The views in this article are the author’s own and do not represent the views of Her Campus or Her Campus FSU.
1. “Is that your real hair?”
Yes, this is my real hair. Growing straight from my scalp. My real natural, curly and beautiful (tangled sometimes) mess of hair. Not that it’s your business though, because honestly, what does it matter if the hair on my head is real or not? Don’t ask me questions like this—it’s like an insult in hiding.
2. “I’ve never gotten with a black girl before.”
Well, you’re always welcome to test out the waters. All you have to do is ask us out. I’m glad to be your first though.
3. “Can I touch your hair?”
HELL NO! Don’t ask me if you can touch my hair. The answer is no. I don’t go around asking you if I can touch your hair, so don’t ask me that. It’s a major invasion of privacy. Play it safe, for your own good and keep your hands to yourself, I do bite!
4. “I don’t see race.”
I understand this is meant to be well-meaning, but it’s not. It’s really just not. You can say that you don’t see race, but that doesn’t make things irrelevant. Although it’s a nice sentiment, it erases the struggles that people of color endure every day just for the color of their skin and it ignores the systems of power that are maintained by people who benefit from white privilege.
5. “You’re pretty for a black girl.”
First of all, check yourself! There are so many things wrong with this sentence. INSULT! I will scream it from the top of a building, this isn’t a compliment and will never be a compliment! If you think I’m pretty, just tell me I’m pretty—don’t add in the extra. I’m pretty because I’m black, not in spite of it. You’re dismissed.
6. “You’re not really black.”
Honestly, get in line. If I have to hear this one more time I’m going to lose my mind. What makes you the dictator of this? Just because I don’t have the typical tendencies that you decided one needs to qualify as black doesn’t make me not black. I’m an African-American woman, I’m black. You don’t make that decision for me, and neither do I. Being black? I was handed that beautiful token.
7. “You have an attitude all the time.”
Thank you, mainstream media, for only portraying black women as loud and volatile. No, I don’t have an attitude all the time, but yes, I do catch an attitude quickly. But that’s just me though, that doesn’t go for every black girl you know or come into contact with. That’s not how it works.
8. “Can you teach me how to twerk?”
No. Absolutely not. I will do no such thing. Do you just assume I am a twerking machine, a twerk dance teacher? I’m not. And I won’t put on an act as though I am one just to please you.
9. “You don’t talk black.”
So now I don’t “talk black” because I know how to speak properly? Really? Now, this is truly crazy. I’m pretty sure I speak standard English, just like most do. I’m an educated black woman, and that’s what I speak like. My family raised me to take into account how I would be seen professionally, so I speak with intelligence. Assuming that black people can’t be both black and speak with eloquence is incorrect and stereotypical.
10. “You’re so sassy.”
Once again, thank you mainstream media. When you think of a black woman, a specific type of black girl pops into your head. That loud, curvy, quick with the comeback quips girl. For instance, Whitley Gilbert from A Different World was seen as a ‘sassy’ character with her outspoken moments. Yes, she was portrayed as overly sassy, however, she did have her own reasons for feeling how she did within those situations. This is one of those extremely agitating stereotypes for me because you just assume I’m going to walk into a room and start acting ‘ghetto,’ snapping my fingers and ‘poppin’ off.’ If I’m supposedly being ‘sassy,’ you most likely provoked me in some manner. Honestly, anyone can be ‘sassy’—that isn’t determined by your skin color or who you hang out with.
11. “I love Beyoncé.”
WHY? Why is this so important for you to tell me? I honestly don’t care who you like and who you dislike. This has legit no meaning to me whatsoever. You could hate Beyoncé and I still wouldn’t care. I personally really just DON’T CARE.
12. “Do you know how to make fried chicken?”
WHY? Why does it matter whether or not I can make fried chicken or not? Yes, I can. So what?
13. “Why are you so aggressive?”
Don’t ask questions like this. Honestly. It’s like you want to provoke me for all the wrong reasons. Being aggressive has nothing to do with the color of my skin, and has everything to do with how I’m feeling in that moment. You clearly provoked me if you assume I’m being aggressive towards you.
14. “Not everything is about race.”
You’ve must’ve been hit in the head. No, not everything is about race, but it plays a big part in a lot of daily discussions. Race and racial issues honestly affect everyone. Usually, the people who say this are the ones who haven’t personally experienced the negativity of people when they try to take our culture or devalue the experiences we’ve had.
15. “Well, I’m basically black.”
Seriously? Are we really about to play this game? I’m not the one. I don’t want to play this game with you, nor will I ever play it. Honestly, this is disrespectful. Are you really trying to tell me you live through the experiences I go through every day? Were your ancestors sent to the least desirable parts of states just to keep them separate from the ‘dominant and supposed superior race?’ Have you been called “a no-good black girl?” Have you been told you’re not the right fit for a job because your skin color isn’t the image they’re looking for? Do you get kicked out of places because someone sees your skin color and perceives you as a threat? Do ladies walking on the street next to you move their purse away from the side you’re walking on because they naturally just assume you’re going to steal from them?
16. “I wish I could get as dark as you are when I tan.”
Honestly, just love yourself. Love the skin that you’re in. This is how cultural appreciation is turned into cultural appropriation quickly. Embrace your culture, your skin and just how YOU were made.
17. “My parents aren’t racist, just old-fashioned.”
I pray that your parents evolve. I would appreciate to not even be associated with you. I don’t care how old your parents are, because I know they’ve seen the news, and they at least see all the movements being created and carried because Black Lives DO MATTER. Therefore, your parents are behind in the times. They need to educate themselves and it’s YOUR responsibility to police your family. It’s not enough to just not be racist, for real change to occur you have to be actively working against the racist ideals our society operates within.
18. “Why is there no White History Month?”
No one’s telling you to feel bad about what you are or who you are. There’s no “White History Month” because white people get celebrated every day. Every month is “White History Month.” Instead of asking why there isn’t “White History Month,” why don’t you ask why we have Black History Month to begin with? This isn’t some conspiracy club or exclusion club cutting out the white people. Celebrating that our Black Lives Matter and that our history matters doesn’t mean that white lives don’t matter or that any other lives don’t matter—Black History Month doesn’t take away anything from the white people, it’s a vital celebration of the achievements in the black community that would otherwise go unrecognized.
19. “You’re not like other black girls!”
Good, I’m glad I’m not. I’m my own individual. You will never meet two black girls who are the same. You can’t just assume that because you’ve seen some black girls act a certain way, or seem a certain way to you, they’re all that way.
Don’t stereotype me. I guarantee you, I’ll never fit in the box you try to fit me into and neither will any other black girl.
All Gifs Courtesy of Tenor