“Adopting Is The New Black”

Thanks to Carmen from racialicious for pointing out this Urban Outfitters t-shirt abomination…


Not much else to say here, I’ll leave it to you all to comment on this piece of work. Well Urban Outfitters has been known for this sort of bull so I am not surprised that they came out with a t-shirt like this. I remember a year ago or so seeing a board game that they were selling there called “Ghettopoly.” It’s essentially an extremely offensive stereotypical portrayal of all people of color with token characters. Check out the link if you want to see more. And I hate to say this, but the board game was originally developed by…an Asian American man. On the original site (which was ghettopoly.com) the owner of the game defends himself. There was a whole controversy about this before, and some might remember it. I had already banned Urban Outfitters for selling that, but looks like I renew my ban with the latest t-shirt.


4 Comments on ““Adopting Is The New Black”

  1. Wow. 😐

    This can be read at a lot of different levels, now, can’t it?

  2. This t-shirt has absolutely nothing to do with race. The word “black” here has to do with the color because black is a classic color that is always instyle. The shirt is implying that, because of so many recent celebrity adoptions such as Madonna and Angelina Jolie, adopting is now a fashion trend. This was not directed at “people of color” at all.

  3. Hi Cat,

    Thanks for the comment. The shirt can have various meanings, but the purpose of posting it to my blog has more to do with the cultural phenomena of transracial adoption.

    I was referring to a game called Ghettopoly which you can see above where it does have to do with people of color and the blatant offensiveness Urban Outfitters seems to perpetuate through their product lines.

    Transracial adoption, DOES have to do with race hence the “transracial” and as a cultural reference in the context of Madonna and Angelina which it is no doubt pointing to, they are indeed discussing transracial adoption.

    Black does happen to be a trendy color, but the fact that it is comparing a fashion statement like wearing black clothes to transracial adoption does imply that it’s trendy to adopt children of color transracially as Madonna and Angelina have done. It’s easy to dismiss the racial context of adoption, but I think it’s a bit callous of UO to create a shirt that compares the fashion of the color black to the fashion of adopting children of color.


  4. hahaha. okayyy, no wayyyyy. I can see where some people might get offended by this shirt, but it’s a total misinterpretation!
    Urban outfitters is a store that basically targets “hipsters”, and the reference on the shirt is to hipster culture, how there’s always something new and trendy. The statement is kind of like “pink is the new black” except it’s making a comment on how adoption is now “trendy” because stars like Angelina are doing it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the race of the child being adopted OR the “black” African American race. It’s purely making a sarcastic comment about hipster culture.
    The “black” in this case is the color, that’s it.

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