Dear Black People: These Are Things ‘They’ Want You to Stop Doing

Danielle Young, Yesha Callahan
Jay Z, Beyoncé, LeBron James and Savannah Brinson in 2012
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This post contains tweets that some may find offensive.

We wrote a list of things that white people should stop doing, and of course the racist Internet trolls flexed their Twitter fingers to tweet obscenities and call us names, and even forced us to leave “their country” with the ever-popular, “Go back to Africa” exclamation.



But what those angry folks proved is that, even if things are said in jest, no matter how many times “post-racial” gets thrown around, the more things change, the more they stay racist.

Sure, our list was tongue-in-cheek, filled with satire and humor, but most of the list included viable things that should stop.

In order to even the playing field, we figured we’d write up a list of things that black people should stop doing. Take all of this with a grain of salt because honestly, we have no plans on stopping any of this.


1. Stop being so magical.  

Let’s get this all the way clear. Despite what people in Elle magazine think, we’re not pulling rabbits out of hats. Our magic has more to do with our mere existence and excellence in a world that would rather we not.


2. Stop being trendsetters.

From cornrows to cuts in our eyebrows, our fashion sense is constantly imitated—excuse us, Columbused—and introduced as a new trend as if it’s never existed in the first place.


3. Stop changing your hairstyle every five minutes.

See No. 2. We can’t help creating trends, and oftentimes, the trends we create are around our hair. Yes, our glorious crowns are awe-inspiring, but we’re able to change our hair like we change our minds, and we’ll never stop.


4. Stop being so forgiving.

Many of you may think that black people do nothing but hold grudges. Or that we’re always angry, but here’s the thing: Did you see the family members of those nine people who lost their lives at Charleston, S.C.’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church forgive the killer?


5. Stop dancing to the beat with precision.

Beyoncé isn’t the only one who is always on beat. We all are. Sorry, not sorry.

6. Stop being innovators.

Nothing can stop us. When our backs are up against the wall, we don’t crumble. We innovate. Bullied? We create our own clothing line. Uninspired by prom choices? We create our own African-print prom gowns.


7. Stop being at the top of every field that has ever existed.

Percy Levon Julian. Tiger Woods. Oprah. Ursula Burns. Tristan Walker. Mae Jemison. Beyoncé. Thurgood Marshall. Serena Williams. Marilyn Mosby. LeBron James. Denzel Washington. Daniel Hale Williams. Barack and Michelle Obama. We can’t help being awesome.


8. Stop loving yourself so much that everyone else notices and gets uncomfortable.

How dare Beyoncé admit that she loves wide nostrils and her baby heir with baby hair and Afros? How dare she inspire other black people to love what they’ve got?


9. Stop it with that rich melanin of yours.

From butter pecan to the darkest chocolate you’ve ever seen, our melanin can’t help being rich. Tan all you want, but you’ll never have melanin like ours. Also, every color is our color.


10. Stop having those wonderfully luscious lips that fully display lipstick with ease.

When MAC decided to share a photo of a black model with full lips, racist trolls proved that they’re just not comfortable with authentic full lips. Their problem, not ours.


11. Stop being unapologetic about your blackness.

Ha! Historically, we’ve had to feel down about the color of our skin because it’s always been “less than.” These days we love, accept and are 100 percent unapologetic about out blackness, and if that makes you feel some type of way, then you should check yourself to figure out why folks loving themselves is an issue.


Now, do you really think we want you to stop doing these things? You must be bugging. But there are people out there who would give anything in the world to dim your shine.  

And they’d start with some of these things listed above. But in the words of Rihanna, you better “shine bright like a diamond.”  

Say it loud! I'm black and I'm proud!

Danielle Young, The Root’s social-content producer, is pretty, witty, girly and worldly. One who likes to party but comes home early. Boldly telling stories with heart, sass and humor. Prince once called her “excellence.” Follow her on Twitter.


For more of black Twitter, check out The Chatterati on The Root and follow The Chatterati on Twitter.\r\n\r\n\r\nYesha Callahan is a senior editor, and editor of The Grapevine, at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.\r\n\r\n 

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