There are few unapologetic moments when people of African descent shed the cloak of respectability and traverse into the territory of impromptu blackness. It is when a grandmother eschews political correctness and pleas to “hold your applause” in order to dance a full Holy Ghost shout at her grandson’s graduation. It is black America gathered at the inauguration of America’s first black president and breaking into the Electric Slide. It’s when Denzel Washington lapsed into comfort and affectionately called David Letterman “my nigga” on network television. These incidents of spontaneous Negrocity are collectively known as “black as fuck” moments.
On Monday, on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed, in a moment of unabashed black-as-fuckness, Shannon Sharpe pulled out a Black & Mild* cigar on national TV, prompting bewildered looks from his nonblack co-hosts and an outpouring of love and affection from Black Twitter:
*For our Caucasian readers, a Black & Mild is a slim cigar filled with pipe tobacco and consumed by black uncles at cookouts across America. It is one of the few cigars sold at bodegas and convenience stores not used primarily as blunt wrapping.
While this epic display prompted both laughter and pride, we have a few questions about this incident:
1. Was that really a Black & Mild?
Upon our initial examination of the video, our NCIS team (Negro Cigar Investigation Services) believes that the cigar may actually have been a Gold & Mild, the light-skinnededed cousin of Black & Mild
2. Did he “freak” it?
Experienced Black & Mild smokers know that one must empty the tobacco out of a Black, remove the inner layer of paper and reinsert the tobacco in a process known as “freaking.” According to research from the barbershop chapter of the American Cancer Society, this eliminates the “cancer paper” inside most cigars, negating the chances of lung damage.
3. What was this look about?
Co-host Joy Taylor looked at that Black & Mild as if it were a crack pipe filled with crystal meth wrapped in pages from the Bible. It’s a cheap cigar, bruh.
4. Does Sharpe really drink Hennessy?
No. No one who drinks Hennessy refers to it as “Henn-dog.” Even black people don’t call it that. But, then again, he’s originally from Glenville, Ga. They probably still refer to it as “yak” down there. So, yes.
5. Was this a single?
Did Sharpe buy a loosie Black? He’s a millionaire, so he probably balled out and bought a whole $5.29 five-pack.
6. Will this episode lead to the gentrification of Black & Milds?
I have a feeling the price of Blacks is about to skyrocket. You know white people are headed to the 7-Eleven right now to try this “delectable thing called a Black & Mild.” By next Monday, you’ll be reading articles about wine sommeliers pairing wines with Black & Milds. (I prefer the cherry Blacks with a nice rosé. Surprisingly, the wine-flavored Blacks only pair well with beer.)
While it is too early to answer these questions, we can say for sure that Sharpe brightened black America’s day after we were up late watching the tragedy in Las Vegas, lamenting over lost lives, doing the “Please don’t let him be black” prayer. Sharpe, we appreciate your rigorous defense of Colin Kaepernick. This moment elevated you into the small contingent of people we quietly cheer for being black as fuck.