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Best In Black Celebrity News & Gossip; Urban Since 2007

Planking Did Not Originate From Slavery…So Continue On

1) Is planking harmful? Anything that’s harmless and fun can easily be ruined my rumors and stupidity.  If you’re going to plank, please don’t do it somewhere that can cause you serious injury, harm, or death. Recently someone’s died from planking, but that doesn’t make planking  unsafe. Please use common sense when planking. The whole concept is to be creative and funny and original. Not deadly!

Rosario Dawson Planking Planking Did Not Originate From Slavery...So Continue On

2) Did planking originate from slavery? Planking did not originate from slavery. It was originally called the “Lying Down Game”, where people would just fall face down onto something and take a silly picture. It is believed to have started in 1997 in England as a meme that has slowly gone viral and global.

3) Are their incidents of slaves laying down face first? Of course, but that doesn’t mean planking originate from a slave ship. There are many ways slaves were positioned on ships, and the idea was to pack as may Africans as possible into a small space in order to make the biggest profit. The majority of the slaves were positioned side ways or face up to avoid asphyxiation.

4) Was the word plank used to describe the way slaves were positioned? Slaves often wore what was a called a plank [wooden] collar that held the slaves in place during transport, but the plank used in planking simply means as stiff as a board, like a wooden plank, just like the plank position in yoga. As in walk the plank. The term “planking” originated in Australia to describe the position of the hands and feet to mimic a board, but the game is called many different things depending on what country you live in. In the UK, the game is called the Laying or Lying Down Game, in Korea it’s called the Play Dead Game, in France it’s called On One’s Belly Game, and in the US it has also been referred to as Facedowns. All of this can be found via Google.

5) Are you racist if you plank? Depends on what you’re planking or how you plank? If you’re planking in a Ku Klux Klan mask, then yeah, you may be racist, or have a really dark twisted sense of humor.

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46 Comments

  1. Actually it did originate froms lavery. Where did you get your information from? If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat. It’s a shame that a black celebrity gossip site doesn’t even know how degrading and dehumanizing such acts are. SMH

    • @Pro-Black,

      My history is above in print, where is your history?

      People have not been playing planking since slavery. You don’t have one fact listed in your comment. Degrading and dehumanizing…LMBO at the ignorance I get to read.

  2. clearly planking doesn’t come from slavery…anyone who has ever tried to get their abs in shape has done a plank and knows this is where this came from…

  3. well where do you get your info from cuz somebody lied to you..I dnt have to post stuff for it to be true…read things other than other blog sites

    • @Pro-Black,

      Actually you do! If you have no facts then it’s just an opinion, and boy does everyone have one.

  4. slaves were planked when making the voyage the only difference is they were face up.

    • @harajuku,

      Slaves were also whipped, does that mean whipping came from slavery?

      Slaves weren’t the only think planked on ships.

      The object of the game to appear dead-like, not slave like.

      Lastly, it wasn’t originally called planking, that name came from Australia, it was called the lying down game.

      • @MrsGrapevine 2,
        Actually yes, whipping kids asses originates from slavery. A vicious circle.

      • @Ue daniels,

        That’s another lie. People of all races were whipping kids long before the slave trade. Spare the rod, spoil the child referenced in the bible is proof. White people also whip their kids, and have done so before the North Atlantic Slave Trade, and so have Asian and Indians, and Africans.

        Honestly people, have you read any books.

    • @harajuku, actually yes they were placed in various positions but face down became the position of choice due to so many getting sick during the voyage and choking on their own vomit.

      • @style73,

        Site your source. You can look at slave packing diagrams, and see that face down was not a preferred method. Sideways was preferred in tight packing ships. Face up they choked, face down they suffocated.

        In loose packing ships sitting upright was the preferred method, definitely not face down.

      • @MrsGrapevine 2, http://www.courtneyluv.com/planking-is-related-to-slavery/

        Here is his or her source

      • @,

        There is no evidence provided that the preferred method to transport slaves was face down prone position. Even the diagram shown has them face up. Secondly, the word planking doesn’t even apply to the way the slaves were packed, but to the collar around their neck made of plank (wood), or to the ship plank (wood floor). Thus proven that plank means “wood” and not slave packing.

        Even in this article which has been posted all across the net, the author says:

        “Although “planking” wasn’t the official terminology used by slave masters it is still seen as an insult to some African Americans. I don’t know why and don’t have the answer! At the same token, it is seen as a core strengthening exercise to others.”

        If you can find me proof that the people who originated or created planking was mocking a slave on a ship, then I may change my mind. So far, there is no link that proves planking came from slavery.

        It’s offensive when someone takes it from the culture, there is not proof what-so-ever, that planking was taking from slave ships. Especially since there are so many other reason a person can be lying face down (i.e. from being drunk, from falling, from playing dead, from exercising in yoga).

        Sitting Indian style, now that’s offensive. Because it derived from the way Native Americans sit, and it even uses their name “Indian” in the labeling. However, that doesn’t stop people from sitting with their legs crossed, because their intent is not to dishonor Native Americans.

        The word planking doesn’t even come from slavery, it originated before the North Atlantic Trade. No one says “lying down planking style”, by referring to slaves. Most Americans haven’t even heard of planking until recently. So how did it originate from slavery? Walking is linked to slavery, but that doesn’t stop people from walking. Auctions are linked to slavery, but that don’t stop people from going to auctions. Pledging in sorority or fraternity is linked to slavery, and that does NOT stop a lot of people from pledging.

        If you don’t like planking that’s fine, but don’t try to make it racist when it’s not. THE END!!!

  5. HEY MRS. GRAPEVINE I GOT A JOKE FOR YOU!….A dead slave came to me and said I can’t believe people are really making fun of this “plankin” thing….I said yeah seems like a waste of time…he looked at me with a straight face and said that is when enslavers stacked slaves on a plank beds face down, hands chained to their waist and called it PLANKING THE SLAVES!! So is plankin’ still funny to you?

    • @bohemian blessing,

      It’s called planking, not because of what they did to the slaves, but because of the “plank” (wood used to tie down the slaves). Plank describes wood not slaves. Thus the reason pirates said walk the plank, also referred to as planking. Planking comes from wood plank. Wood plank was used in slavery, but it was also used in so many other occasions through out history.

      Secondly, if something derives from slavery there would be a link that goes all the way back to slavery. As in soul food and Ebonics. Planking is only a few years old, and derived from the play dead game or the lying down game. Only when it got to Australia did the name become planking. Australia didn’t receive a lot of slave ships because the majority of their slaves were the Aborigines, those darker people indigenous to the land. So planking slaves would have been a British or English word, and yet when the game originated in England the word planking wasn’t even used.

      So does the lying down game come from slavery? Did the play dead game come from slavery? There is no link between planking and slavery, other than the word plank. The word plank is used in many things involving wood and politics. Yoga uses the word plank or planking to describe a stiff as a board pose, and yoga certainly didn’t derive from slavery or originate from slavery.

      It kills me people pretending to be smart or superior, but still don’t have the ability process information and think for themselves.

      Lastly, stop being a slave. Everything black people do doesn’t have to be slavery. this 2010 we are more than slaves, and that slave mentality is used to imprison the way black people think, thus making them a slave.

      All you are doing is spitting out what someone else has said, without bothering to do your research. If you want to eat ribs, eat ribs, and if you want to say ain’t, say ain’t. It does not make you a slave and it certainly doesn’t mean you dishonoring anyone or anything.

      • @MrsGrapevine 2
        Lady, you seem like your smart.
        But walking the plank was used for death. Secondly slavery started with the dutch, looks suspicious that this game would start near that country.

        And last, it’s not just black people who are slaves today. It’s not about color: read some jordan maxwell, michael tsarion, look up subjects on the federal reserve, imf, fema’s plans for the masses.
        We are still slaves, the whole point is to disguise it as non sinister.

      • @Ue daniels,

        1) It does not matter what walking the plank was used for, the point is not just slavery used the word plank or planking. Planking could come from anything that uses wood. Walk the plank, means walk this piece of wood into the water where you might die. The point is that plank means wood, or platform.

        2) This game started in the UK and not in the Netherlands. No I don’t find it suspicious that the game started few hundred miles away and 500 years later. No matter where is started it would be suspicious because slaves were taken all over the world, and many other countries join the dutch in shipping Africans as cargo.

        3) When the say planking comes from slavery, they are talking specifically about black slaves mostly from West Africa during the North Atlantic Slave Trade. We are not referring to other races of slaves on slave ships. Yes other races were enslaved, but when we say “slavery” we are very specific about black slaves traded across the atlantic.

        4) Yes, everyone is a slave to something, but that’s another topic. This post is not about government and freedom, it’s about the game planking and how there is no real link to slavery, and by slavery we are talking about blacks who were brought over on ships from West Africa, and not other types of slaves.

    • @bohemian blessing,

      Definition of “plank” or “planking”

      1. a heavy thick board; especially : one 2 to 4 inches

      2. an object made of a plank

      3. an article in the platform of a political party

      4. a principal item of a policy or program

      5. heavy boards that are used to build something

      6. to cover, build, or floor

      7. to set down forcefully —usually used with down

      8. to cook and serve on a board

      9. a position in yoga

  6. People are idiots with no critical thinking skills! It’s a game! Laying like a plank does not equal up to mimicking slaves!

  7. this just proves that people will do anything as long as a million other fools do it to. but to each his own

  8. why the hell is that pic next to my comment?

  9. Weather or not it originated from slavery or not it relates back to a time when blacks were being abused, beat, raped, whipped, etc. Slaves were planked, so planking can be related to it. i think that this should be stopped as it relates to one of the worst times in black history. this activity should not have been named planking period. the creator should have been smart enough to know that this would be offensive to blacks. if they called it honkying or whitebreading or the cracker ass cracker game im sure whites wouldnt like it. this act needs to be eliminated all together. Just my opinion.

    • @jay,

      If it didn’t originate from slavery, how does it go back to a time when blacks were abused. Your argument and logic doesn’t make any sense.

      Slaves were not planked, they were placed in planks or stacked on planks. Plank does not refer to the slave, it refers to the wood used on ships. By your logic we shouldn’t even get on ships.

      It doesn’t matter what the name is or was, someone thinks it resembles the position a slave was placed in. Lying Down Face Down game would have still been offensive to someone.

      Thirdly the creator didn’t name it planking!!! It was named the LYING DOWN GAME. Have you read anything on the subject, including this post?

      Why would they call it a racist name, when it’s not about race. FYI, planking doesn’t mean black or slave in any shape or form. It means wood, and we use wood and planks everyday.

  10. Ok so I’ve read through ALL of the comments left on this particular subject, because I too had been very curious. I got the slave reference and all that, however Ms. Lady… I’m sure the GAME DID NOT become such a craze based on the fact of slave planking, but isn’t it a big coincidence that it CAN in fact be referenced to slavery?
    Wooden plank, yoga plank pose, walking the plank… Yadda, yadda, yadda. I’m not stating that it is or isn’t coming from a humiliating stand point, but RESPECT the fact that SOME Black/African-American people are offended. And of course RESPECT THEIR stance against it. I’m not discrediting you or your research; as I have said THE GAME may not have come become a craze due to the history of slavery and/or slave ships. Yourself, Myself and the others who are questioning the true meaning or REASON (because that’s what really in question) behind “Planking” (“The Laying Down”game/ “Playing Dead”game) ARE NOT THE ORIGINATORS, so WE can not accurately pinpoint the reason(s) why it was “created”.
    You are ABSOLUTELY correct in saying everyone has an opinion. As I’ve heard more times than not; “Opinions are like a**holes, everyone’s got one.” Hence your blog, the topics you discuss and my comment.

    • @Just.,

      Isn’t a big coincidence that almost anything black people do can be linked to slavery. No, we’re black and so were slaves. Planking can be linked to so many things, because the word plank means wood. Is that coincidence? NO!

      Plank means wood, and planking can be linked to anything that uses plank wood. Just because you make an analogy, doesn’t mean the act originate from slavery.

      Black people are offended about something everyday. I’m not respecting any stance that can’t be proven. Calling people racist without proof is not right at all. When you accusing someone of something of being racist, the burden of proof is on you. So far, no one can actually say that planking came from slavery.

      If you have no proof that the people who invented this game were racist, then don’t call them racist.

      Comparing opinions to a-holes, is just like comparing planking to slavery. Just cause everyone has one doesn’t make the two things related. At the end opinions or not a-holes, and planking is not slavery.

  11. It is really embarrassing that there are black people finding offense with planking. These “offended” black people are, however, the same ones who had to “Google” our history from Wikipedia because they haven’t read book the first on anything substantive about black history or African history for that matter and this trend is something to be “outraged” about to feel more educated and in tune with your history than you are. Want to respect your ancestors who were slaves? How about pick up a BOOK or two, build your critical thinking skills. Invest in your neighborhoods, stop supporting bufoonery on tv, teach a child they are more valuable than material things and then, Maybe then you are representing our people well. But, until then, stfu with this manufactured outrage over a silly game. Pick a cause that actually makes a difference.

    • @kee,

      Co-Sign!

    • @kee, I agree and they are the same people who use nigga on a daily bases.

    • @kee, Well stated! I was offended that people are so offended. In actuality, the “source” that initially stated the allegation that this craze has racists tones and brought the craze to light here in America is a person whose blog is filled with self-hating antics every day. So Mrs. Grapevine is 100% accurate to challenge us to CONSIDER OUR SOURCES. This post sums up everything that I’ve felt regarding this “manufactured outrage” (as you so eloquently put it). People need to read more… and when I say read, I mean something other than blogs. Take some African Studies classes, and know some more history so that you’re not so easily persuaded and sheepishly following the opinions of others. That is all.

    • @kee, you really said some very powerful words then! amen amen amen! They should also teach their children to read while they are learning every disrespectful (and DEHUMANIZING) song and dance! I am african american and at times i find myself ashamed of some of my neighbors that think it is cute when their children curse out grown people or find it cute to act like a fucking animal and fight and break down our own race! I myself do not find any offense to the GAME!

  12. So agree with the recent comments.. this situation needs to go away.. n slaves were NOT just Black.. they had slaves in Roman Times n they were not all Black.. Black does NOT mean slave..

  13. YOU ARE SERIOUSLY A FUCKIN DUMB ASS! 1997 WAS WHEN THIS “PLANKING GAME” CAME OF ORGIN HUH YEAH RIGHT GET REAL.I SWEAR THEY WILL LET ANY DUMB ASS HAVE A BLOG THESE DAYS

    • @your dumb,

      I guess dummies attract dummies because it actually reads, “It is believed to have started in 1997.”

      Reading is fundamental yet still very challenging for many.

      Lastly, they don’t let you have a blog. You can just have one. There is not blog genie that grants you blog wishes. If you wanted a dumb blog, too, you could start one right now for free.

  14. you are an idiot would you think the idiots that started the “lying down game” got it from seeing pics of slaves??? they’re were lying down the exact same way on boats and wouldn’t you think the name planking come from a boat?? this idiot should never write an article

    • @who cares,

      What picture would that be, Since pictures of slaves are so readily available? You do know they didn’t have cameras phones back then, probably not. So what pictures of slaves were these guys watching???

      You said, “Planking came from a boat”.

      Really, I thought boats came from planking. Planking is grouping wood together to form a boat or a plank bed. In fact boats are made from planks. Therefore boats came from planking.

  15. We should always, always seek knowledge for ourselves and not rely on other say. Just because a person is a celeb doesn’t make their words more valid.

  16. I really liked this topic and evryone’s saying.It made me feel better about the situation,because I being black,thought it was funny how people were planking themselves,then out of no where other peoples started to make me feel offended.Hence,I wouldnt have felt that way,so truly we all do need to get our own knowledge of topics before we rush to persuade your race to thinking someone’s making fun of you all.

  17. I so agree with Kee!!! I’m embarrassed that every time u look around we making nothing out of something. There are so many other things we need to be making a stand against. Go back up top and READ tha facts then READ what Kee wrote. Plank means Wood not Slave …. Enough said!!!!!!

  18. MAJOR SIDE NOTE:
    Are “who cares” and “your dumb” the same people or at least related? There’s only room for one of you at a time. (Also, “your” should actually be “you’re”- but I digress.)

  19. *same person*
    ok goodnight

  20. Planking is related to slavery you said your self slaves sleep on plank or watever that is to close of relation to diassociate. I feel the upper level of thinking people are trying to exhibit but pirates aka slave traders ” walking the plank ” some watchs to much tv I think really being literal joke about walking the plank fine joke about people being stacked like planks unacceptable think outside the box ru blind

    • @slim,

      Everything is related to slavery, but that doesn’t mean it originated or is linked to slavery. There is no evidence that the people who invented planking were thinking of slaves, or mocking slaves, or copying slaves. There is also no evidence that the word planking is in reference to slaves lying on plank beds, or ship beds.

      Secondly, being stacked like planks is an analogy, not a fact, but figurative speech. Like a metaphor, or in this case a simile. Hopefully you learned that in school. You can also say slaves being stacked like bricks, slaves being stacked like dogs, slaves being stacked like logs, or slaves being stacked like cargo. That does not make bricks, dogs, cargo, or logs racist. It certainly doesn’t meant those words originated from slavery either.

      I’m not thinking inside or outside the box to intentionally make something racist because I want it to be linked to slavery. I’m looking at the actual facts. The facts are there is no evidence or proof that planking came from slavery. Can you relate it to slavery, of course, but you can relate almost anything to slavery. If something originates from something their is a link and trail.

      If you want planking to be linked to slavery, then that’s good for you. But, the evidence is just not there. You can reach all you want, but you can’t make the evidence fit.

      • Planks were used as beds for slaves. Placed two-by-two, men and women were forced beneath the ship deck of slave ships. The more slaves a boat could hold, the greater a profit the captain would make. When the planks were lifted, it provided holding collars for five slaves, and then the plank was chained down. This was called “Packing”

        The captives lay down on unfinished planking with virtually no room to move or breathe. Elbows and wrists will be scraped to the bone by the motion of the rough seas.

        Even if some don’t want to go as far as comparing planking to slavery, there’s no denying that some pictures are atrocious. In one picture ive seen, a girl is planking with her head in a toilet bowl with her body outstretched. In another instance, rapper Diamond is planking with her body at a ninety degree angle to the floor on a stripper-style pole. And if that isn’t bad enough, a 20-year-old’s death was the result of trying to take a picture while planking off a balcony.

        Fads are fads, and it is understood that they will pass over time, but for the sake of possibly respecting history, our pride and, in some cases, our lives, the fad expiration date for planking may need to come sooner rather than later.

  21. Okay, so I’ve read over these comments and all of you people who think that kids going around having a good fun time laying down on things refers to them being rude about slavery.. get a grip.. I’m in new jersey and most of the kids around here doing this are playing a fun game with each other that HAS NO HARM OR MEANING behind it! They aren’t out doing drugs or committing crimes or hurting anyone they are taking pictures of them doing a pose on random things. Shut the hell up and stop arguing over something that it isn’t. I think this is a great game for kids to be doing instead of going out and getting into trouble. So just stop with all the “it has to do with slavery and its rude and I’m so offended” get over yourselves and stop acting so childish. If your grown you would realize that slavery has been over, so its time to let it go. If they start to lay in groups side by side with not an inch next to eachother and tied up with chains on wooden “planks” and bound to one another and not fed and being beat and whipped and then you can start whatever u want..but thats not going to happen because its all fun and games. So just shut up already. Thanks.

  22. Okay, So I read every single comment…
    I feel bad for you, Mrs.Grapevine, For having to say the same thing over and over to all these people who think that planking is offensive. I know A lot of people who plank, and I believe that they don’t even KNOW that planking could somewhat be linked to slavery. The people who think this game is offensive don’t even realize that they are the only ones that are making it racist.

  23. Planks were used as beds for slaves. Placed two-by-two, men and women were forced beneath the ship deck of slave ships. The more slaves a boat could hold, the greater a profit the captain would make. When the planks were lifted, it provided holding collars for five slaves, and then the plank was chained down. This was called “Packing”

    The captives lay down on unfinished planking with virtually no room to move or breathe. Elbows and wrists will be scraped to the bone by the motion of the rough seas.

    Even if some don’t want to go as far as comparing planking to slavery, there’s no denying that some pictures are atrocious. In one picture ive seen, a girl is planking with her head in a toilet bowl with her body outstretched. In another instance, rapper Diamond is planking with her body at a ninety degree angle to the floor on a stripper-style pole. And if that isn’t bad enough, a 20-year-old’s death was the result of trying to take a picture while planking off a balcony.

    Fads are fads, and it is understood that they will pass over time, but for the sake of possibly respecting history, our pride and, in some cases, our lives, the fad expiration date for planking may need to come sooner rather than later.

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