Colored Folk

What she wore: yellow polo with three-quarter-length sleeves, khaki capris, brown strappy stacked sandals.  The kids really liked the yellow shirt.

My mother-in-law sent this to me and I don’t usually just rewrite e-mails, but this one struck a chord.  My African American kids are just FASCINATED with white skin.  Any kid who’s touched my hand has sworn it’s softer than black hands.  I’m not sure if I believe this.  They are also very attuned to the color fluctuations that come with being caucasian.  They will stop you in the hall to tell you that you have a red spot on the back of your leg–uhhh yeah, I crossed my legs and now I have a spot.  If you’re white you know what I’m talking about.  And then, of course, you’ll be yelling and when you finally finish someone will say, "your face is really red." 
To top it all off, today Mr. K rode his bike to school.  He lives less than a mile from school.  One of the kids told him, "you know you’re just going to get all pink if you ride that bike in sun"–what are we, freaks?  We can’t go outside for ten minutes?  Should we be cloistered because of our technicolor skin?
Well, here’s that forward she sent me:

When I born, I black,
when I grow up, I black,
when I go in sun,! I black,
when I cold, I black,
when I scared, I black,
when I sick, I black,
and when I die, I still black.

You white folks….
when you born, you pink,
when you grow up, you white ,
when you go in sun, you red ,
when you cold, you blue ,
when you scared, you yellow,
whe! n you sick, you green,
when you bruised, you purple,
and when you die, you gray.
So who you callin’

While the term "colored" is not in fashion any more, my limited research could find no proof that the term was ever considered racist–it’s just not in style.




About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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12 Responses to Colored Folk

  1. Cheryl says:

    That was cute….And yes they are quite attuned to how white we are also. Some of us are whiter than others.

  2. Unknown says:

    I\’ve seen that before…remember I\’m from the South, xoxo Mercy

  3. Unknown says:

    As for soft white skin, I\’ve heard many times that blacks skin gets "ashy" they must put on lotion or cream everyday to keep their skin comfy and the right color for them. They also wash their hair about every two weeks because it takes so much effort to get it conditioned, styled, weaved, extensions and just on and on. I love the honesty of children, we can learn so much!

  4. Betty says:

    I love your space, I found it on EZ\’s and have been reading it ever since.  I\’m a New Orleans expat also.  New Orleans is hard to translate to other states\’ language.  I miss it a lot and my heart is broken that she is "down" right now.  My three sisters and brother still live there and I usually get to go back two or three times a year, but I have not been back since May of 05 and because my husband is very sick it doesn\’t look like I\’ll be going back any time soon.
    I have the T shirt that says "I (fleur de lis) New Orleans.  Nobody gets it.  My fav New Orleans T shirt is my Benny Grunch 12 Yats of Christmas.

  5. K says:

    I know… when cold or lacking in oxygen.. we turn blue… When we burn we have every shade of red under the sun (at least I do LOL)… When we get sick… we can turn yellow or green…
    Yes… WE are the colored ones…. I have seen that one many times before and it still talks the truth in my mind… Excellent post.
    Have a wonderful day… we got a small dumpin\’ of snow last night here so it\’s slippery and cool today… Mother Nature\’s last joke on us for the Winter….
    Ciao bella

  6. Tracy says:

    Ha that email forward is funny!  It is funny to think how our skin color can change so much. 

  7. Beth says:

    I have been meaning to visit your space for a long time.  I love the phrase \’Little Rock Barnyard.\’  I thought it fascinating.  I have read the Colored Folks poem before quite a few years ago.  You sound like a wonderful teacher!

  8. Unknown says:

    what he wore: Fave Banana Republic dress shirt, white field with a wide check of dark brown, light brown and light blue stripes, dark brown flat front BR dress pants, black belt and Black square toe lace ups. Boxers, size large and roomy from K-mart might be Fruit fo the loom.
    Thanks for the advice on the #.  It is a business phone / blackberry…and i secretly like the fact that she\’s not over me.  I\’ll seee what i can do about the lingerie for men…what is there?  A submission hood?  Let\’s see…silk boxers, silk pj bottoms…a silk robe…
    See my new post for the home reno update….just working on it now
    happy humpday

  9. PeaceHopeJoy says:

    Love it!  It\’s soooooooo true too.  And I do have to admit that I DO get sunburned if I\’m out in the sun for 10 minutes….LOL  But that\’s because I have just enough of that red hair gene to really make me miserable.
    Ok, I\’m starting up that club.  I used to be like your friend…I tried to talk all of my friends into getting pregnant first -but they wouldn\’t listen.  But now I\’ve waited them all out and most of them have had babies since.  So there!
     Amazingly, all of them survived it.  Heck, one of them even had her 2nd with no drugs and said "It wasn\’t that bad"….but I\’m not sure I believe her.  My sister in law also did it with no drugs….but I won\’t tell you about that…I don\’t even like to think about that one. 
    God bless : )

  10. Alicia says:

    LMAO!!  That\’s a GREAT joke, Katy!  And I never knew anyone was obsessed with our skin!! I learned something new today!  🙂

  11. WINDOW LIVE says:

    When I was a girl the PC term for african-americans was…you guessed it colored people.  That is really a cute little poem and very, very true.

  12. Sue says:

    That is really funny.  So true.  I got teased a lot for my white skin with spots (freckles) from my ex-hubby and his family.  They also made fun of me for laying out and trying to \’turn black like them\’, when all I accomplished was turning more red. 

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