Humor, Satire

Valedictorian: “I’m Really Black”

By Craig Bates


Craigmont High School Valedictorian Tristan Glass

(MEMPHIS) Tristan Glass saved his best moment for last.

The graduating senior from Craigmont High School carried a 4.0 grade point average, studied hard for tests, showed no affinity for basketball, and throughout his school career, never rolled his eyes at a teacher. But as he stood before his graduating class at the predominantly African-American school, he dropped a bomb.

“I’m really black,” said Tristan, 17. “I always have been and always will be. And I’m proud of it.”

The larger audience, made up of parents and loved ones who typically had no idea who the boy was, was largely indifferent.

“The boy has dreadlocks and skin the color of a Hershey bar,” said Arturo Jackson, there to watch his son, MyKell Taylor, graduate. “Why on Earth would people think he wasn’t black?”

Despite Tristan’s revelation, his classmates had many reasons for their continued disbelief.

“He ain’t black,” said graduating senior Shuh-Juanduhlaa Jefferson, 20. “He was always talkin’ all proper and stuff.”

Her friend, LaJoya’Qisha Peterson, echoed the sentiment. “How could he be black? He was always like ‘Good morning’ and ‘How are you?’” she said, feigning an English accent. “And he was always studying. He was always actin’ white.”

Tristan came clean, he said, because he was tired of hiding.

“It’s been really hard, telling people I was white. But I got teased so much when I was little, that it just seemed the best way,” he said. “I’m embarking on a new life now. I had to come out of the closet.”

The teasing, he said, began in kindergarten. He got an A+ on all his tests, and classmates starting calling him ‘white boy.’

“But once I told them I was white, the teasing stopped,” said Tristan, who plans to go to the University of Tennessee. “I think they expected me to do well then. Being white made it okay.”

Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.

© 2008 The Peoples News



22 thoughts on “Valedictorian: “I’m Really Black”

  1. Sad yet true. I went to “black” and “white” schools so I know how it is from both sides. Ugh!

    Posted by name | March 15, 2008, 11:24 pm
  2. oh yeah…..funny too!

    Posted by name | March 15, 2008, 11:24 pm
  3. So, does this mean if you are black than you cannot be smart? This is just very sad to read. Black people are just as smart as white people. It shouldn’t matter what color you are and I just can’t believe this still exist. Black people need to stop acting cripple and stop talking about other black people so that they don’t feel ashame to know a lot. This story really saddens me.

    Posted by charell | March 17, 2008, 1:39 pm
  4. Truth be told we as a Black race are our own worst enemy. It’s sad that the so called black kids at that school just didn’t get it. High school is the training ground for adult hood. There’s no doubt that this young man will go on and succeed in life where as his critiques will be wearing oval name tags and working for Popeyes and Burger King for the rest of their lives. And oh yes ten years from now these blacks will blame everone else for their plight in life instead of the person in the mirror..

    Posted by SJ | March 18, 2008, 5:01 pm
  5. What “SJ” wrote is true: “we as a Black race are our own worst enemy”.

    I grew up in a predominantly Black but also multi-racial community, and found, even in my adult life that a lot of our folk do not tolerate a mannerly, articulate Black person.

    Is it because of indoctrination? Do we feel that if we accept a lower position in society that we’ll be validated for being ripped from the “Motherland” (Africa) and left without our true original identities?

    I live on the East Coast but my friend on the West Coast was surprised to find out that a male acquaintance from our community was considered “white” by one of our Black female peers, because he is articulate, hard working and considerate.

    I’m not saying that everyone is perfect, but the African Diaspora has to come to grips with the fact that we are very intolerant of each other. Let positive change begin with us today.

    Posted by LW | March 18, 2008, 11:09 pm
  6. I was blessed to go to a predominantly black school in East St. Louis where the smart kids were the cool kids. I was still in school when “School Daze” came out, and all of my friends excitedly looked forward to going off to college.

    Posted by Mimi | March 20, 2008, 6:47 pm
  7. I am so proud of Tristan Glass. I am also a Memphian. My children graduated with honors in thier class and so did I. I went back to college after becoming a mother and feeling the need to encourage my children to reach for the unreachable. My complection is very light. I have on many occasion been mistaken for white, for that reason only, I have tried all my life to prove that a Black person can be just as intelligent as a white. I constantly have to inform people that I AM BLACK and proud to be BLACK. I am from Orange Mound and I made it. I am self employed, one of my daughter’s have graduated from Memphis University with a bachelors degree in parellegal with all intentions of going to law school to become an attorney. My other children all are either college graduates or attending college now. Be proud of your accomplishments Tristan. If your other classmates don’t want to get on the band wagon and gain the same respect that you will obviously get for the rest of your life, so be it. You will just have to either visit their gravesites or let them serve you in the drive thru at Mcdonalds. Maybe you will be the one to represent them in the court of law. Don’t let stupidity stop you. Continue with your journey. May the LORD be with you.

    Posted by WANDA | March 21, 2008, 1:18 pm
  8. um…..why are the responses to these as funny as the articles themselves? has the definition to the word “satire”…..i bet….

    Posted by run8gene | March 25, 2008, 3:25 pm
  9. I rather imagine that “Tristan” is quite proud of himself, and that the LORD is with him, whereever he is.


    Posted by Quincy Ryan | March 25, 2008, 3:25 pm
  10. Can you all please be a little more considerate when typing your “cuts & digs” at the reponsendents who may and/or may not understand that this is a satirical website? Whereas, it is true that the the footer denotes that the writing is satirical, it is also written to make you “think”! Therefore, you might just be seeing a spark or a little glimmer of light from someone who never would have even thought to have a dialogue about such things that are made fun of here. All we want is for black people to think… (Oh, and read… nice!)

    Now see. See what you made me do?! Made me get my darn box of Tide out and stand outside in front of the white folks and talk like that. Why! Why did you make me do that?

    Posted by MilanFromCA | March 29, 2008, 7:11 pm
  11. P.S. Wanda, you go girl. You might possibly want to look up Denise and Sondra Huxtable-Mason and talk to those light-bright’s in to going back to school too!

    Posted by MilanFromCA | March 29, 2008, 7:13 pm
  12. As long as your happy that is all that matters God blessed you with being smart for a reason don’t let PEOPLE hinder you from what God has purposed for your life…stay blessed

    Posted by Tonia | March 30, 2008, 3:17 am
  13. I agree with a previous comment by run8gene… some of the comments are almost as funny as the post. The articles are good, however, PEOPLE…THIS IS MAKE BELIEVE!

    Posted by 'Chelle | March 31, 2008, 10:16 pm
  14. i understand i went to an all white school and when i would talk on the telephone to other black friends who lived in the city, they would ask me, was i white. i use to have a cousin who would call me white girl, because i talked “proper.” some blacks even called me white, because i had a mother and father and they both worked and they both had cars and took us on vacations. we are our own worst enemy.

    Posted by bonita | March 31, 2008, 11:36 pm
  15. run8gene,

    for a minute i thought i had lost it…wow.

    kudos to ‘thepeoples’ for this site. i’ve been scouring the web for some original black blogs …so glad i found u!

    keep it going!


    Posted by ksolo | April 1, 2008, 9:18 am
  16. LOL I am a fellow Memphian! I love this site and my brother and husband (not the same person) graduated in the top of their respective classes at Craigmont. I am a graduate of Northside High School and proud of it. I did however, get a lot of flack for speaking “white” and I often received praise for being so articulate having graduated from Northside. I also graduated from college with honors (no it was not a community college) so big ups to Northside!
    Go head “Tristan”! Oh, and yes I do not what satire is…for those that will assume that I took the article literally….. This site and “Stuff educated black people like” are my new favorites!

    Posted by Shay | April 1, 2008, 6:06 pm
  17. Fantastically funny piece, as usual.

    I would also submit that this is not limited to the black community, but that there’s an undercurrent of “iggernance is bliss” in every high school around the nation. If a teen uses a word the others have never read nor heard before, he (or she) will be mocked about it for days. And Lord help you if you actually like classical music!

    High school is in no wise a “training ground for adulthood.” It’s more of a place to give your peers four last years to try to beat you down while you’re taught exactly the same things you’ll learn in college.

    Posted by Mrs. Pilgrim | April 1, 2008, 6:22 pm
  18. Funny stuff! I used to teach at a suburban high school in Texas and I was always suprised by the attitude the children had towards high achieving black students. My favoirte part was reading the quote from “graduating senior Shuh-Juanduhlaa Jefferson, 20.”
    20 years old! LOVE IT!!

    Posted by Catiana | April 2, 2008, 2:40 pm
  19. Unfortunately, this is so true in life. I lived in Ohio, but when I moved to TN I was always told “you talk like a white girl”. Never understood what that meant until I realized I actually used proper english. *laughing* . i couldn’t help the fact i chose to learn instead of just getting by.

    Posted by MsVanese | April 7, 2008, 2:54 pm
  20. It’s hilarious that the graduating senior was 20 years old…
    I am officially in love with The People’s News and I wish people would read the disclaimer.

    Posted by FuturePharmD | April 12, 2008, 3:53 pm
  21. Chelle, the article maybe fiction or make believe as you stated, to due to the fact that The Peoples News made it up. But listen my dear laugh at the article/joke but don’t think for a moment “just because you never heard of such” that this situation is not true or never happened, because it is and I am living proof that it did.

    Posted by Clay | April 16, 2008, 3:15 pm
  22. the best part of the article:

    “The boy has dreadlocks and skin the color of a Hershey bar,” said Arturo Jackson, there to watch his son, MyKell Taylor, graduate. “Why on Earth would people think he wasn’t black?”

    man, this stuff is great!! keep ’em coming!

    Posted by misslady04 | January 28, 2009, 4:33 pm

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