What is Bootblacking?
Bootblacking is the practice of caring for boots, shoes, and other leather apparel. While the term "bootblack" originates from the 1800s, in recent years the practice has experienced an increase in popularity in the Leather subculture. Bootblacks are commonly found in leather and leather-friendly bars, providing their services to the bars patrons. Bootblack contests are held regularly, offering bootblacks the opportunity not only to demonstrate their proficiency as a bootblack but also represent their identity in the Leather Community. Throughout the Leather Community, bootblacks are well-known for their fundraising efforts, often donating all of the money they make at an event to a charitable organization.
Why a Bootblack Wiki?
Bootblacking goes beyond the concept of leather care. While the techniques of a shine represent a significant part of what it means to be a bootblack, there are much deeper aspects to the individual bootblack and to the Bootblack Community. Part of what makes a community is the communication of the history and traditions of that community. The Bootblack Wiki is an attempt to provide the members of the Bootblack Community with a venue in which to contribute their knowledge not only of the techniques of bootblacking, but also their own experiences in the Bootblack Community.
Additionally, the topic of bootblacking is simultaneously too big for and insufficiently documented for Wikipedia. Attempts have been made to create Wikipedia pages for bootblacking, but have been deleted, largely because of original research and tone issues. We can make the rules around here.
Who Can Contribute?
Anyone who identifies as a bootblack or a supporter of the Bootblack Community may contribute to the Bootblack Wiki. At present, contributing to the Wiki is open to all Wikidot account-holders.
How Can I Contribute?
There are three ways to contribute to the content of the Bootblack Wiki. First, you can expand on the information presented on a page. Second, in reading through the pages here, you may find a topic that is referenced by an existing page for which there is no corresponding page. For example, one may note that on the Bootblack Contest page, there is a reference to traditonally having chocolate cake at bootblack parties, but no expansion on that topic. If the topic offers enough potential content, it would be appropriate to create a new page (in this case, a Chocolate Cake page). Finally, if there is a topic that you feel is important to include, you can simply make a new page and make sure that it is clear that the page needs to be formally incorporated into the wiki.
Additionally, contributing by editing existing content and putting forth suggestions for additional content are also welcome.
Rules for Content:
- This is a collaborative effort; please approach all of your contributions in that way. If your submission is edited or deleted, please consider the changes to have been made with the best interests of the Wiki in mind.
- Remember the distinction between opinion and fact.
- Individuals have absolute control over content specifically about them, up to and including the mere reference to them.
If you would like to add something to this site (but not sure how to do it) or just have questions, you can contact me at moc.liamg|ahtibatevals#moc.liamg|ahtibatevals
We hope that the Bootblack Wiki provides a place for all bootblacks to explore and share their common identity as a member of the Bootblack Community.