Your Acceptable Black Friend

So, I have some news. I have a new friend. She’s… Black.

And I’m not talking about just another card-carrying, flag-waving Oreo. She’s no RBP, but she downloaded Beyonce’s secret album the other week. Whatever. It’s no big deal. She filled out the application. And so now we have coffee every now and then.

Obviously when making a new black friend it’s important to be careful. Get too many of you together and it looks like you’re trying to stage a revival of The Color Purple.

And sure, she does like theater, but if we stage any production, it will probably be a revival of Proof. I’ll be playing the mathematical formula. It’ll be pretty groundbreaking.

Yes, there are some obvious risks with consorting with other Of Colors, but there are actually a couple of plusses as well. Tread carefully enough and you can still be a very special snowflake, but your new pal might just become a friend with some benefits.

She’ll have lotion.

Your Acceptable Black Friend probably doesn’t spend as much time trying to deny her countenance as you do. Because of that, she totally accepts that sometimes, said countenance gets ashy. White people can live without lotion forever. If their skin is dry, all they have to deal with is a distracting itch that can lead to cracks in the skin and possible infection.

What they don’t have to deal with is the embarrassing trail of chalky, flaky, white streak on brown skin if they dare scratch. (Meditation classes on ignoring discomfort are starting up again in a couple of weeks. PM me for deets).

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

I’d take the infection if it means that a simple itch didn’t draw attention to my Hamish curse. This leads to wishful thinking which leads to not buying lotion which leads to having to wear long pants all winter.

But your ABF probably just “accepts” that she gets ashy. So she’ll buy lotion. Which you can borrow on the DL.

You’ll be better at crossword puzzles.

I don’t know what “deuces” or “turnt out” means, but it’s fun to say (ironically, of course.) Thanks, ABF!

She’ll create a diversion

Despite an Oreo’s best efforts, at first blush, you’re still going to look ethnic. Relaxers and Peter Pan collars and tulle skirts aside, people will still get the wrong impression. This means that sometimes, people will approach you and use terms like “yo” and “articulate” when they start talking to you. They’ll point you away from the delicious trout canapés and tell you where the okra is or ask you how you feel about grinding on surfboarts or Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign.

You’d think the deer in the headlights look would be enough to deter them, but it usually only makes them ask more questions. Or encourages them to build you a playlist that includes far too little Sarah Watkins and far too many vocal riffs.

Your ABF, however, can fill in the gaps between their attempts at conversation and your terrified silence. While they chat, you can slip away unnoticed and take a moment to yourself to start planning your next Downton Abbey viewing extravaganza.

That Dowager’s got nothing on you. 

Bring it on, Violet!

Bring it on, Violet!


Who are some of your newest friends? What are the best things about them? And what is going on with Mr. Bates?? He’s about to lose his mind, right? He’s totally headed for Crazyton Abbey?

Let us know in the comments. 

For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)


  1. Odd.. Something similar happened to me this past week. I went to a gallery opening and saw… Another Black Guy… OK, no big deal. Later that night I popped in to another gallery and saw… The Same Black Guy. He even came over to shake my hand and compliment my attire? ‘Too bad you’re straight’, he said – having asked mutual white female friends. Whew… I still get to be the the only Straight Black Guy at galleries.

  2. Have you lost your mind?! You’re about to throw away a lifetime’s work of being an oreo. For an AF!

    There is no place in the 21st Century for basing our friendships on the content of one’s character. Spare me, the recitation of the minor benefits a ABF may bring to a friendship. The only thing that matters is skin color, skin color, skin color!

    After you have done the smart thing of dumping this ABF. I want you to go to Albertson’s or Von’s and get a paper grocery bag (do they still have paper grocery bags in CA?) Cut a snippet that you can carry with you around the clock. From now on the only people in your life who are darker than had better be doing your laundry or mowing your lawn.

    Get your head on straight!

    1. Thank you for calling me out and speaking some sense. I know I shouldn’t but… but… the lotion was pretty nice. Lavender something.

      If it helps, I haven’t seen her in weeks! And the other day, when I wanted to like one of her facebook posts… I didn’t! Progress!

  3. I can tell you one thing, I’d rather be ashy in need of lotion before dealing with any kind of infection, :-). I’m a RBP, just light skinned as hell. Don’t care what color, sex, sexual preference my friends are, as long as there good people and most or should I say all are RBP. Ok you have to believe in God and Jesus Christ. I’m not a religious freak, I am a believer!!

    1. Also, no offense, but it seems that you would be more of an Uncle Tom woman version, not oreo. I will give the difference if you’d like to know.

  4. If history teaches us anything, its that we shouldn’t sacrifice our principles for skin lotion. Wait, it was lavender!? Oh hell, in that case, go out and get yourself two RBP as friends. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s