I don’t know who started the Grits Wars of 2016 that seem to have spread around Black social media. But mofos everywhere are talking crazy about putting sugar in grits like they have no home training. I have home training. My grits only take cheese, salt and butter. People are getting their Black Cards snatched left and right recklessly sprinkling sugar over hominy. I thought my card was safe because I know better than to do Cream of Wheat business with cheese grits. But apparently, I left my wallet with my Black Card in El Segundo. Why?
I have never seen the entire Roots mini–series. Ever. Like, not even on one of those million times they replayed it on BET. I know just enough about it to chuckle at a Kunte Kinta joke. I understand what “Toby” means. But I can’t explain who Kizzy is. I don’t know the plot intricately–just the book’s cultural significance. When I told my friends all this the other day, they promptly took my Black Card. (One even ordered me Alex Haley’s Roots in paperback. I have A1 friends who are committed to my being woke. Getchusome.)
Now, I’ve been wanting one of those fancy Black Card Revoked games since Christmas. I haven’t played it before, but I hear it’s fun. I even saw a pretty entertaining short film on *HBO (Corrected: I erroneously wrote Netflix before) titled Black Card that pokes fun at the concept of a literal card to regulate cultural fluency. I find it hilarious that I’d lose my Black Card over a movie…during Black internet wars about grits.
But can I be totally honest with you? Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody.
I lost my Black Card a long, long time ago.
If you’re anything close to being Black, you already know there are 50-leven ways to get your Black Card pulled. I probably lost my original one back in the 90s when it was definitively determined that Dara can’t dance. I’m currently working off a forged replacement. Blackness is easily acquired, you know; authenticity is relative. But just in case you think your Black Card is safe, bet money you’ve done something on this list.
You probably have already lost your Black Card if you…
- Never saw Roots, The Last Dragon, Coming to America, Friday, Boyz in the Hood, The Five Heartbeats, What’s Love Got to Do with It, The Color Purple, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, or Martin (the TV series).
- Refer to red Kool-Aid flavor as “cherry,” or “strawberry” instead of “red.”
- (For Black women) Fail to have a big booty.
- Choose neither Tupac NOR Biggie in the classic question, “Pac or B.I.G.?”
- Fail to dance any of the following at a Black wedding: Electric Slide, Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, K-Wang, The Wobble, or the Bikers Shuffle.
- (For Black men) Fail to know what a Caesar or a fade is. Lose a line-up.
- Trust a big butt and a smile.
If you have ever been (or agreed with) Clarence Thomas, Rachel Dolezal, Rayven-Symoné, or Stacey Dash, your Black Card has been revoked. You may have never actually had one.
- Date or marry a White person who is not an “honorary Black person.”
- Are melanated and utterly rhythmless.
- Never read any books by Toni Morrison, the Queen of Black Literature.
- Place no significance on the ’99 or the 2000.
- Went to a PWI instead of an HBCU.
- Have never gotten a relaxer OR gone natural.
- Vote Republican.
- Still use the word “bling” in the year 2016.
If you watched Friends, Felicity, Sex and the City, Dawson’s Creek, Frasier, The Gilmore Girls, or Seinfeld, you haven’t been Black for a very, very long time.
- Watch animé and read manga.
- Listen to unapproved genres of music like heavy metal, country, or Björk.
- Criticize President Barack Obama or the FLOTUS flower bomb.
- Do not know how to season chicken.
- (For Black men) Fail to have a big…ego.
- Never played the dozens as a kid.
- Put sugar anywhere near a holy pot of grits.
- Clap on the 1 and the 3 instead of the 2 and the 4.
Of course, I am not the commissioner of Black Cards. I don’t make the rules. I barely even follow them. But as the old African-American proverb goes, “All I gotta do is stay Black and die.” There are no actual instructions for how to be Black. Blackness just is. And that, my friends, is exactly what makes being Black so beautiful.
:::snatches Black Card back:::
What have you done that’s caused you to “lose the Black Card?” Also, if you are Black and you missed the fact that this post was tongue-in-cheek, consider your Black Card revoked. If you’re White…you can’t take Black Cards. You also can’t be given an honorary one. Don’t worry. I still love you.