It’s often common in our human nature to link any behavior or action we see to a person, place or thing. We learn as children how to handle certain situations so know what to expect in the future. You were spanked for playing with fire so that you wouldn’t get burned in the future, we like to use this example for people too. The media often likes to tell us that one encounter with a particular group of people will happen with all people of that race, class, sexual orientation and so on. For example, when I type into Google Search “Why are black people…” I can’t even finish people, before lazy, loud, and ghetto are suggested as search tearms. But when, “ Why are black people late” came up, I couldn’t help but think, hmmm that one might be true. The term is also called CPT, or Colored People Time, which actually was a TV show that began in 1968 at Detroit TV station and produced by an African-American hosted by Tony Brown. The show focused on all news topics from fashion to public affair. Fast forward from there to know and CPT has a whole new derogatory meaning.
Also Check Out: Why Don’t Black People Swim: Race, Stereotypes, & America
As I read blog and opinion pieces all over internet about black people being late, I can’t help but wonder why is it that an everyday mistake or action is connected to all black people. I mean realistically all people whether it’s a young person running late to class, a soccer mom running late to pick up her kids, or a sales exec running late for a business meeting. Are black people really known for running late or is society use to laughing at our community’s expense. Have we just naturally as a culture decided to run on our own culture’s sense of time rather than other races. I mean American history has often chosen African-Americans as outcasts and not fully embodied into American time and culture, possibly causing the black community to create their own understanding of when their presence will be present. Black World Magazine or Negro Digest gave a very deep and provocative explanation in the December 1972 issue.
The author examines the,” history of the Black American as basically unhistorical….with distinctly marked-out differences between each period – does not apply to Black Americans in any meaningful sense.” Or as Yeezy says my , “ My presence is a present kiss my a**”, or “You should be honored by my lateness.”
Maybe we as a people have learned to not run on anyone’s time but our own since it didn’t really matter either way in the past. Or, maybe sometimes we are just simply a few minutes behind like any other race. Or maybe the Stereotype is completely false and should never be uttered, you decide…
words by: Saudia Durrant