FOR THE WHITE PERSON WHO WANTS TO KNOW HOW TO BE MY FRIEND

By: Pat Parker

    The first thing you do is to forget that I’m black. 
    Second, you must never forget that I’m black.

    You should be able to dig Aretha, 
    but don’t play her every time I come over. 
    And if you decide to play Beethoven — don’t tell me 
    his life story.  They make us take music appreciation, too.

    Eat soul food if you like it, but don’t expect me 
    to locate your restaurants 
    or cook it for you.

    And if some Black person insults you, 
    mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you, 
    rips your house or is just being an ass —
    please, do not apologize to me 
    for wanting to do them bodily harm. 
    It makes me wonder if you’re foolish.

    And even if you really believe Blacks are better lovers than 
    whites — don’t tell me. I start thinking of charging stud fees.

    In other words — if you really want to be my friend — don’t 
    make a labor of it.  I’m lazy.  Remember. 
 

   From Movement in Black by Pat Parker.  Copyright(c) 1978 by Pat Parker.