit by a stray bullet.

LoveNightlife said...

I noticed the people at FORUM are racist. Unless you're white, don't even consider going there! It's a shame, since Charlotte is supposedly an up-and-coming city with a better nightlife.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has not progressed like most would have imagined. Just look at the nightlife. Half the clubs downtown, like THE FORUM, turn people away because they are not white. It's racist clubs like THE FORUM that shows Charlotte's nightlife is getting nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The comment about Forum being racist was very surprising cause each time I go there I notice more and more black people there.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some clubs are just trying to keep some of the "thug" types out and if your dressed like a thug, you are probably gonna give off the impression that your a thug. Unfortunately, thats the way life is.

Anonymous said...

A stereotype isn't a stereotype if it's true. Wise words from an old woman.

Anonymous said...

A stereotype is just what it is, a stereotype. You say you're wise, but you're ignorant as all get out. Don't say nothing if you don't know nothing.