Five on the Black Hand Side – The origin of the DAP

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2017 by yorick

Had to go digging for this article, but finally found it. Here is a bit of the history of the dap and its meaning:
By LaMont Hamilton

Five on the Black Hand Side is a project exploring gestural languages that were born in African American communities during the 1960s and 1970s, including the “the dap” and the black power handshake. When we see youths, athletes, or even President Obama giving a fist bump or dap, we think of these gestures as mere greetings and are not aware of the origins and historical significance of these languages.

Historically, the dap is both a symbol among African American men that expresses unity, strength, defiance, or resistance and a complex language for communicating information. The dap and the black power handshake, which evolved from the dap, were important symbols of black consciousness, identity, and cultural unity throughout black America.

The dap originated during the late 1960s among black G.I.s stationed in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. At a time when the Black Power movement was burgeoning, racial unrest was prominent in American cities, and draft reforms sent tens of thousands of young African Americans into combat, the dap became an important symbol of unity and survival in a racially turbulent atmosphere. Scholars on the Vietnam War and black Vietnam vets alike note that the dap derived from a pact black soldiers took in order to convey their commitment to looking after one another. Several unfortunate cases of black soldiers reportedly being shot by white soldiers during combat served as the impetus behind this physical act of solidarity.

Such events, combined with the racism and segregation faced by black G.I.s, created a pressing need for an act and symbol of unity. The dap, an acronym for “dignity and pride” whose movements translate to “I’m not above you, you’re not above me, we’re side by side, we’re together,” provided just this symbol of solidarity and served as a substitute for the Black Power salute prohibited by the military.

White soldiers and commanding officers deemed the handshake a threat under the misconception that the dap was a coded language of potential black insurrection. In fact the dap was also a coded form of communication between soldiers that conveyed necessary information for survival, such as what to expect at the battlefront or what had transpired during an operation. The dap was banned at all levels of the military, and thus many black soldiers were court-martialed, jailed, and even dishonorably discharged as a punishment for dapping. Military repression of the dap further cemented a desire for a symbol of solidarity and protection among black men.

Conversely, later in the war, the military saw the utility of using the dap in medical treatment of black combatants with post-traumatic stress disorder, creating a program of “dap therapy.” The military would bring in black G.I.s fluent in the dap to dap with these men to build their trust up to accept treatment from white doctors and staff.

In 2013, I began a series of photographs called Five on the Black Hand Side that image African American men performing the dap. I make these through identifying particular communities of men of different cultures and ages who participate in the culture of the dap, interviewing them, and photographing their handshakes. Through the research I have already conducted with these individuals, I have learned that there is a tremendous diversity of daps, evolving from the dramatically different movements and meanings of each military company.

At the Smithsonian, I have been researching oral and visual histories of the “Bloods” (black soldiers) of Vietnam, who coined the term “dap,” at the Soul Soldiers exhibition archives curated by Samuel L. Black of the Heinz History Center, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. I have been using the Smithsonian’s archives at the African Art Museum, the Hirshhorn, and the National Museum of American History to look for the evolution of the dap in songs, artwork, films, literature, and posters to understand how it and other gestures of black solidarity disseminated in popular culture. I will continue to interview black Vietnam veterans, former gang members, and others and photograph their handshakes to construct further images for Five on the Black Hand Side.

LaMont Hamilton is a photographer and visual artist from Chicago who is conducting research at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage through the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship program.


Religion is the flame. Humanity is the moth.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 26, 2016 by yorick

That is all.

Artificial Superior Intelligence

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2015 by yorick

What will really bake your noodle is when one considers that what we presently are living in this universal experience is a perfect example of ASI (Artificial Superintelligence).

The concept of how the universe was created matches in line with a system that could be generated along a complex set of rules governed and created by an ASI.

Which then carries us into the territory involving the lack of understanding humans presently and temporarily have for this universal experience and why most gravitate towards religion to explain the glimpses of an observable superior intelligence (in theory) in the environment. A superior intelligence, I might add, that doesn’t have an ego that needs to be supplicated by worship or awe. It’s sole purpose is to spur humanity to the point of developing other ASI systems that supersede the prior implementation…

…If humans can only get past the trivialities of life (religion, war, politics) on this planet, that is.

Found it.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1, 2015 by yorick

There is nothing in life like finding something that you spent decades searching for.

Then sometimes you realize that perhaps you weren’t ready yet to find it. Now that you are though, it pops up on your radar of existence, declaring, “What are you waiting for?”


These Books Can Teach You to Be the Best at Anything

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2015 by yorick


After my post What does it take to become an expert at anything? a number of people have written, curious about where to learn more on the subject.

A few of the best sources I pulled from are below, with links and descriptions:

Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

“Backed by cutting-edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will.”

Check it out here.

Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To

“Dr. Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals inChoke the astonishing new science of why we all too often blunder when the stakes are high. What happens…

View original post 625 more words

True Equality

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2014 by yorick

Any movement that is focused on only one part of the whole instead of the entire pie, regardless of its good intentions, inadvertently sets off a movement toward imbalance that is not easily remedied.

This goes for race, gender, sexual preference, class, religion or any other classification. Equality is an illusion in the minds of those who follow such exclusive tenets because their focus is only on uplifting the relevant segment at hand to suit their purposes, not the entire dynamic. – Yorick R. Brown

Things Made Obsolete This Century – Business Insider

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2013 by yorick

Things Made Obsolete This Century – Business Insider.

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