How To Portray Black People

A letter from the Editor-In-Chief of Politically Correct:

Dear colleagues,

It has come to my attention, that there seems to be an endemic disregard for the portrayal of black people in some of the material that is being handed in for publication and/or presentation. As Editor-In-Chief of this highly esteemed media enterprise, I felt strongly moved to address with promptness and clarity, the standard of the quality of work we should all be endeavouring to reach.

It is time to smash down restrictive, discriminatory and ignorant racial stereotypes and show the world that we are a forward thinking enterprise embracing change and diversity. It is time to show our intrinsically world-leading role in this movement towards a society of equality, tolerance and respect, and that we are not of that ilk of society that wishes to move not, but instead be dragged into enlightenment by the scruff of their necks, fat with rolls of bigotry.

Thus, in this document I will provide some general rules & guides I have devised and concluded will be of utmost assistance in portraying our fellow humans in their complex and multi-layered glory. I am confident that should you follow these rules to the letter, it will take everything for a black person to resist stopping you in the street and congratulating you on your ability to encapsulate what it intrinsically means to be black, and better yet, do it in front of our less mentally advanced peers. In fact, consider it not odd if you are approached in the street by a black person who seems to be raising a closed fist towards you; do not shrink back in fear, they are merely attempting to connect their closed fist with your own as the ultimate sign of approval and appreciation. Make sure to ‘touch’ back and allow yourself to indulge in a moment of self-congratulation at having achieved a standard of excellence in your work.

The rules are as follows:

  • If a black person has done positive work in their local community, be sure to do your research and find out the number of stabbings, gun crime and youth deaths that have occurred in the area since records began. When writing about or representing this positive act, be sure to mention the statistic that you come up with [it is not necessary to specify the time range of these occurrences even if some date from the 17th Century]. You see, the inspiration for any positive work going on in the black community always stems from violent crime. This is what I have found.
  • If you are writing about or representing a black person who has a degree [a modern phenomenon I think], furthermore if they happen to have a Master’s degree or a PhD [still rare], it is perfectly acceptable to extol their achievements. But what you must not do dear colleagues, is to seek to eliminate that which was a crucial factor in their gaining such an achievement. You must persevere at all costs to highlight the context from which the black person has struggled out of; that will necessarily be a background of poverty and deprivation, having come from an infamous council estate in the heart of inner city London rife with violent crime, being raised by a single parent [always a mother, never a father,] and more often than not having been involved in crime [even if that was only stealing a Coca-Cola sweet from Woolworths]. If unable to find a ‘friendly neighbour’ who will adamantly verify having seen this person ‘hanging round the wrong crowd’ at some point or the other [even if it was whilst they were all waiting at a traffic light to cross the road], be sure to mention that this black person has had friends who unfortunately ended up dead or are now in jail. I have not met a black person yet who does not fall into one of these aforementioned categories. You see, it is very important not to take away the element of the struggle from a black person’s achievements. To do so would be a disservice, and we are in the business of upholding standards and being forerunners in the race against bigotry, intolerance and generalizations.
  • If you find yourself writing about or presenting a black person in entertainment, please understand that you have found the absolute gem when it comes to portraying black people. If you follow my instructions in this area carefully, you will find that this will be the most lucrative and reputation building work for you personally. This is the area which can propel you to new heights of media brilliance and cause you to be the envy of all your peers. All the best pioneers in equality, diversity, tolerance & cultural/racial understanding excelled in, and mastered this area:

When writing or representing a black person who does poetry or motivational talks, it is your duty to call it what is; rap. If the particular person talks with passion and fervour, it is gangster rap. If they are a dancer, regardless of whether it is ballet or tap, it is street dance. Street dance is inherent to the black culture, it is a symbol of their struggle and what life is like living in the ghetto [where most black people live as touched upon before] and therefore it would be nigh racist not to call it what it is and give black people the credit that they deserve for bringing this awareness to society. The only occasion where a black person dancing may not be street dance is if they are doing African dancing. A black person doing African dance is distinguishable by their high leaps in the air, jab movements as if fighting with an imaginary spear, loud repetitive noises like ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ said over and over again and a thrusting out of buttocks at regular intervals. There may also be money thrown at the dancer, namely 1$ American dollar bills [Black culture hinges on materialism like oxygen to Homo Sapiens]. If the black person is a male rapper, do not forget to allude to a criminal past [it is not necessary to enter into specifics; ‘Knock down Ginger’ is a sensitive topic, especially for the harassed elderly and we must do what we can to preserve the truest and most positive image of black people]. If the person is a female singer, lighten her with Photoshop. We must portray black people the way we know they aspire to be. It is only right.

  • When portraying a black person visually, there are some key elements it is absolutely critical to highlight and include, these being fundamental and intrinsic aspects of black culture:

When taking pictures of young black people, it would be highly advisable to find black men that have an ample and visible collection of tattoos [if you can find some with tattoos on their necks this would be even more desirable]. If they have earrings and are wearing a hoody and/or a baseball cap you are well on track to creating the perfect picture of a black person. It is advisable to use pictures such as these for any story involving black people. If the picture does not contain the accompanying facial scowl, throw it away. It is not adequate. You see, we have a duty to uphold the moral fabric of society as much as we can and to instigate enlightenment where we can and therefore we must show society the reality of life; this is how most black people dress and look. The ones that don’t are the pot-bellied starving ones from Africa with fly farms on their mouths. As we all know, pictures like these are meant to be used for charity campaigns, church missions…oh and Bob Geldof as and when he needs them. He’s very passionate about the starving black Africans. Not that we are not, it’s just that our focus is on being beacons of light in our own backyard. Black people have been neglected and verily misrepresented visually by this industry for too long and it is our duty to inspire progressive thought.

To conclude, the above, fellow professionals, is only a snippet of some of the ways in which we can begin to raise the profile of our dear brothers and sisters. I take this very seriously, and so should you if you want to continue to excel in life. Times are changing, and those who don’t change get left behind. The future is there for us to write and create it and I assure you, as long as we follow these basic instructions, we will become pioneers in an area that has been most rancorously abused, and win the esteem, praise, touches and ‘wagwan’s of black people everywhere.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Cass *say it fast*



Yours Truly



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