The Moments When Being a Black Man Is The Shit » VSB

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The Moments When Being a Black Man Is The Shit

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2016 has been a rough year for black men.  We’re about to say goodbye to our first black president, Muhammad Ali died, Jay Electronica still ain’t dropped an album, and there’s a new Madea movie about to hit theaters.  Plus, cops keep shooting dudes that look like us like every week.

It’s with that in mind that we need to take a minute and appreciate the small moments of negritude that make being a black man worth it.  Let’s take a minute and remember why, sometimes, us being us is the shit.

10.) Code Switching with strangers in front of “company”

You know what I mean.  You’re in a meeting with like forty people and it’s you and one other black dude from Accounting and y’all catch each other in line for lunch.  You give the nod, he gives the nod, you ask him how it’s going and he says, “Bruh, I can’t eeeeven call it,” and you know what’s up.

You know what he just said.  He knows what he just said.  But nosey ass Karen from Logistics and thinks-he’s-down Tim from Sales have no idea that now you know there’s layoffs coming in two weeks and the boss is fitna be indicted.

Then, at the end of the meeting you end with the same, “Aiight, stay up” salutation which means, “Hey, don’t get shot by the cops.”

9.) When the weirdo on the bus/train decides not to harass you

You know how it is, you’re on the Blue Line headed north in a car full of Dave Mathews Band fans when the train stops, the doors swing open and Crazy James with the invisible tiger hops on smelling like Wild Irish Rose and hard times poised to panhandle the shit outta e’rybody.  You sink back against the wall, hoping he overlooks you or doesn’t see you because of a combination of bougie black guilt and a lack of cash.

But then for a second, a fleeting second you lock eyes, he peers into your soul and then, almost as if through telepathy, he lets you know, “Not you, bruh.  Not today.  There’s too many Kate Spade bags up in here, so you gonna get a pass.  Don’t get shot by the cops.”

8.) Trying to one-up another black man with complements

Here’s the routine…

You: “How you doin’, man?”

Your Homey: “Maaaaan, I’m just tryna be like you.”

You: “Shiiiiiiit, bruh.  Don’t be like me, I’m tryna be like you.  I see you with them clean clothes on.

Your Homey: “Nah, bruh.  You the one out here doin’ it big shoppin’ at grocery stores and shit.”

You: “C’mon, son.  I seen you on IG stuntin’ in that new Nissan Leaf.”

Your Homey: “Dawg, that was just a rental.  You the one out here not gettin’ shot by the cops…”

It can go on for hours, but the sentiment is priceless.

7.) The morning after a haircut

The immediate moments after a cut suck because you got all kindsa hair remnants in your collar and in your ears and shit and you smell like mentholated rubbing alcohol.  But the next day, after you’ve showered, washed your hair, run the brush across it, and your scalp and forehead are the same color again, that’s the golden time of day.

Very little beats waking up with a crispy line and a wavy taper ready to hit the streets and try to avoid getting shot by the cops.

6.) When the road rager behind you pulls up next to you and sees who he’s beefing with

There’s nothing worse than trying to deal with Google maps trippin’, your wife second guessing you, your kid in the backseat begging for that gotdamned Katy Perry song and then some asshole in a Subaru Forrester tryna break fool because you kinda sorta cut him off when you crossed three lanes of traffic to get to your exit.

Now he’s honking and flashing lights and shit and it’s not like you don’t know what you did, but still…

THEN, he rolls up on you at the light, about to give you a whole earful when he peers across his passenger’s seat and realizes he’s run afoul of the soul.  He calms down and relents and you get back to driving, only really having to worry about getting shot by the cops.

5.) When you’re flying first class and people try to figure out if you’re famous

This is one of those weird moments of inverse proportion, for real.  If you’re in a suit and you’re in the front of the plane, you get no love.  But fly first class in some sweats looking tired, and I promise you someone’s gonna snap a clandestine photo of you, text their teenage daughter and ask her if you’re the guy from that song with that dance or that show with those zombies.

Just play it cool, there’s Air Marshalls up there and you don’t want them to shoot you.

4.) Watching slam dunks

Take a look at this and I promise you’ll feel empowered to take on the rest of your day.

Plus, that’s 4:43 that you weren’t shot by a cop.

3.) When you get the “Hard Day Hook-Up”

A few years ago, when my daughter was still a baby and teething, my wife sent me to Boston Market to get dinner for the family so that she could get a break.  I’d had a job interview that day so I was in a shirt and tie when I grabbed the crying baby and made my sojourn to secure a meal for my family.  Upon my arrival with a delirious child in tow, I placed my order for a whole chicken and two sides.  The brotha behind the counter saw the whole scene, man.  Here I was, looking professional yet disheveled, trying to be both a nurturer and a provider and keeping calm under pressure.

When my order came up, dude gave me the nod and the “come here” head gesture and, when I approached his face lit up…

“Bruh, I see you.  I went ahead and added some green beans and a cake to yo’ order.  You got the family meal now, mayne.  Go ‘head.  Take this big cup too and get you a drank.”

I hope he made manager and I hope the cops haven’t shot him.

2.) When someone fixes you a plate

Ladies, if you fix a man a plate and you’re not related to that man whose plate you just fixed, for the duration of time that it takes to deliver that plate and for him to eat said plate of food, y’all go together.  Bam, girl.  Plate bae.

Plus, you might be saving his life.  That time he’s allowed to stay seated and comfortable are precious moments when he isn’t standing up or being perceived as a threat to a cop that might shoot him.

1.) Using the N-word

Because even if you don’t use it colloquially, the fact that you can use it enhances your enjoyment of music, ability to quote movies, and buttresses your levels of insults.  I’m not advocating for the use of the word, but I am saying that every once in a while I say it to remind me of the limited privilege that comes with being a black man in America.

Saying the N-word, taking MLK Day as a personal holiday, wearing a baseball cap backwards without looking like a douche, and listening to Gucci Mane without irony are the few real benefits of being a black man.

Besides, something’s gotta offset the chance that the cops might shoot you.

Corey Richardson

Corey Richardson is originally from Newport News, Virginia currently living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and two daughters. Ad guy at work, Dad guy in life, and whiskey enthusiast, Corey spends his time crafting words, telling bedtime stories, and working hard at becoming the legend he is in his own mind. You can read his paternal musings at where he chronicles his life doing battle with all of the women with his last name.

  • MsCee

    Number 8 snatched my entire soul literally LMFAO

  • Dustin John Seibert

    #8 reminds me of the beginning of “Cashmere Thoughts”: “Maaan, if I had yo’ hand, I’d cut mines off.”

  • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

    Numbers# 10, 7 (hair salon), 6, and 2 can all be applied to a black women getting her life. Yaas hunni

    • MissusMaxwell

      And #10 can & usually consist of saying “Girl” with 10 different inflections, but it’s still a whole conversation. Girl.

      • i.e.

        • Question

          I love us.

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        GURL!! Right….LOL

  • Ms George Zip

    Definitely guilty of Becky behavior for #4. One time it did turn out to be LL Cool J, though. Everyone else, sorry for having zero class.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    I need to add 7.a

    When you got the fresh new cut AND you clean as hayle. 2 Chainz Feds watch automatically comes on everytime I walk down the street…at least in my mind.

    • Agreed man! That’s slick!

    • PinkRose

      The fit of those slacks looks like they could reduce sp*rm counts.

      And what kinda drawz would a man wear with them to be comfortable, a thong?

    • Nik White


  • cyanic

    Not getting shot by the cops was funny the first few mentions then at the end I wanted to cry this is our constant reality.

    • Yeah. This can’t be life.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        But it is.

        • I know.

          I just want a permanent Hard Day Hookup at the bar to help cope.

      • Nik White

        Sadly its OUR lives.

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      Yeah I got to “I hope he made manager” and giggled, then read “And I hope he didn’t get shot by the cops” and teared up. Because I was just imagining him giving that hook up, heading home from work and being shot by the cops. ?

    • kingpinenut

      Every damb day

    • MsSula

      Really… it brought the point home that this post is so needed. Le Heavy Sigh.

  • Mr. Mooggyy

    #6 is the story of my life! I find it hilarious! Straight attitude adjustment when they see me!

  • My wife is an overworked med student and she always gets the Hard Day Hookup at her school cafeteria. Extra chili with extra cheese for the price of a regular chili.

    • PinkRose

      Yaassss, another sista’ in a white coat! ;)

      • She has her cardiology final tomorrow. Wish her luck!

        • Hibiscus???

          Good luck.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          Good Luck Mrs. Mortal Man!

        • Cleojonz

          Good luck to the Mrs.!

        • Tambra

          Good luck to Mrs MM

        • Kas

          Wish her good luck for me.

        • Other_guy13

          Good luck Mrs. MM!!!!

        • Appreciate all the love and support, Very Smart Brothas and Sistas!

        • Oluseyi

          Good luck!

        • Conrad Bess

          The only luck she needs is catching the short line at the DMV to change her ID to Dr. Mortal Man from Mrs.

        • PinkRose

          She don’t need luck, she’s got this! ;)

        • Val

          Good luck, Mrs MM!

        • Asiyah

          ¡Buena suerte!

        • PhlyyPhree

          She don’t need no luck! She got this! Already celebrating for her.

        • HoneyRose

          Good luck to her!

          in a few years I want to find her, I’ve never had a black female doctor before and I’d like one!

          • Given how residency is, we might end up in your neck of the woods!

        • Nik White

          Do the darn thing Mrs. MM!

    • Helga G.Pataki

      the Hard Day Hookup low-key fueled me through grad school

  • cyanic

    A benefit to being a black guy is a lack of curiosity being a guy from another race. A privilege of all the unnecessary attention placed on us for being black guys. They’re threaten by us, aroused by us, and they constantly imitate us. It’s like we’re gods and we’re completely unaware of it because they’re so hostile towards us.

  • cakes_and_pies

    I like the list, but #3 pisses me off.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      How does getting free stuff piss you off????


      • cakes_and_pies

        Because as a women, I wouldn’t get a thing because I’m supposed to know how to keep a baby quiet and I’d get crazy looks if I didn’t.
        But a man? Y’all are scene as helpless, hapless, bumbling idiots when it’s comes to children. Y’all get a ticker tape parade, free food, at pats on the back because y’all haven’t dropped the baby on its head.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          You need a hug ASAP!!!

          We talkin’ bout free stuff…don’t get all in your feelings because brotha man gets free stuff when he has a kid in tow. You have your bewbs in tow all the time and you get free stuff lol! Focus on the fee stuff…not how the free stuff came to be.

          • cakes_and_pies

            I’ll take a hug, but I just can’t stand that trope. It’s not fair. *Stomps around and sticks my tongue* I ain’t ever got isht for bewbs, but the other body parts…

            • Sigma_Since 93

              “You betta use what you got…to get what you want”

              – Lynn Collins

              You know how to get the hookup sans a five finger discount. Stop frontin’

        • MsCee

          #3 Doesn’t piss me off but my daughters father gets freebies E V E R Y W H E R E they go…we went to Dave and Buster’s and a random guy literally came up to him and gave him 50 tokens just for “being a great dad.” Happens all the time.

        • cyanic

          You’re a female. You have the luxury of men flirting with you to give you the hookup unless they’re outright creepy and harassing.

          • cakes_and_pies

            Most hookups come with creepsters and harassment.

        • cheddachasa

          That’s not our fault. Blame Hollywood or Madison Avenue.

        • cheddachasa

          Now you know how we feel when y’all get out of speeding tickets.

          • cakes_and_pies

            That only happens with White women.

            • Cheech

              I have a good friend (black) who got out of one. When she was in college she got pulled over on a cross-country trip with her girlfriends. She leaned out the window, smiled, and said, “Hello, officer, I bet I know why you pulled us over.” “Why is that, ma’am?” “To sell us tickets to the policemen’s ball.” (Smile.)

              The officer pulled himself up to his full height and said, “Ma’am, I am not a policeman. I am a highway patrolman. And highway patrolmen do not. have. balls.”

              All four of them busted out laughing, and the guy slunk back to his car and drove away without another word.

            • MsSula

              I have gotten out of it once… but the cop was black. Lol.

        • Well, considering I’ve spent the past few months being accused of being with the Jerry Sandusky movement just because I’m raising a daughter dolo for solo (complete with strong confrontation), I’ll need more than an extra piece of chicken for that.

          (Sidebar, how did I miss out on the extra food? Like the only privilege I’ve ever gotten was using the handicapped bathrooms on the Coney Island Boardwalk to help my daughter change into a swimsuit.)

          But yeah, I’m gonna need you to check your women. The BS I’ve been through…

          • Epsilonicus

            I got stories too man…

          • cakes_and_pies

            I don’t know anyone that stupid to do that to a man with a child.

    • Amen

      Bc men get credit for doing anything with a child in their general vicinity?

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