These coffee jokes aren’t dad jokes. You’ve been warned. But first, a little explanation and backstory on them.
A few years ago, I started a thread of jokes on Twitter. They all started with the line, “Coffee so black…” and then I’d finish with some statement or fact about Black people that I (and many of my followers on Twitter) thought was pretty funny.
Other people would try to join in, but I’m going to be honest: most people’s “Coffee so black” jokes were terrible because they missed what makes the jokes special.
I make “coffee so black” jokes to draw attention to aspects of the Black experience. Most people’s “Coffee so black” jokes were at best, racist, and at worst, cruel. In either instance, there was no humor to these jokes.
So I went and collected my “Coffee so black” jokes and put them on this page. Where appropriate, I’ve explained the meaning behind the joke. That way, if you don’t find it funny, you’ll at least learn something.
I’m not explaining most of the jokes, but a few do require a knowledge of history. For those jokes, I’ve followed up with some education. For cultural references, you’re on your own. Maybe urban dictionary can help you out or something.
Enjoy. Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Yes, I am very Black myself.
Ed Latimore’s “Coffee so black jokes”
Coffee so black security follows you around the store while you drink it. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black Planned Parenthood wants to stop it from being made. (Tweet it)
Explanation: In 1916, Planned Parenthood opened its first birth control clinic in New York City. Since then, more than 600 Planned Parenthood clinics operate around the United States. The founder of Planned Parenthood was a nurse named Margarat Sanger who also believed in the practice of eugenics; the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits.
The wording in that first paragraph is key. Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that many people today automatically think of abortion, did not start out this way. Not only was Planned Parenthood’s origin goal to provide methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy, Sanger herself staunchly opposed to abortion if it wasn’t necessary to save the woman’s life.
Sanger wasn’t a racist, but during her life failed to distance herself from prominent racists. Combine that with a eugenics idea that some might perceive as unfairly targeting Blacks and an organization that this now synonymous with abortion, and you get the recipe for this—my most popular, by far—”Coffee so black” joke.
Coffee so black drinking it makes you late to everything. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you can only buy it at an auction. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black if you pour cream in it you get lynched. (Tweet it)
Explanation: Loving vs Virginia was a landmark 1967 Supreme court case which ruled that laws banning interractial marriage (anti-miscegenation) were in violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th amendment. Before that, it was still illegal in many states for Black and White people to get married.
This”coffee so black” joke takes on even more humor once you realize that when the Supreme Cout made their ruling on June 12, 1967, there were only 16 states that still had these laws banning interractial marriage—all of them in the southern United States. An area of the country where the majority of lynchings have occured.
A dark coffee joke, but funny nonetheless.
Coffee so black it showed up late to the cup. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you gotta pour some out before you drink it. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you get pulled over every time you drink it while driving. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you have to drink it out of a magnum-sized mug. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you’re only allowed to drink it in the field. (Tweet it)
Explanation: During slavery in the United States, there were slaves who worked in the house attending to domestic duties and slaves who worked in the field, attending to more grueling industrial tasks. Generally speaking, the lighter skinned slaves were the ones who were given the “privilege” of working in the gentler conditions of the house.
So if you drink your coffee with cream and sugar, it’s house coffee. If you take black, it’s coffee that you can only drink it in the field. So it better be strong.
Coffee so black it couldn’t have been brewed in a two parent household. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black only 3/5 of its calories count. (Tweet it)
Explanation: When the The U.S. constitution was drafted, slavery was still very much a part of the nation. One of the primary issues during its drafting was how to count the slave population. This was a relatively big deal, as it presented a fundamental clash of interests.
On the one hand, slaves weren’t considered citizens of the United States (later repealed by the 14th amendment) and slave owners didn’t want them to be, as that would no longer make them—by definition—slaves. On the flip side, if they weren’t considered citizens then how could they be counted towards a states population. This would affect their representation in the house and the electoral college.
This was eventually settled by the “3/5ths compromise” which stated:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
Coffee so black it’s made with water from its own fountain. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black the beans don’t crack. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you can only buy it with a WIC voucher. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black that drinking it makes you speak so well. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black it fails the brown paper bag test. (Tweet it)
Explanation: From Wikipedia, the Brown paper bag test was:
The Brown Paper Bag Test is a term in African-American oral history to describe a colorist discriminatory practice within the African-American community in the 20th century, in which an individual’s skin tone is compared to the color of a brown paper bag.
If your cup of coffee failed the brown paper bag test, it’s surely black enough to drink.
Waitress: Do you want cream or sugar with your coffee? (Tweet it)
Me: Nah, just warrants and back child support.
Coffee so black it’s shipped to stores through the middle passage. (Tweet it)
Explanation: From Wikipedia, The Middle Passage was:
The Middle Passage was the stage of the Atlantic slave trade in which millions of enslaved Africans were forcibly transported to the Americas as part of the triangular slave trade. Ships departed Europe for African markets with manufactured goods (first side of the triangle), which were traded for slaves, as rulers of African states were willing to capture and sell members of other tribes.
Coffee so black you drink it out of a forty bottle. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black you gotta get jumped in before you drink it. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black that white girls hide the fact that they drink it from their family. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black that the CIA sold it to fund a war against communists. (Tweet it)
Explanation: The material behind this joke is stuff of legend and is one of the many reasons why people don’t trust the government. So in 1996, a series of article weres published in the San Jose-Mercury, authored by Gary Webb, revealed a connection between CIA officials in Central America, a San Francisco drug ring, and a Ricky Donell “Freeway Rick” Ross.
The gist of the connection is that the CIA funneled cocaine into country, sold it, and used the money to fund it’s operations against it’s war against the Nicaraguan leftist government. To be fair, the flooding of cocaine into the ghetto just happened to coincide with street level dealers figuring out a way to convert cocaine to crack, a cheaper way to use the drug.
With that said, there are some alarming parts of the story the point to the CIA at least knowing that the source of their funds were from cocaine sells, specifically from the increased demand as a result of ghetto finally being able to access this market. There were no crackheads before the 1980s. It was only after inner-city drug dealers figured out how to turn powdered cocaine into hard crack the crack epidemic began.
This summary hopefully explains the motivation for my joke. For a more detailed look this is a great article for a deeper into the CIA contra crack conspiracy.
Coffee so black you don’t grind the beans. You whip them. (Tweet it)
Coffee so black it can barely fit in my mouth. (Tweet it)