Monday, August 25, 2008

Color Matching Game Answers

So, nobody wanted to play our matching game, but that’s OK. I had fun playing. Here are my picks for notable black people who best represent each shade of black:

You’re Black? = Soledad Obrien

High Yella = Harold Ford

Radical Redbone = Angela Davis

Paper Bag aka Bougie Beige = Muhammad Ali

Café Accompli = Michelle Obama

Mocha Mania = Nia Long

Mississippi Mud = Denzel Washington

Cackalack Blacksoil = Clarence Thomas

Ebony/Jet = Jack Johnson

Blurple = Bill Duke


gordon gartrelle said...

And the 3 respectable negroes who run this site?

Zora = Paper Bag/Bougie Beige
Chauncey = Radical Redbone
Gordon = In between Café Accompli and Mocha Mania

Thembi Ford said...

Hilarious and sick - especially Cafe Accompli!

chaunceydevega said...

I think folks were scared of your "truthiness" Mr. Gordon. Black folks don't want to admit they are fascinated by the color-game even as they play it in private, and white folks want to play but don't want to be called racist for doing so. A great dilemma me thinks! It is the same affliction we have suffered as respectable negroes who speak truth to power and the same explanation for why folks were scared to agree with our nomination of Corky...although they secretly smiled and laughed.

As for my color I am a mocha mania/cafe accompli colored person. And some of your choices are a bit skewed colorwise btw as Harold Ford and Soledad are the same color, and angela davis is a bit darker. You Gordon are a You're black, especially when you talk on the telephone, go to wine tastings, and drink martinis with your queen.

You see, I eat now and laters, have a dashiki in the closet, and love popeye's and black cherry soda. I also drink Sapporo beer and apple martinis-2 drinks that are straight from the hood. De facto, I am far "blacker" than you are both inside and out.

As for blurple I do agree, but then how do we explain Miles Davis because he is blurple but has a different hue, sort of a dark glow about him--the same way I imagine the event horizon of a black hole. And what about folks who are blurple but wear real bright fluorescent colored clothing? Does the combination of color schemes enhance the blurpleness or does it diminish it?

Zora, has told me she finds this whole conversation disturbing, but then again I caught her holding her hand up against the computer screen to see what color she is.

Chauncey DeVega

Anonymous said...

"Miles Davis ... sort of a dark glow about him ... "

That was just the cool oozing out of him.

gordon gartrelle said...

A few points:

1.) You told me people wouldn't like this, Chauncey, but I didn't believe you. I never thought that folks would read this as anything but a lighthearted celebration of black variety. I didn't think the names were mean-spirited, and I certainly don't value any of the hues over the others.

2.) Part of the joke is that the list of colors is woefully incomplete. My skin color isn't even among the originals.

3.) Chauncey, please. First of all, I don't drink martinis. But if I did, I wouldn't drink apple martinis because they're girl drinks...period. And I can buy a nice Syrah for what you pay for 1 cocktail.

Second, you are light-skinned. Accept it. You could pass for a swarthy Southern European. And I know that you of all people aren't taling about people "sounding white."

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...


Damn, I like that one! Check and mate...I mean that nicely. Funny story, I used to be friendly with a queen who wouldn't listen to Miles because he was a wife beater. She and I would argue, really argue over this, because I agreed he looked like the type to put his goon hand down on a woman, but he was a brilliant musician so enjoy the music and just condemn the the man--I never won that argument.

Gordon, I am not swarthy, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist party. I sound black, in fact when I go on job interviews no interviewers are ever surprised by the fact that I am black, not once, not ever. They expect me to be blurple, and my medium brown hue throws them.

I think you need to get over your own color complex.

Random, in hindsight we need to add a "Trader Joe's" brown paper bag test because it is a little darker than the conventional back.


J said...

I thought this was funny.

I am Mississippi Mud (and just happen to be from Mississippi)

Under the You're Black? category: Vin Diesel, Mariah Carey

High Yella: Alica Keyes, Derek Jeter

Vee (Scratch) said...

I'm running with that! I'll try to

"A dark glow about him"
- Chuancey DeVega

"We people, that are darker than blue"
- Curtis Mayfield

Invisible Hand said...

Cackalack Blacksoil -- which, is also my Wu-Tang name. But seriously... Clarence Thomas??? Way to give a brother a complex.

Invisible Woman said...


Anonymous said...

I dont get it what does this mean. I'm slightly confused. I know the whole color thing, but what is being said?

Anonymous said...

hilarious. i <3 this blog.

Jack said...

Awesome post, even awesomer discussion. Blurple! I think my lady's a kind of Bougie Beige, which sounds better than Paper she's from a town not far from Bougie.

Anonymous said...

Me, I'm somewhere between Mississipi Mud and Mocha Mania.

Anonymous said...

I'm between You're Black? and Hella Yella. I've got afro-dominican in my blood.

Anonymous said...

My scale would be a bit different.
Vin Diesel, Benjamin Jealous, and Soledad O'Brien would be high yella--never in a million years would I think they were anything other than Black. Are you black? in my book would be Wentworth Miller, Jennifer Beals (today, not back in her Flashdance days when she looked high yella) and most Italians--you know they say, "If you gotta ask..." Most Latinos of Caribbean origin to me appear high yella or darker. I would count myself somewhere around Café Accompli...

Mickey said...

"You're Black?" can also apply to people who do not necessarily look White, but can pass for other races as well. In other words, they look neither White nor Black (i.e., South Asian Indian, Native American, Mestizo, etc.)