Proving my Black Card in 20 Steps

Proving my Black Card in 20 Steps

1. I met Mary Tyler Mom at a recent Blathering (Blog gathering) and was absolutely delighted to get to know her. After a few drinks and a few topics,  I mentioned that I have a  (non AmEx) black card.

2. Tell Mary Tyler Mom what a black card is. It turned out she hadn’t heard that phrase so I happily obliged her: It’s an honorary card a black person bestows upon a non-black person (usually white) that signifies said non-black understands black people well enough to consider them either an honorary black person, or at least someone sympathetic with the cause.

If you’re a white person thinking to yourself, “What cause??!!”, let me guess- you are cardless.
3. Mary Tyler Mom and I talk while seated at a table and few minutes later my friend Exavier (Who writes Ex Posts Facto on ChicagoNow) approached and stood while conversing with both of us. Eventually I realized that I was talking more with him than Mary Tyler Mom, and MTM was talking more with her nearby seatmate so I stood up to chat with Ex- a normal, convivial party exchange convention.

The empty beer bottles were there when we got there. It’s not like we drank them or anything.

4. While rising to talk to Exavier I said in her ear, “watch the Black Card in action”, and turned to join my friend, Ex- who is a dude of blackness.

5. Ex told me that his latest new theory is that too many balding black men are in receding-hair denial. Symptoms include: having a receding hairline yet growing your remaining hair instead of just shaving it all off, as if somehow the added volume of the fluffiniess will compensate for the lack of volume upon the frontal lobe.  After laughing at his self-described “Black man’s combover”, I thought it sounded plausible. Then our friend Curtis (Who writes As I See It on ChicagoNow) approached and Ex  relayed his balding theory to Curtis, who is also a dude of blackness.

6. Keep in mind that this has been about 19 seconds in real time since I told her to watch my black card in action and I have yet to show her any action. While they discuss Exavier’s new theory, I nudge Mary Tyler Mom who is still nearby and facing me.  She looks up and I lip-synch “watch this”.

7.  I immediately fist bump Curtis *bump* so Mary Tyler Mom can see it. It was at a sorta random time in the middle of his sentence, but whatever. Curtis is a nice guy and wouldn’t object. The important thing is, Mary Tyler Mom saw me fist bump a black man.

8. Please note that I do NOT do the *splash* pullaway after the bump. No one should.

9. Look over to Mary Tyler Mom with my eyebrows raised, like, “Did you get you see that??”

10. Got a look from Mary Tyler Mom that said, “Eh. I acknowledge I saw it. That doesn’t prove anyone respects you though, really.”

11. Curtis goes back to talking normally, not thinking it odd I fist bumped him mid-sentence for no reason. He’s the nicest dude ever so I wasn’t surprised- in fact that’s why I lead with him.

12. 25 seconds later while Exavier was talking I got Sheila’s attention again. Our eyes met and I motioned with my eyes to watch Ex while he was talking.

13. Mid-sentence of Exavier I said “yessss” in agreement with whatever it was he just said and he politely obliged my out-stretched fist for a fist bump *bump*.

14. Immediate head turn to Mary Tyler Mom:

15. Acknowledgement yet again. Nothing more.

16. I turn back to Curtis and Exavier, assuming they’re none the wiser- but Ex  amicably furrowed his brow at me like, “what exactly was that random fist bump for?”.

17. I acknowledged the glance and had no choice but to laugh and come clean.

These guys are great and they know me,  so I had no problem ‘fessing up about how I told Mary Tyler Mom I had a Black Card (I checked both their eyes: neither questioned it- thank God) or how I stood up and told Mary Tyler Mom, “watch the Black Card in action”.  They both doubled-over with laughter.
18. Laugther continued and I asked, “Think about it from her perspective though! I told her, “I have a black card: watch this.” And within about 30 seconds I fist bumped TWO actual black men!They continued laughing when I asked, “Didn’t you notice how I get her attention before I fist-bumped you guys?”. Clearly they had.

19. When they laughed they kinda exploded with laughter. They tried to cover their mouths as you do when you SUDDENLYBLURTOUT with laughter throwing their heads back and then forward in gut-clutching laughter.

They even did the thing at the end where when you’re finishing up a good laugh you put your hand on your belly and say, “hooooooo” while the resumed their standing position.

20. I checked and Mary Tyler Mom saw that too. She later congratulated me on my black card.

Thanks to Jen from work for issuing me my card, and Exavier and Curtis for helping me flaunt it!

Filed under: Black Card


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  • Flaunting Black Card = Swag.

    Might I add I further vouch not only for The Slyde's surface Black Card, which can easily be faked at parties with fist bumps, saying things like "what up", and uncomfortably hitting on a hot black girl, he also has the Black Card +. The Black Card + is when someone nonblack can actually quote random black culture points...the history stuff people get wrong on Jeopardy, old school hip hop lyrics, recognizing the hotness of a lesser recognizable black celebrity from years past, etc.

    I have a White Card ++ (Multiple pluses for multiple cultures within the white race. For example I have an Italian Card, a German Card, and an Eastern European Card).

  • In reply to Exavier Pope:

    Exavier, I can totally hook you up with an Irish Card. We'll talk.

  • In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    Yeah Mary, I have to get my Irish game up.

  • I am beyond thrilled to be so prominently featured in a List That Actually Matters. I feel like my work here at ChicagoNow is done. Like I may need to retire like Jordan, at the top of his game. I am considering it.

    Is it appropriate to wish you a Happy Kwanzaa?

  • In reply to Mary Tyler Mom:

    Probably. Thanks, I've never been wished a Happy Kweezy before!

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