When it comes to ingenuity and creativity, very few things surpass the unending inventiveness of black folks. Whether it is out of necessity or unbridled imagination, not only can we make something out of nothing, but we can make it fun. Enslaved Africans took coded messages and turned them into songs. We turned scraps of food into southern delicacies. We turned poverty and depression into the blues. We turn white people’s potato salad into garbage.
And nothing is more indicative of this genius than when we make each other laugh. On Wednesday, Twitter user @neauxna continued the tradition when she posted a simple question:
For those not in the know, a dissertation is usually required to earn a doctorate in a certain field and usually contributes new knowledge, theories or practices to an area of study. Dissertation titles often begin with a familiar phrase followed by a more expansive academic description.
For example, Everything Happens for a Reason: Children’s and Adults’ Teleological Reasoning About Life Events is the title of a recent psychology dissertation at Yale. During my final year obtaining my advanced degree in Wypipology, I entertained a number of research ideas and finally settled on: Some of my Best Friends are Black: An Examination of the Perceived Cultural Privilege of Black Proximity.
As soon as the tweet posted, Black Twitter users immediately began offering up a smorgasbord of ideas that would surely earn someone a Ph.D. in African American Cookout Studies and possibly the Nobel Prize for Black Shit. The suggestions ranged from environmental science to energy research.
Some of the funniest tweets explored sociology and psychology in the black community.
Many Black Twitter academics said they wanted to expand our knowledge base in the financial and business arena:
The Root staff even offered up their own suggestions on their dissertation topics. Staff writer Ibn Safir wanted to research a well-known cultural icon with his thesis: Who Is Boo Boo The Fool: On Perceived Intelligence Gaps Between Generations in the Black Diaspora. News editor Monique Judge suggested a comparative analysis that juxtaposed black femininity with religion in her paper: Don’t Try Me, Try Jesus: Understanding When and Where to Test a Black Woman.
Entertainment writer Tonja Stidhum didn’t veer far from her strengths in the area of popular culture with her proposal on gaming and comic books, Batman’s Real Nemesis Is The Big Joker: How Playing Spades With Old Heads Is a Life Survival Tactic. Politics Editor Stephen A Crockett has almost completed his proposed masterpiece, You Ain’t Finna do Shit: A Theological Response and Historical Reflection on Pump-Faking Throughout the African Diaspora...
Well, he claims he is.
He ain’t finna do shit.
Meanwhile, I am currently working on a more controversial study: Wishing a Motherfucker Would: The Rituals and Tradition of African American Conflict Resolution.
I can almost guarantee that some Ph.D. candidate somewhere has already cribbed one of these ideas and is planning on using it. But that’s ok, the people on Black Twitter are used to having their ideas stolen by hoowyatts. And if that offends my Caucasian friends, I would point you in the direction of my previous work in Wypipology:
Bringing Up Old Shit: White Tears and the Unwillingness to Accept the Truth.