by today’s Urban Chameleon contributor
Working in corporate America there is always a code amongst us Black folks in the office to look out for one another. “Hey brotha watch ya back Bob was looking for you earlier.” Or “I’m headed to that chicken spot did you want me to bring you back a quarter piece and that mac and cheese you like?” But what I haven’t much had experienced with is trying to figure out how to tell another Black person in the office that they have ashy elbows. A new Black person started working at my office a week ago, which can be exciting. We had gotten past the “figuring each other out” stage quick enough to even grab a drink after work on the third day of knowing each other. You know that stage I’m talking about when you first meet a Black person and need to first know their angle. The business suit and tie is just a costume, so contrary to what other kinds of folks think there are very different kinds of Black folks and we can’t all hang.
There is the:
Sell out type
Too spiritual type
Not spiritual enough type
Jack and Jill type
The list goes on but this brotha was just cool. However, this one night we were working late with some of the white guys at the office and my man rolled up his shirt sleeves to reveal the most ashiest elbows I had even seen to where one of the white boys let out a slight “yikes” look. For the rest of the night I don’t think anyone could concentrate on anything except those elbows. The next day one of the white boys say to me “Ohmigod how about that skin condition, eh.” I started to say, “That’s not-“ before stopping myself thinking, “Was I really about to explain “ash” to this white boy?” All I know is I can’t be hanging out with no ashy brotha. Do I need to tell him? I don’t understand what Black person is not conscious of their own ash.
A brotha with a bottle of Jergens standing by