10 Things You Should Never Say To A Black Girl

I’ve dealt with a lot of ignorance in my lifetime when it comes to being black, most of which were from friends, fellow students or adults who I thought would know better.

Fun fact: They don’t.

Some little nuggets of ignorance have even taken up shop in several of my posts about race here on Gurl.

I get it, people mean well, but that doesn’t make their comments any more tolerable, less hurtful or less offensive. In my experience, most of the racially insensitive comments that I’ve received have been from people who will swear up and down that they don’t have a racist bone in their body. But the second they say something out of line and I call them out on it, suddenly their the victims and I’m being mean or–this is my favorite part–I’m being racist for pointing it out in the first place.

As if.

Well, you live and learn, so here’s 10 things you should never say to a black girl according to me, a black girl.


“How can I be racist? My best friend/third cousin/sister-in-law is black!”


As if that absolves you from saying something racist. Your possibly imaginary black bestie ain’t here, don’t use her to defend yourself.


“My ancestors came to this country after slavery happened so…”


That doesn’t mean that you don’t potentially benefit from a little thing called white privilege. Look it up!


“You speak so well!”


How did you expect me to speak? Why are you so surprised that I can be eloquent?


“I’m a big fan of [insert some new, hip, cool black musician, actor, celebrity, politician, etc].”


And you felt the need to go out of your way to mention this to me because…?


“[Touches a black chick’s hair].”


No. Stop. What are you…doing? Stop!


“Why do you have to make everything about race? Stop using the race card!”


In other words, “Why are you talking about race? It makes me uncomfortable. Stop making me uncomfortable!” Sorry, what I talk about doesn’t revolve around your comfort level with acknowledging the cold hard truth about how racist our society is.


“You’re being a reverse-racist!”


Reverse racism doesn’t exist, y’all.


“Why are you allowed to say that word but I can’t?”


Because context matters. Why do you want to use slurs that oppressed people have reclaimed so badly anyway?


“You’re not like other black girls!”


Wow, I wasn’t aware that every other black girl in the world ever is exactly the same. Except for me. I am truly the most special of snowflakes.


“My hair is like Hermoine’s, so I know how it feels to have your hair type.”


…Naw. If you think that’s the case then you definitely don’t know the history and politics of black hair. Until your Hermione hair gets you in trouble at school, don’t ever say this to me or any other black chick. Ever. Nice try, though!


Have you had to deal with any of these comments? What other ridiculous things have people said to you because you’re a person of color? Tell us in the comments!

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Posted in: Being Yourself
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  • savannah

    someone told me I was “smart for a black girl”.They acted like this was suppose to be a complement. Like, no I can not be the only black person here you assume is smart. I am just like you need stop.

  • nads

    I am from south Africa and I have had some stupid questions asked too. white girls at school for example I plaited braids in on the weekend after wearing my natural hair the week before “omg your hair grows so fast its so unfair” lol like seriously???

  • Alliyah Merritt

    My hair is naturally straight and my hair goes a little bit down my back, and people in school always touch my hair and say, “Oh my god your hair is so long!” And i’m just like, ‘ Did you expect it to be short?’ Or they ask me, “Is that a weave?” And I’m just sitting there like, Are you serious right now?”

  • Josephine

    Hello, I check your blogs on a regular basis. Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

    • http://offbeatorbit.com Ashley Reese

      Thanks so much, Josephine!

  • ana

    Um yes, reverse-racism does exist. In fact, its not even reverse-racism. Its just racism. Hatred toward any race is wrong.

    • A

      Oh, Lord. Please, sweetie, just don’t. For your own sake, just shush.

  • Brianna Hughes

    I have natural hair so when I wear my hair so I get “Omg how do you get your hair to look like a ball of cotton.