14 Things Your Black Friend Wants You To Know

Happy Endings: Seasons 1 & 2
Happy Endings: Seasons 1 & 2

1. There’s no such thing as being the “whitest black guy/girl.”

As a black dude who enjoys cardigans, fights the urge to express my love for Lana Del Rey on social media every day, drinks a lot of Starbucks (Goldcard Member, woot woot!), occasionally says “woot woot!” regrets saying “woot woot!” and thoroughly enjoys Whole Foods Market, I’m often told how “white” I am, which is preposterous. Is overpaying for $8 soy nuts a white thing to do? Maybe that’s a bad example. Does a closet full of cardigans and a love for hazelnut fraps make me not black? Of course not. The worst thing about this point? 9 times out of 10 it’s other black people who make the remark, which is disturbing because why enforce bogus stereotypes or make life harder on each other?

2. There’s no such thing as cornrolls.

Cornrows, however, are a hairstyle that consists of braids. I’m happy to be your autocorrect on this one. Also, if you’re ever in Jamaica or something and feel inspired to get some vacation cornrows, I just want you to know how to spell it properly when you hashtag and share the controversial photo of yourself on Instagram.

3. Sometimes your black friend can’t just go to your barber.

It’s like handing someone a hairbrush & fingernail polish and asking them to create a beautiful, detailed painting with it. Props to Supercuts because once, years ago in an emergency situation, some poor woman with no idea what a fade was attempted to give me one. It was the gutsiest hairstyling performance of the decade, though it came up short of expectations… Literally, she took the guard off the hair clippers and left me 64% bald.

4. If you noticed something might’ve been slightly racist, your black friend definitely noticed it too.

Constant use of black people on McNugget commercials? Noticed it. Short lifespans for black characters on The Walking Dead? Noticed it. Black dolls at Target on clearance? Noticed. It.

5. Photo opportunities in dark lighting aren’t appealing.

You wouldn’t stand a tall person in front of someone short for a picture, right? I mean, the whole point of a photo is to be observable, so dark rooms and black folks aren’t always the best combination. A little camera flash in a dimly lit room never hurt anybody, but even that doesn’t ensure all skin tones visibility. The next time you’re cosmic bowling (or whatever activity happens in a dark room) with black friends in attendance, and you call for a group photo, silently skedaddle on into your phone’s settings to ensure that the flash is on and it’s an equal opportunity photo.

6. Urban Dictionary is your friend and it won’t judge you.

Someone asked me what exactly a ‘bae’ is recently and I didn’t know so I pretended like it’s a huge hassle to be the black friend who answers all of the slang related inquiries. If there are acronyms and terms being thrown around that sound foreign, feel free to visit Urban Dictionary which will have the answers you seek. Also, “bae” stands for ‘before anyone else’ and is used as “baby” or “boo” would be.

7. Hootie’s name isn’t Hootie — it’s Darius Rucker.

This is just some information I think everyone should know. Nobody deserves to go through life erroneously being called Hootie. Nobody.

8. Regular handshakes work.

A nice, firm grip with a side of eye contact is just fine. Fist bumps, double daps, grips, clutches, pulling into the body for a half hug stuff and all that extracurricular stuff leads to confusion and that’s when you get awkward exchanges and wind up like the miserable for an eternity on a three second loop people in handshake fail gifs.

9. You don’t have to do anything special with your hands when posing for a photo with your black friend.

No finger signs necessary, I promise.

10. Referring to your black friend as “my black friend” is a solid way to end the friendship.

The instant the last syllable of that sentence leaves your mouth, the friend thing might become null and void.

11. You may never know what it’s like to experience racism directly, and that’s not your fault.

You don’t have to experience something firsthand to grasp that it’s crappy – understanding and empathizing go a long way as far as earning respect and appreciation.

12. Halloween is limiting.

The costume search can feel pretty restricting considering Will Smith in Hancock and a rarely acknowledged version of the Green Lantern are all we’ve got superhero-wise. Sometimes we have to take the costumes of characters that were another skin color in the movies, but that doesn’t mean rocking blackface in your getup becomes funny/acceptable.

13.Your black friend is pulling for the black contestant on Family Feud.

Doesn’t everyone involuntarily, uncontrollably, even if only slightly, pull for the family predominantly of their race when watching Family Feud. That being said, I think it’s meant to be a mostly unspoken thing because moments like this are way too awkward to discuss:

14. “Good looking FOR A BLACK girl/guy.” is just a no.

Ridiculous statement. Ridiculous to say about any person of any race, really. Cute for a ______ should be eliminated as a sentence. Unless you’re saying “cute for a French bulldog” because aesthetically those things are so hit or miss. TC Mark

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