Friday, May 1, 2009

Ashy Elbows

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
Ignorant type
Badu type
Militant type
Cornball 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


  1. There is no easy way to do this. The best solution is to conviniently have lotion in your hand while chatting with him. Maybe causually offer him some as you are applying it to your own hands, lol. Maybe even throw out a "man good thing I keep lotion at my desk, my hands were really dry" comment, lol. Someone commenting on their won ash always makes others peak at themselves for some reason!

    As for the different kinds of black folk I am gonna have to co-sign that WHOLE list.


  2. HAHAHA, I totally agree or "Oooh I especially like to get the crevices of my elbows, you wanna hit this lotion dog."