Shit Bougie Black People Love: 1. Intentionally Overtipping » VSB

Sh*t Bougie Black People Love

Shit Bougie Black People Love: 1. Intentionally Overtipping


If you talk to enough BBP in your travels, you’ll soon find they tend to share a hyper-awareness about two things.

1. Mattering

Told their entire lives that they’re a little smarter, a little funnier, and a little cooler than their peers—basically, that they’re uniquely special motherfuckers—much of a Bougie Black Person’s existence is predicated on the idea that merely existing isn’t enough. Being a cog in the system or a worker bee won’t cut it. They’re destined for bigger and better things. Not only do they have to matter, they’re supposed to.

2. Blackness

There are no other types of Black people more in tune with, aware of, and (surprisingly) in love with the concept of Blackness than Bougie Black People. Not regular Blacks. Not militant Blacks. Not Black scholars. And not even Blacks from Memphis. They are conscious of what “Blackness” means, the arbitrary variables often used to craft that definition, and the fact that this definition needs constant assessing and recalibration. Although they’re often comfortable navigating non-Black worlds, they’re intentionally, almost painstakingly cognizant of how Black people are perceived by non-Blacks. If one ever needed to know the “level of Blackness” of any person, place, or citrus fruit, a BBP would be the best person to ask.

This consciousness largely stems from the fact that BBP’s inherent self-consciousness about being a BBP puts them in perpetual thought about their own Blackness. By extension, this leads to frequent thought about everyone’s and everything else’s Blackness. (Even certain White people’s level of Blackness is a popular topic of conversation among BBP¹)

When you combine this need to matter with an obsession with Blackness, you’re prone to find some very peculiar behavior. One such behavior occurs whenever Bougie Black People go out to eat at a restaurant.

At first glance, their behavior doesn’t seem any different than any other people eating crab-stuffed curry grape leaves at the city’s trendiest Greek/Jamaican fusion tapas hookah lounge. They sit, drink water with lemons, order and eat their food, and have conversations about Willow Smith, yoga mats, and gentrification.

All normalcy changes when the check comes, though. While most other demographics tend to tip between 10% and 20%, BBP trend a bit higher, regularly tipping somewhere between 25% and 40%. This increase also has nothing to do with the service. Short of squatting and shitting in a Bougie Black Person’s salad, there’s not much a server can do to fall below the 25% baseline.

Now, overtipping has obvious benefits—better service, better karma, better chance of impressing Bougie Black Girls enough to earn the elusive Bougie Black Girl head, etc—but the BBP’s primary motivation for partaking in this practice has nothing to do with any of that.

Black people are generally regarded as terrible tippers. Whether this perception is actually true is irrelevant.² Also irrelevant is the chicken/egg argument of which came first: Blacks receiving shittier service (and becoming shitty tippers as a result) or Blacks tipping shittily (and receiving shitty service as a result). What is relevant is that this perception follows Black people everywhere. Bougie Black People—already hypersensitive to all things Black—are very aware of this, so they overtip to send four separate but somewhat overlapping messages to the (usually White) server.

1. “Yeah, you thought you were getting $7, didn’t you, racist motherfucker? Well, here’s $11. How do you like them apples?”

2. “Don’t worry. I’m not like the rest of them. Here’s proof.”

3. “So what if the bill was $40 more than I expected it to be. I was recently promoted from Mid-Atlantic New Media Practices Diversity Initiator for Exxon Mobile to Mid-Atlantic New Media Practices Diversity Manager for Exxon Mobile. I can afford both it and the 35% tip. Bitch.”

The last message, though, is most important.

4. “I know how you probably feel about Blacks and tipping. This will reverse it.”

The Bougie Black Person’s belief in mattering is so steadfast that they believe a 30% tip left by one of them will be enough to neutralize every thought his server has ever had about Blacks being poor tippers. And, if this particular server has never possessed that thought, the overtipping serves as a preemptive measure to counteract any future thoughts.

Unfortunately, doing this could lead to another unfortunate thought: Black people can’t do math.

¹Unfortunately, this is limited to White men (who just have to be romantically linked to a Black woman to be considered more “Black.”). A White women, however, can be mayor of Detroit and sleep with the entire Wu-Tang Clan and still not earn any Black points.

²It is true, though. Irrelevant, but true.


—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • RealGoesRight

    Bougie black people been trying to save the rest of the “common” negroes for the entire history of negroes. We should thank them for their tireless efforts rather than mock them…

    or something like that.

    • Whenever they do get a foot in the door they turn around and say ninjas ain’t sh t…they can keep their capes I prefer mine on durags

    • SuperStrings

      By definition and history, bourgeoisie people have never attempted to save anyone but themselves.

  • Moe

    Sorry. I work as a bartender part time for the last year plus…the one thing I’ve learned since I’ve started doing that is that I’m racist as hell when it comes to black people. I’m sorry but our people do not tip and the service many times does not matter. Black people love to “even out” their bill…Meaning if the bill is $72.55 they will tip your ass $2.45 to even that shit out. I’m sorry but I have a years experience with it now. I will not say that all black people don’t tip…just 95.5%

    • Lethalee

      I bartended in a black night club for 10 years. I worked 3-4nights a week and 800.00-1000.00 a weekend. I guess I got that 4.5%

      • WIP

        Being a bartender looks like a very fun job; I’ve thought about learning for a while. Most of the ones I’ve seen don’t do all the tricks though; I assume those are the ones who get tips- the ones who put on a show.

    • Britt

      I’m guilty of ‘evening out’ my bill but thats after the standard 18%. I don’t do it because I’m black….I just have a few compulsions. I feel much better seeing $X.00 on my receipt. I do the same thing at the gas station and at stores that ask if I’d like to even out my purchase by donating .23 to some charity. YES!!!

  • Moe

    I’m sorry but black people do not tip…My part time job is as a bartender and I have to admit I’m the most racist person in the world when it comes to that job. I can’t stand to see a ninja strolling their ass to the bar. I honestly never expect much of a tip!! Black people love to “even out” their checks…Meaning if their bill is $72.55 then they love to pay $2.45 to even that shit out!! And most times the service doesn’t matter. I’m not saying its all black people, only 95.5% of them. And call me a BBP, but I always tip way more than I should. Been that way forever!!

    • miss t-lee

      Why is it an issue that folks want to even out their bill?
      Are you providing the same service to everyone, or do you phone it in to the Black folks becuz as you stated, “we don’t tip?”
      No one is gonna tip lackluster service, especially not Black folks. I think some service industry folks turn that excuse into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • Mrs. Afro Jay

        girl, YESS about the self-fulfilling prophecy.

        I HATE and will give you the damn read if you come at me with the do you need your change back?! JESUS. Bish yes, I does.That’s a pet peeve of minez.

        • miss t-lee

          Exactly. Please don’t assume anything. We all know what happens when you assume.

      • TheOtherJerome

        “No one is gonna tip lackluster service”

        Please. It’s just that too many black folks go looking for lackluster service. Then find it.
        I’ve been on more than one date where the woman swore up and down that the waitstaff was *ucking up. And i’m like “woman, what on earth are you talking about?”.

        I went on a date one time where the girl made a loud scene in TGI Fridays over some food, but it wasnt the waiters fault. The waiter had to apologize like 800 times while other customers were wondering what happened

        A little empathy and understanding (Xscape) between the staff and the customer can make for a pleasant experience for all

        • miss t-lee

          Please don’t blame your date’s lack of home training on the rest of us. Folks like that are impossible to please, and should enjoy all their meals in the comfort of their home.

        • Exactly. I have seen too many cases, either with me or in spots I have witnessed where Black people go to restaurants on “I wish a ninja would” status. At that point, the crummy service isn’t as much on the restaurant as it is on the customer. Who would want to deal with someone that is just waiting for you to screw up so they can take out their anger about being broke motherf*uckers? Not me!

          • SuperStrings

            I saw this scenario at Chic-fil-a over the weekend. Customer was he!!-bent on creating a situation. Now, if you’ve ever been to Chic-fil-a, you know that their customer service is exceptional, not just for a fast food restaurant, but for any restaurant. No matter how hard the customer tried, they just hit her with the “absolutely ma’am”, “we’ll be glad to switch that out for you”, “we acknowledge our mistake and appreciate you bringing it to our attention”, “please continue to offer your valued feedback”. They didn’t give her any openings. I was impressed.

            • miss t-lee

              Acting an azz at Chic fil-a?! Wow. Those folks are OD nice in there. It’s almost scary how nice they are, and the service is always on point. Even at the drive-thru.

              • SuperStrings

                I’ve never had a bad experience there. The fact they they don’t nickel and dime me for extra bbq and honey mustard sauce goes a long way with me. lol

                • miss t-lee

                  The little things. :)

                • Joel

                  You say this just as I went to McD’s yesterday for a coworker (I don’t eat that ish anymore) and they hit me with 25 cents for a honey mustard…I was heated. Fcuk a$z ninjas….

            • afronica

              I’m so conflicted about Chik-fil-a. I like their food, love their waffle fries and chik-fil-a sauce and their customer service is great. But I do not like the fundamentalist Christian overtone and don’t like putting money in the owner’s pocket to spend on anti-equal marriage efforts. But I’m not exactly applying that same standard to other places I frequent, so hypocrisy.

              • SuperStrings

                Yeah, I’m with you on this.

    • WIP

      What exactly is a bartender getting tipped for? I’m actually a person who does tip but not much on a drink, maybe $1 or $2.

      • miss t-lee

        That’s a good tip for drinks. They’re tipped for making your drink. Trust me, tip well and your drinks will keep getting better, or possibly free.

      • you tip for a little more alcohol next go round please

        • miss t-lee


        • WIP

          Aren’t you then, essentially, paying for the alcohol anyway?

          • esa

            it’s like gambling. the house always wins ~*~

  • Andre

    Overtipping regardless of the level of service…story of my life. I should stop right? Does it really change the servers’ views or do they just consider me an anomaly?

    • Sahel

      File it under historical views. This is how black people are viewed and it will never change. Just like blondes have more fun or asians are good at math

  • Soula Powa

    I guess I’m not bougie then. I think 25-40% for regular service is nuts. Extraordinary service is worth it but regular run-of-the-mill. NAWL.

    And the idea that your singular 40% tip is gonna erase the thought that an entire race is full of poor tippers? I guess (._.)


    • DiamondsOn_MyBack

      40% is definitely excessive. Kind of up there with shopping at Whole Foods when you can only afford 5 things at a time.

      • Britt

        40% definitely falls under excessive for me but I love shopping at Whole Foods

    • miss t-lee

      Ok? 20% is my norm, We go up from there. If you’re exceptional, or fine–or fine and exceptional, I’ve been known to leave at least 50%.

      • iamnotakata

        I can’t afford the likes of 25-40% tipping all the time…shucks I can barely afford to do it when I have exceptional service I keep it between 15-18% and go up if the service I receive is bomb!!

        • miss t-lee

          I used to work in a restaurant back in the day, so I try to be mindful. You have to really do a sh*tastic job for me to leave less than 20.

    • Mrs. Afro Jay

      What is completely bazoooka NUTS to me, is a waiter/waitress having compensatory expectations coupled with an attitude to boot that I should tip them to make up for their low wages. NO, that is not my fault. Talk to your employer.

      • Heavens2Murgatroid

        I never understood the tradition of tipping. I do it though, but that’s just to even out the bill. In all actuality, I’m hoping a good portion goes towards the cooking staff – who I came there for in the first place. But the person who just “hands me” my food and pours my drink (and that’s only due to health and safety regulations) doesn’t deserve to get supplemented for doing something I can do.

        • Mrs. Afro Jay

          I’ll direct you to have one of these, _/_/_/_/_/ That’s just ignorance.

          • Heavens2Murgatroid

            Well, excuse my ignorance, but I have no clue what “_/ ” means

            • Ashley

              It means that you should have a seat.

    • Inspector Ratchet

      I was taught that 20% is the maximum you tip. So I usually tip somewhere between 15-20% depending on the service. Unless I’m extremely inebriated. Please don’t let me handle any finances whatsoever if I’m super drunk. One time I almost left a tip larger than the actual bill. If my friends weren’t there to save me…I don’t even….

      • Kema

        TUK!!! How you been?

      • WIP

        That’s me, 20% is the max and you might get lucky if I don’t have any change and end up paying a little more.

  • DiamondsOn_MyBack

    This post just made me mad. I haven’t ever considered myself bougie… but now I might have to re-evaluate. How about all educated BP over-tip, but not all over-tipping BP are boughie. Does that work? Also #2= My Entire life and has been constantly making an appearance in my writing. *Le sigh

    • This blog made me concede to being 1/4 bougie, just own it.

  • nillalatte

    “A White women, however, can be mayor of Detroit and sleep with the entire Wu-Tang Clan and still not earn any Black points.”

    She should earn some points, she had enough black in her! IN her.. lmao…oh, whatever. It’s called being black by insertion. Why I have to explain everything? :)

    • Sahel

      Am an expert at putting the black in other races. Free of charge.

      • nillalatte

        Sahel… enta majnoon. Khalas.

    • Inspector Ratchet

      Hey, Nilla!

      • nillalatte

        I see you TUK. ;)

    • JayIzUrGod

      All that Black in her and Crayola still aint named a crayon properly yet

      • nillalatte

        lamo… swirl baby, swirl. LOL

    • Nope! You are a White Woman ™, designator and maintainer of all that is White. We know you skip out on meetings, but you were at that meeting that made all White people’s food bland, and the other one which was the right of organic, fair trade, locally sourced BS. Heck, it was your BF that brought that scourge to the hood….so hush……White. WOMAN! ;)

      • IcePrincess

        I KNO u ain’t talmbout nobody, mr. Paleo!!

        • *throws honey and fresh fruits and brown rice at you*. Hush! And besides, it makes certain fluids taste better…so I have heard. :)

        • nillalatte

          Ice, where have you been? And, thank you for taking care of Todd. He’s always out of control. LOL

    • afronica

      When I saw that part of the post, I imagined Champ on bended knee saying, “Here, Nilla Nilla. Come out and play li’l Latte.” Annnd, here you are!

      • nillalatte

        lmao!!! True. He laid the bait and I took it… hook, line and sinker. LOL

  • Cheekie Mae

    “Or maybe he’ll just start believing that Black people can’t do math.”

    I shole can’t. I have a tip calculator app. Panama shaded me for it. SHUT UP. I save paper and pen ink and long division carry-the-one wasted time with my app. :)

  • iamnotakata

    I do believe tipping has to do with ones education and perhaps demographics… I consistently hear from servers about how they dread serving black patrons and I always wonder about that. Personally my friends and I always tip a minimum of 15%. Now if the service was exceptional we will tack on a few dollars, if the server was super nice or even cute again tack on a few dollars. I don’t know I never try and “even out” my bill, I usually whip put my phone punch the bill amount in my nifty app and let it tally the appropriate tip amount as it relates to 15, 18 or 20%….Who knows

  • AsBougieAsSheWannaBe

    Proud overtipper. Someone has to make up for you ratchet non tippin azzes.

    • Makes note not to tip cuz the first brotha I see with a drivers cap and a sweater got me

      • Terry Odis

        Damn, I wore this sh*t to work today too.

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