A satirical exam(ination)
Mark one point for each affirmative answer.
1. Can you use a food to describe your skin tone, i.e. mocha, chocolate, caramel, café au lait?
2. Are you a Christian? Born again, Baptist, back-slidden?
3. Do you believe black people have exclusive use of the word “ni$$a” and all its variants?
4. Are any of the following regularly served at your family gatherings: peach cobbler, watermelon, chitlins, rabbit, ‘gator, black eyed peas, corn bread, sweet tea, greens, hamhocks, oxtails?
5. Can you unfailingly recognize a weave from a 100-foot distance? Or, does “horse vs. human” mean something to you? Or, did you know the meaning of “lye” before reaching puberty?
6. Does your weekend attire [erroneously] suggest that you are part of an athletic team? For example, a white beater top, sweats/warm-ups and sneakers?
7. Can you quote any line from the following films: The Color Purple, Coming to America, The Wiz, Love Jones?
8. Do you know and perform an “old school dance” at both formal and informal gatherings? For example, the running man, the Roger Rabbit, the bounce?
9. Did you attend an HBCU?
10. Do you have an opinion, any at all, about LeBron James’ return to Cleveland?
AUBE: Night Life
11. Have you tasted every drink referenced in Jamie Foxx’s Blame It on the Alcohol? (“Blame it on the Goose, gotchu feelin’loose/ blame it on the ‘tron, got you in the zone… Blame it on the vodka, Blame it on the henny, Blame it on the Blue Top, Got you feeling dizzy”)
AUBE: The Motherland
12. Do you have a conflicted view regarding Africa? You’re both attracted to its exoticism (safaris, the Serengeti, sunsets…) and repulsed by images that represent its wars, disease and hunger in the media?
You must have attended a PWI (predominantly white institution). You’ve lost touch with your roots. You have success outside the black community but the insiders aren’t sure how to regard you as they don’t know where your loyalties lie. However, you know that you only answer to yourself.
You likely have a parent who traces his/her roots outside of the U.S., but you’ve learned how to fit in, whether it be with big hoop earrings and a ceramic flat iron or an automatic disregard for all things “white.” You try not to let your “peers” catch you slippin’. You can rap to both Tupac and Biggie. You can butterfly and are still perfecting your moonwalk. But you still love your roti, your stew, your patties, your curry, your sorrel, your egusi and garri, your black beans and your jolof rice. You constantly straddle two worlds.
You think these measurements are silly and inherently damaging. You’re not even sure why you took this so-called “test.” You wonder why we are still subjecting each other to new versions of the brown paper bag test. You are exasperated. Are we not yet more enlightened than that? And you are about to head out the door to grab some KFC as soon as you can get those baby hairs to lie down or curl pattern to set underneath your wave cap.
You’re in. You made it. You’re black enough. You are at the head of every rally for every black man unjustly killed. You spot every micoragression uttered within a one-mile radius of you. The pre-party for the Black Student Union happens at your place—because, naturally, you’re the president. You own some paraphernalia with the Pan-African colors. Your hair is still a topic of debate for you and for others. All of your activity addresses issues of race. And secretly you are exhausted performing your racial identity. But no one needs to know that. Congratulations. You are black par excellence.