At long last, a much-needed guidebook for well-intentioned people of pallor on what not to say to their African American “friends.”
Greetings, well-intentioned person of pallor. Your good intentions used to be enough. But in these diverse and divisive times, some people would hold you accountable for your actions. You were not raised for such unfairness. You need help. And help you now have.
Let Daquan–that black coworker you are referring to when you claim to have black friends–help you navigate perilous small talk with African Americans with this handy field guide. This portable bit of emotional labor puts at your fingertips a tabbed and alphabetized list of things not to say to black people. Finally!
How to use: Keep this handbook close. Whenever you are confronted with an African American and you feel compelled to blurt out an observation about her hair or to liken your Tesla lease to slavery, ask for a moment to consult this reference. She’ll wait. If the keen insight you want to share is listed herein, You Can Keep That to Yourself. It truly is that easy!
About Adam Smyer
ADAM SMYER is an attorney, martial artist, and mediocre bass player. His nonfiction has appeared in the Johannesburg Review of Books, and his debut novel, Knucklehead, was the sole title short-listed for the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary… More about Adam Smyer