• Tiye Naeemah Cort

Is your shirt fake? Yes or no?

Updated: Apr 7

Atlanta, S2,Ep 10 FUBU

I can’t believe we are already one episode away from the finale. I’m not ready!

Yes for this opening Marshall's/TJ MAXX scene! That is definitely me and my parents when I was little.

Like Earn, my little brother was the kid who used to play between the clothing racks in stores. He would run all over the store and then get lost or find something crazy and try to get my mom to buy it.

Baby Earn finds a yellow FUBU shirt and asks his mom if he can get it, you know, because he’s a kid with no income and ish and his mom has such a black mom response with “It better not have no craziness on it.” Of course she decides that he can have it. When a kid asks his mom or dad to buy him something from a thrift store, parents usually make the purchase for three reasons:

1. They are happy that their child is seeing that it's OK to shop at a thrift store.

2. It is probably less than $10.

3. If they say "yes," their kid will finally stop complaining about how long they've been in the store.

Also, who buys chips at the thrift store? How long have any food items been in there? Where did they come from?

The next morning, Earn thinks he’s styling in this FUBU shirt, and he knows he is because his friend on the bus likes it. OMG, is this baby Darius?

Now we have bus drama. Never throw yogurt out the window when in a moving vehicle. Lesson learned.

Earn gets to school and he is all smiles. He really thinks he’s doing something in this FUBU! Uh oh… another boy has on the same shirt- but it’s not. The other boy's shirt has some additional patches. Someone’s shirt is fake, but whose? I'm betting on Earn.

This substitute teacher is a big dude, and baby Darius has jokes. We have a class clown on our hands, I see.

Flash to the next scene, and we find a young Paper Boi already woke enough to claim “racism” when he gets in trouble. He already knows how to play the system by saying that both he and the other kid should be written up. “They got snitches up in here!” Paper Boi just can’t get caught!

Earn is talking to his white friend who doesn’t care if his shirt is fake, and wasn’t that how it was with the white kids in middle school? All the black kids were styling, except me. I was the female "Earn," so when I finally got some name brand clothes, I thought they were the best thing ever. White kids could wear whatever, and no one really cared. Privilege.

In the next scene, Daneisha has her head down in class. White teacher decides to talk to her one-on-one and asks her if they’re “gonna have a good day today?” Ma'am, I don't think Daneisha is concerned about the day that "we" are going to have. She said that her head hurts, so you might want to just leave her alone for a bit. (How many times have I heard teachers ask students that? Why would you ask her that in front of the whole class? She said that her head hurts, so leave her alone. Can this conversation not wait until after class or during some activity when you can speak to her in private? It always baffles me when teachers try to intervene in such inappropriate ways but get confused when a student gets confrontational in return.) White teacher presses her, and now Daneisha is annoyed and gives attitude in return. Of course, white teacher knows not how to respond. We'll come back to this, I'm sure.

Now we're in science class, and Earn is out here knowing the parts of a cell! Aww, kids passing school notes. I remember those. We still pass them, y’all. It just goes down in the DMs.

“Is your shirt fake, yes or no?” LMAO. “Erica don’t like broke ass niggas.” Dead. But I feel you, Erica. What can you do with a dude who wears fake FUBU? Then again, what can you do with a dude who rocks real FUBU? Stay in school, kids. Learn the parts of a cell. FUBU won’t matter in 10 years, I promise. I have a feeling Earn’s shirt is fake. Who donates real FUBU to the thrift store?

Nah… don’t pull that thread, homie. Yup, cheap and fake.

“Feebee.” You gotta love how black people can clown each other, but Earn’s too young, man. I hate to see them picking on my man like this. Bullies suck.

This cafeteria pizza is bringing back memories. I low-key liked it, though. It was like bootleg Elio's. I remember once I found out that there was a brand in stores that tasted like the school pizza, I always made my mom buy Elio's. We kept the freezer stocked! Now Earn is paranoid, and he thinks everyone is looking at his shirt. Ha, I guess they are. Dang, John is at school today. He’s gonna rat everybody out.

Yo, bullies are the worst! The other boy is gonna be scarred for life because his dad bought him a fake shirt. I remember when I had a bully, and little things were such a big deal when we were younger. You could tease a kid about anything and make them cry. I'm just wondering, though, all the teachers we have seen so far are lame, but where are they in the cafeteria? They don't see this kid getting picked on and then storming out?

Paper Boi’s name is “Alfred”? Wow.

Earn said he got the shirt at Marshall’s on sale. Lies. Marshalls sells real FUBU- even now. Paper Boi and Earn haven’t changed much since they were kids. They talk to each other the exact same way. This is like the “Recess” version of "Atlanta."

Earn is ready to go as soon as that bell rings. Yup, get the hell out of there, man! Dang, it’s too late. John is here and he knows the real FUBU should say “Made in China.”Aww, look at Paper Boi coming to the rescue for his cousin and telling these lames that the real shirt should say "Made in Bangladesh" and that John is only saying "China" because he is Chinese. John is actually Filipino, but who is going to argue with Alfred? This scene got me because yay, family loyalty, but nobody ever argues with the big kid. Alfred had this confidence from a young age that made him sure that he could talk his way out of anything. I mean, it didn't work a couple of episodes ago in the woods, but he literally has the same "don't care until I care" attitude.

OK, so now that everyone believes that Earn rocks real designer duds, girl from science class is feeling him? What does it even mean to have a girlfriend in middle school? Y'all sit together in the lunchroom and share potato puffs? This little girl is showing early THOT tendencies with her superficiality. Not OK.

Aww, the other boy whose father bought him the real shirt is now being picked on to the extreme all because:

1. Earn didn't want to be embarrassed.

2. Alfred is too loyal to see his cousin go down like that.

3. Middle school bullies ain't shit.

This little boy is going to be so messed up. His daddy bought him that shirt, y'all. That means something to him. And to find out that jaun is fake? Ouch. Earn watches all of this from the school bus window. The bullies are taunting the boy, throwing things at him, just being evil. So Earn, what are you gonna do, tell the truth tomorrow and apologize to the kid? This is a moral dilemma!

The next day at school, Earn is in some Christmas plaid shirt looking normal as ever. The principal walks in and it looks like this is going to be a sad announcement. Yo, if that little boy killed himself- damn, Devin committed suicide. Yo this just got really serious. Apparently his parents just got divorced and he was taking it really hard. Imagine, your parents separate, and you are feeling good one day in school because you're wearing something that your daddy bought you, and you get tortured all day long for it. Talk about kicking someone when they're already down. Ugh.

How do you even handle that as a kid? Is Earn feeling responsible for Devin's death? Can he even talk to the school counselor about this? This is insane.

White teacher does her due diligence and is talking about how "we need to be more understanding of one another because you never know what anyone is going through," then in walks Daneisha feeling a lot better today, and she is eager to participate and ish. White teacher is clearly pleased with Daneisha's upbeat disposition today. I guess "we're" going to have a good day today, huh? I hope y'all didn't miss that. Earlier in the episode Daneisha was hella despondent and annoyed, but today she is a model student. You don't know what people are going through behind the scenes, and I wish that more teachers understood that. A head down on a desk isn't necessarily anything personal against you, teachers, so don't make it into something personal.

Anyway, Earn must feel a mess right now. He comes home to his mom and aunt telling him about how he needs to watch out for himself and not let people bully him. He’s feeling super responsible for this death now. But as with all deaths, life goes on for the living, and he has a piano lesson tomorrow. Ugh, they are talking about how his “clothes are important,” so he needs to dress nicely for piano lessons. Just yesterday, he thought that his clothes were important, and his vanity potentially played into pushing another little boy over the edge. Today, his mom and aunt are telling him to dress to impress.

To top it off, mom bought him another FUBU shirt. This time it’s real because she bought it on sale! Yo, this is insane.

This episode was layered with all types of issues: bullying, suicide, classroom and behavioral management, adolescence... so much. All of these episodes are so well done and multifaceted. I'm not ready for a finale yet!


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