How To Be Black In America: A (Relatively) Short List
by Mia McKenzie 1. Don’t sag your pants. Pull them up. Slowly. Don’t make any sudden movements. 2. Stop talking about racism. That’s over. (see: black President) 2.5. Stop asking the black President to do anything to help you. That’s reverse-racism. Or something. 3. Don’t be mad. 4. Don’t reach for your wallet. Or your cell phone. 5. Who told you it was okay to walk down the street?? 6. Don’t assert yourself. You’re scaring people. Don’t scare people so much. 7. Why do you talk like that? 8. Get an education somehow. Speak properly, for Christ’s sake. But don’t be uppity. 9. Why do you talk like that? 10. Don’t wear a weave. 10.5. Don’t wear your hair natural, either, unless you got that good hair. JP Morgan Chase don’t do nappy. 11. Don’t exist. 12. You’re really dark. Can you do something about that? In fact, if you’re going to insist on being black, please be as light-skinned as possible. Have a white parent, if you can manage it. K? 13. Jump. 14. Don’t have kids unless you’re married. And everyone knows Black women can’t find husbands so… just don’t have kids. If you must have them, though, have daughters. 14.5 Don’t have sons. If you do have sons and they end up dead or in a cage, that’s your problem. You should have known better. (continued below) ———————————————————————————————————— BGD is a 100% reader-funded, non-profit project. DONATE <http://blackgirldangerous.org/donate/> today and support marginalized voices. ———————————————————————————————————— 15. Vote Democrat. 16. Don’t talk about liking fried chicken. We are respectable negroes up in here. 17. Separate yourself as much as possible from niggers. Denounce those black people as often as you can. 18. Be nicer. You know people are intimidated by you, right? Why are you making it harder on yourself? 19. Be successful somehow. But do it without any kind of help. I mean, that’s how white people did it, right? No help whatsoever. 20. Jesus, slavery was 150 years ago. Get your shit together. 21. Don’t get nominated for an Ocsar at 9 years old. This makes you a cunt <http://www.racialicious.com/2013/02/25/apparently-people-have-beef-with-quvenzhane-wallis/> . 22. Why is your name so weird? Imma just call you… (see: #21) 23. Let people who don’t experience anti-black racism tell you what it is and what it is not, how it does and does not effect you, and how you should feel and, especially, not feel about it. 24. Tell people what aisle they can find the Ajax in. Because you obviously stock shelves at this Target even though you are wearing a suit. 25. Why is your butt like that? 26. If you’re black and queer, choose which of those communities to align yourself with. I think the choice is obvious. (see: Recent Supreme Court Rulings) 27. Don’t run. Unless you’re on a football field. Black people running = something bad is happening. Unless it’s sports. 28. Can your dick be smaller? I mean, you’re kind of feeding into the stereotype with that thing. 29. Spend 98% of your energy trying to be more respectable/acceptable. Translation: why aren’t you better at being a civilized human being? 30. Play dead. Learn to curl up in a ball as if trying to survive a bear attack. 31. Just get over it. White people with neck tattoos get discriminated against, too. It’s not just you. 32. Don’t defend yourself. Other people get to decide how you die. Accept that. 33. Remember that none of these things will necessarily save you. If you let yourself believe they will, that’s your fault. 34. Hold close to your family and your homies, anyway. Make food with them. Cry. Laugh. Dance. Repeat. It may not save you, but it’ll feel good. 34.5. Make crazy good, life-altering art. 35. Forgive somebody who looks like you. 36. Read a lot of books. Get recommendations from awesome people. 37. Try really hard to get on a jury. 38. Reject ableism and cissexism and heteronormativity and classism and fat-shaming and normative gender roles and misogynoir and everything massa ever told you and is still telling you. 39. Keep going. Or don’t. 39.5. Keep fighting. Or don’t. 40. Look hard at your own individual shit and fix it so you can be better at love. 41. Love. 42. Don’t forget about love. All work published on BGD is the intellectual property of its writers. Please do not republish anything from this site without express written permission from BGD. For more info, go here <http://blackgirldangerous.org/reposting-from-bgd> . [Mia McKenzie <http://miamckenzie.net/the-summer-we-got-free> is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous.] Mia McKenzie <http://miamckenzie.net/the-summer-we-got-free> is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous. Get Mia McKenzie’s debut literary novel, The Summer We Got Free <http://www.amazon.com/The-Summer-We-Got-Free/dp/0988628600/ref=tmm_pap_title_0> . It just won the Lambda Literary Award. SUPPORT <http://blackgirldangerous.org/donate/> Black Girl Dangerous and help amplify the voices of queer and trans* people of color! Follow us on Twitter: @blackgirldanger <https://twitter.com/blackgirldanger> LIKE <https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Girl-Dangerous/184890874945927> us on Facebook
7. Why do you talk like that?
9. Why do you talk like that?
14. Don’t have kids unless you’re married. And everyone knows Black women can’t find husbands so… just don’t have kids. If you must have them, though, have daughters.
24. Tell people what aisle they can find the Ajax in. Because you obviously stock shelves at this Target even though you are wearing a suit.
37. Try really hard to get on a jury.
1-30 are weak. And whiny. But mainly weak. Except for 28…that shit’s legit.
The rest are awesome though. Except 38.
Main thing, yeah, it’s hard. People are racist dicks with absurd expectations. But stop exuding yourself, because it doesn’t make life any better. Suck it up, work with what you’ve got, and get where you can. And pass that shit in to your kids. We’ve come a long way in two generations…let’s push and shock everybody with what we do over the next two.