Lynae Vanee’s “Parking Lot Pimpin” videos are must-see comments

In one of her weekly Instagram videos, Lynae Vanee Bogues sits in an Atlanta parking lot in a portable chair. She is looking straight at the camera, wearing a cream-colored two-piece look – flared pants and a matching long sleeve top. She accessorizes with light blue sunglasses and a cashmere scarf. It’s perfectly tied. Her natural hair is blown out. Not a strand is moved.

It’s a familiar setting for Bugs, which fans have come to expect. Every Friday, the poet and activist posts a three- or four-minute video on Instagram, a practice she started in June 2020. Called “Parking Lot Pimpin”, the series dissects the cultural and socio-political trends of the blacktop – chosen as a medium distinguish his videos those of other creators. Bugs begins each segment with its catchphrase: “It’s Friday so I’ll stay dark, but I’ll keep it short.”

When Bogues started making “Parking Lot Pimpin” videos last year, she only had 2,000 followers on Instagram. Since then, his audience has grown to nearly half a million, organically stimulated by his quick and thoughtful reactions to the news cycle. It helps that she is as consistent with her weekly posts as she is in her meticulousness in preparing them. Along the way, she also landed lucrative brand partnerships with companies like Nike, Airbnb, and Tommy hilfiger; received a DM from Lee Daniels; and was featured on the hip-hop network Revolt TV.

In video, which has around 300,000 views, the 26-year-old talks about cultural appropriation. She begins by recapitulating Balenciaga’s latest controversy. In September, the fashion brand in the face of criticism of cultural appropriation for making loose pants, a trend popularized decades ago by black men, who were later criticized for dressing inappropriately and unprofessionally. “Men of all ages would sport their Girbauds, South Pole, Enyce, and even their True Religion jeans around their kneecaps,” Bogues explains in the video. She notes how the trend allowed men to show off designer boxers and chunky belt buckles, and how big design brands have since copied and capitalized on her popularity in black communities. During a break, she rhetorically asks viewers, “But now you’re about to have him on the runway?” “

She raises an eyebrow and takes a sip of tea from a flowery teacup.

The influencer tackles every topic she covers – from immigration reform To Aaliyah’s music – with the same precision. “When I pick a problem, it takes me a minute to conceptualize it, and then I do my research,” says Bogues, who received his Masters in African American Studies in 2018 from Boston University. She devotes a few hours on Thursdays to research and adapts the opening phrases to appeal to viewers. “I’m going to look at the old books I have. I will look for the information I need on reputable sites and databases. Once I have [that], I ask myself, “How do I communicate this and make it fun?” How do I keep it under four minutes? How can I make it relevant? ‘ “

She trained to hone these skills. Before quitting to make full-time videos, the former Spelman College student had been a high school teacher in Atlanta for three years and she was reportedly testing ways to teach black history. “My ability to teach was primarily related to my ability to build relationships, cultivate talent and drive in my young students,” she says, sitting in a quaint cafe in Los Angeles. But when COVID-19 required online education, she began to lose her passion for it. “I was a teacher. I was a volleyball coach. I wrote, directed and choreographed plays on black history. I was very involved with the kids, but once that all came together. been kidnapped, I didn’t like it. She has managed to maintain some of these relationships professionally. Today her team consists mostly of former students who fill roles such as assistant, editor and videographer.

In his videos, Bogues is both harsh and calming, like spoken poetry interspersed with facts. She delivers every educational talk with the swagger of ’90s rapper Eve and the spirit of Issa Rae. The camera likes it.

Bugs’ tendency to question the status quo is no accident. “I was sexually assaulted as a child and it was difficult for me to adjust, so a lot of the work I do now is honoring this little girl, giving her a voice and make her feel safe because there are often I turned away from her, ”she said.

However, it is the current political climate that has prompted her to amplify these messages outside the classroom. When students asked about the possibility of recreating civil rights movements like those of the 1960s, “I would say no,” Bogues recalls. “I was pessimistic, [because] people were too distracted and too many systemic things were going on that would prevent people from being able to support a movement. Her perspective changed on June 10, 2020, when she joined thousands of protesters in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park in a celebration that local journalists compared to an outdoor church, with gospel songs as a group walked to the Georgia State Capitol. “It was the most beautiful thing. I could cry thinking about it. says Bugs now. Shortly after, she published his first video. “My platform is about inclusiveness, love, respect for the different ways that Blackness exists, and breaking down walls of learned hatred that we don’t even know we’re exhibiting,” she says.

As she meets the moment and responds to it, she also looks forward to it. “I’m just here for the ride. I’m not asking questions, ”said Bogues, who saw himself pursue active or multidimensional artistic projects. “Every time I get my hands on what’s in front of me, God says, ‘Alright, here’s the next thing. So I’m just happy to be a ship. It’s so much bigger than me. It can’t be me.

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