‘Black Don’t Crack’ Masks A Painful Reality For Many Black Canadians

Here's why I no longer use the phrase. Somewhere between melanin and resilient facial structure, there’s a medical explanation for the apparent “agelessness” of Black skin. According to a study from [...]

Here’s why I no longer use the phrase.

 

BY Phillip Dwight Morgan, Special to HuffPost | PUBLISHED IN The Huffington Post Canada | PUBLISHED ON 07/30/2019 11:16 EDT | UPDATED ON 07/31/2019 11:02 EDT

Somewhere between melanin and resilient facial structure, there’s a medical explanation for the apparent “agelessness” of Black skin. According to a study from the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Black people have denser bones in their faces that don’t break down as quickly. This seems to be part of why Black people look so young: our faces maintain their shape for longer.

Outside of research laboratories, this phenomenon is captured by a simple phrase: “Black don’t crack.” You may have heard it before on an occasion when a Black person’s age was made known. It’s the 86-year-old grandfather who looks like he’s in his 60s, it’s the middle-aged mother being mistaken for her daughter’s sibling, it’s the 37-year-old who still gets asked by a clerk if she’s over 18, each and every visit — and, trust me, it’s not company policy.

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