31 Ways to Tell You Have too Many White Friends

by Kesiena Boom

Some of us Black women do not have the luxury of living in an area that has a decent number of other Black folks around. Unfortunately, scenarios like this usually end up resulting in the one thing Black people really ought to avoid like the Plague: having too many white friends. Here are some of the warning signs of excess white friendships.

  1. You’re the only one who knows the Electric Slide; and you get sad when ‘Candy’ comes on and you have to go it alone.
  2. When out at bars and gatherings, you find yourself dancing up a storm whilst your friends stand awkwardly around you.
  3. You have tried and failed to dance with your friends but it’s become embarrassing for all involved and you’ve let it go.
  4. And if your friends do dance, they are usually giggling as they say shit like ‘OMG, watch me twerk!!! Look, I’m you!!’
  5. You regularly hear exclamations of, ‘Oooh, that’s my song!’ whenever Taylor Swift comes on.
  6. You’re the only one who refuses to dance to Miley Cyrus.
  7. You try and take a group selfie but the lighting makes you look awful and your friends look good.
  8. You know that as soon as the sun comes out and your palest friend gets even the HINT of a tan, she’s gonna say some shit about her being ‘JUST LIKE YOU NOW’.
  9. You’re the only one who hasn’t gotten messy drunk and cried about some guy named Brad.
  10. You hear the phrase, ‘Girl, you know I’m not racist but...’ way too often.
  11. Your friends don’t understand why you can’t be over in an hour once you’ve started doing your hair.
  12. You feel uncomfortable wrapping your hair when you stay the night at your friend’s place.
  13. You suppress elements of your Blackness in order to make your friends comfortable.
  14. You spend way too much time appeasing their white people guilt.
  15. You stare longingly at Black folks you pass on the street to try and catch their eyes.
  16. At work, everyone expects you to singlehandedly organise any and everything to do with ‘diversity’.
  17. You sometimes feel extremely drained by hanging out with your friends because they don’t notice any of the offensive shit that happens around you, and you resent their blissful ignorance.
  18. You bite your tongue about microaggressions because you don’t want to lose friends or be written off as paranoid.
  19. You’re held up as the ‘comic relief’ of the group or some other Black woman stereotype, as though you’re not allowed any nuance to your personality.
  20. You struggle to feel as though you can be entirely yourself.
  21. You watch shows that feature a token Black friend and feel a deep sense of solidarity.
  22. Your friends joke about how ‘you’re practically white!’ because you’re never around other Black people.
  23. If your friends refer to you as the ‘sassy one’ of the group one more time, you might scream. (But not too loudly because you don’t want to be labelled the ‘aggressive’ or ‘irrational’ one either).
  24. You secretly feel smug when you see your friends without makeup because you look so much better.
  25. You’re expected to have opinions on every matter related to being Black ever, and you’re expected to share them with your friends on request, even if you’re sick and tired of thinking about race.
  26. Your friends think it’s okay to put their dirty ass shoes on your bed and don’t understand why that’s gross beyond belief.
  27. You feel shock and disgust at the way that your friends talk to their mothers.
  28. You’ve stopped bothering to try and make dinner for your friends because they will inevitably complain that it is ‘too spicy’.
  29. Feeling like you can’t ever say anything negative about Black folks around your friends in case they internalise it.
  30. If your friend meets/sees/breathes near another Black person, you know they’re gonna tell you about it.
  31. You haven’t introduced your friends to your family because your family would think you’d lost the plot.
This list is meant to be a humorous (yet still accurate) examination of what it’s like to be the only Black friend. But some of it is legitimately sad!

What have your experiences as the only Black friend been like?

Photo Credit: Creatista via Deposit Photos

Kesiena Boom is a Black lesbian feminist and writer. She loves Audre Lorde and the sociology of sexuality. She’s twenty years old and also writes for Autostraddle.com.

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