Heh, one last note on this dap thing. The most interesting, and quite common, response has been "well I'm white as hell and I do the fist-bump with my wife, so it can't be that black." To me that response says more about the speaker--and race in this country--than about any measure of "blackness." It has as its unspoken premise that black is something that's stagnant, mutually exclusive to itself, and incapable of existing alongside other qualities. As I've stated, several other cultural signifiers have become mainstream, but there isn't much debate over their origins. Only the artifacts of black ethnicity are asked to surrender themselves as the move into the wider world. This is tragedy of calling Barack "postracial" or "post-black" instead of calling him what he calls himself--a biracial black man. No one calls Joe Lieberman post-Jewish, or Mel Martinez post-Cuban American. What folks are getting is that blackness damn near is the cultural mainstream of this country. The fact that you're in Wisconsin somewhere performing an ritual that was perfected on the South Side of Chicago probably means that it's mainstream. But that doesn't mean it didn't come from the South Side. Both are true at the same time.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.