The Black nod, can you explain it?

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When I was back at school, my Caucasian friends made comments that I "knew" every Black person on campus because I would always greet one whenever I saw one (or they greeted me). I tried to tell them that I did not know ALL of them, just a lot of them. But I would also do a "nod", "smile" or a "hello", when I walked past a Black person I did not know.

I tried to explain it the best way I knew how. The majority of my school is Caucasian and only 3% of the student body is of African descent. 3% out of 20,000 students is very small. So in a way, I was trying to explain that seeing another Black person was relieving sometimes. Especially since I could be the only Black person in a 300 person lecture hall.

The best way I tried to explain it to a male White friend was that, he would do the same thing if there was such a small percentage of White people at our school.

But I am curious what are the origins of the "nod". Because I noticed this is done all over the country and is sort of a kinda of mutual silent acknowledgement. Does it have roots in slavery? But if that's so, why do African immigrants do it too?

I tried Googling but couldn't find anything. I'm curious.
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You're overthinking it. It's called "a greeting."
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Huh. I smile, nod, and say hello to people when I pass them in the hall. It's called being polite and well mannered.
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I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
You're overthinking it. It's called "a greeting."
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I don't think it's overthinking when my non-Black friends started making comments about this and why do we always nod at each other.
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You're overthinking it. It's called "a greeting."
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
I don't think it's overthinking when my non-Black friends started making comments about this and why do we always nod at each other.
Originally Posted by sleepymeko
You know what you're supposed to say in response, right? Plz tell me you know what you're supposed to say!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

It seems natural to acknowledge people who are like you. Haven't you ever seen the interaction between two babies in the store? Even babies zone in on other little ones and do the "baby nod". . It's just human nature.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
Yea a nod is not race specific, just a greeting..

I was a minority in my school and I did not specially acknowledge the few people of my race there. I'm socially kinda wierd and aloof though. Do most people do this?
It seems natural to acknowledge people who are like you. Haven't you ever seen the interaction between two babies in the store? Even babies zone in on other little ones and do the "baby nod". . It's just human nature.
Originally Posted by roseannadana
Yea, that was my response to my friends. I was just wondering if there was any other type of background or origin to it, though.
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Yea a nod is not race specific, just a greeting..

I was a minority in my school and I did not specially acknowledge the few people of my race there. I'm socially kinda wierd and aloof though. Do most people do this?
Originally Posted by Josephine
I didn't start noticing it until recently, mainly because there is such a very very very small Black population where I go to school (both school and even more the town).
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No, Black folks definitely nod at each other. But it's not like some covert secret society language. It's just a greeting among "family."
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3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

No, Black folks definitely nod at each other. But it's not like some covert secret society language. It's just a greeting among "family."
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
THIS.

A lot of my white friends would always comment on how I know EVERYBODY, whenever we would walk passed a black person and I would nod.

There are no roots in it, just a thing among "family" like Spiderlashes says.
This reminds me of when my first roommate in college seriously asked me why black people sing all the time.

You should just tell them, you're just saying hello. If anyone is over-thinking anything, THEY are. Who cares if you greet other black people. What's the big deal?
sleepymeko likes this.
I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
This reminds me of when my first roommate in college seriously asked me why black people sing all the time.

You should just tell them, you're just saying hello. If anyone is over-thinking anything, THEY are. Who cares if you greet other black people. What's the big deal?
Originally Posted by midgi

+1 to the bolded. And if they persist in asking, dust off the phrase from the 90's - "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand."
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Forget what I just said.

I understand it may be comforting to you to see other black people, but I don't want you to think that you should feel uncomfortable if you were the only one there. Just because you look different doesn't mean people see you as different.

Last edited by slinky1; 06-25-2012 at 09:30 PM.
Seriously, Slinky.
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I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
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Seriously, Slinky.
Originally Posted by midgi
Even that was all true, I changed my response before you replied again.
Why post it at all if you're just going to edit? Obviously, that's how you really feel.
I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
Forget what I just said.

I understand it may be comforting to you to see other black people, but I don't want you to think that you should feel uncomfortable if you were the only one there. Just because you look different doesn't mean people see you as different.
Originally Posted by slinky1
Uuuh... What? I don't feel uncomfortable around non-Black people. I'm part-White, there's White people on both sides of my family, my step-father is White. The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is people who are ignorant and refuse to see that not everyone is treated equally in this country. Especially when it comes to the treatment of women and POC.

The only reason I may choose to hang out with Black people more often is because of cultural differences, but I don't pick my friends based on race since I myself am multiracial anyway.

Confused.
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Why post it at all if you're just going to edit? Obviously, that's how you really feel.
Originally Posted by midgi
What did she say?
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Why post it at all if you're just going to edit? Obviously, that's how you really feel.
Originally Posted by midgi
Well, it's late at night and I'm stressed. I realized that people can be ashamed of me for reasons other than my skin color and that men of all races are friendlier of women of all races. It's a gender thing more than a race thing.

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