Africans: The Gray Area of Black V. White

Africa did give us giraffes - my favorite!! So I guess it's not all bad.

As an Oreo, it’s hard to know what to do with Africans. On one hand, they’re black, so spending time with them totally makes you look like an RBP. On the other hand, thanks to massive amounts of colonization, they’re kind of Europeany.

I was having brunch with an African friend (carefully, of course) and came up with this list of tips for hanging out with your friends from The Dark Continent.

1. Use the Proper Greeting. When meeting at the Marina or in Silverlake for brunch, be sure to say hello properly. A handshake may be too formal and a hug suggests a bit too much familiarity. Instead, opt for the double cheek to cheek kiss. This indicates that while you look like two regular black people, you definitely don’t act like them.

2. Sport Boarding School Sweaters. Most of my friends from Africa went to fancy pantsy boarding schools away from their home towns. These institutions fill their students heads with multiple languages and soccer rules of play. Tell your brunch date that it would be fun to swap school stories and sweaters so that both of you arrive in uniform. Normally a school full of of color kids shows up on very special shows like Dateline NBC and in Tyler Perry movies. No one want to go to those schools! But with the two of your preptastic v-necks proudly on display, heads will definitely turn…toward you and not to the exit.

3. If you Must Talk about “Africa,” Do So Like It’s One Big Country. Demonstrating an understanding of the fact that the continent of Africa is bigger than the US, China and Europe combined  and contains extremely distinct ethnic groups as divergent as the Berbers are from the Zulu will make you look really ethno-centric. Awkward! If you must talk about issues related to the origin of the diaspora, don’t make distinctions between Zimbabwe and Zaire, South Africa and Morocco, Congo and Cameroon. Also, don’t use the word “diaspora.”

4. Order Quiche. And maybe a mimosa. And perhaps a tartin of some sort. Definitely no chicken.

5. Refer to the other rules for extra protection:

What do you think? Do Africans count as Oreos? And if there are any Africans in the audience, what are theRBP of Africa like? How do you set yourselves apart?


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