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#1
Old 06-06-2015, 02:19 PM
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It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand-- origin

If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" originated with Richard Pryor. I remember a routine he did where he talked about the difference between dating a white woman and a black woman and one of the benefits of dating a white woman was that he could use that line on them.

But a search for this routine shows that the line has been around forever. Does anyone know where it originated?

P.S., just to head off any sidetracks-- all the black people I know (and believe me, I know a lot of 'em) only use this line ironically. Can we stick with the origin of the phrase and not how racist it is or isn't?
#2
Old 06-06-2015, 02:36 PM
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I don't know, but it seems to me that it became a "thing" in the early 90s, when Afrocentricism was in and folks were walking around with Africa medallions around their necks.
#3
Old 06-06-2015, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
I don't know, but it seems to me that it became a "thing" in the early 90s, when Afrocentricism was in and folks were walking around with Africa medallions around their necks.
That's also when I first encountered it. I'm actually surprised to find out it goes as far back as Pryor.

Last edited by planetcory; 06-06-2015 at 05:14 PM.
#4
Old 06-06-2015, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
I don't know, but it seems to me that it became a "thing" in the early 90s, when Afrocentricism was in and folks were walking around with Africa medallions around their necks.
A quick Google Books search turns up a number of reference to "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" as a t-shirt slogan in the late '80s/early '90s. The phrase was presumably around before anyone thought to put it on a t-shirt and I wouldn't be surprised if it did originate with Pryor, but the t-shirts seem to have done a lot to popularize it.

The earliest usage I could find on Google Books was from 1981, in a book titled The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution, but it's just mentioned as something that black people sometimes say to white people.
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:58 PM
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Someone must have said it first. I'd like to know the context, the whole nine yards.
#6
Old 06-06-2015, 08:09 PM
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That's the beauty of it, it doesn't MEAN anything!
#7
Old 06-06-2015, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by planetcory View Post
That's also when I first encountered it. I'm actually surprised to find out it goes as far back as Pryor.
So, it was pryor to that.
#8
Old 06-06-2015, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
So, it was pryor to that.
Badaboom TISH!
#9
Old 06-06-2015, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggirl View Post
Can we stick with the origin of the phrase and not how racist it is or isn't?
Sorry, nope. It's an SDMB thing-you oughta understand.
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