Monthly Archives: May 2016

CP Time: Black people always late!

Ok guys, I guess I’m going to be the one to address this. Black people, WE have got to stop being late everywhere and for everything.

Disclaimer:

I am not talking about one particular person, group, organization or event. If this sounds like you, your business or event, then do stuff on time, I guess. God bless your heart and all your parts. Don’t send me any messages please.

Furthermore, this is a WE/US discussion and not a “Y’all/Them” discussion. Timeliness is something I struggle with as well in my personal life and events. If you’ve ever been to one of my events and you’ve had to wait more than 30 minutes for the event to start, your next ticket is on me. I am sorry. We will do better. Thank you for the support. Send me an email for your coupon.

CPT or “CP time” refers to “Colored People’s Time”, an African-American expression that dates back to the early 20th century. It is the idea that black people are late for everything. Even those of us who don’t have a clock-challenge have trained ourselves to be late because we know our peers will be. It crosses generational lines.  In the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the author notes that MLK and his staff regularly operated on CPT.

In 1972 Ronald Walcott said this about CPT in Black World in 1972:

“CP Time is actually an example of Black people’s effort to evade, frustrate and ridicule the value-reinforcing strictures of punctuality that so well serve this coldly impersonal technological society.”

I get that, and I agree. But the issue for me comes when my money is involved. If we are not going to succumb to the parameters of time, why are we still sticking to expensive ass tickets?

Dustin J. Seibert said it best when talking about Rita Louise Watson Ms. Lauryn Hill. “If you’re getting a fat check to do a thing and you have thousands waiting on you to do that thing, you don’t get to decide when you want to get started to do that thing.”

If I told my supervisor (as Lauryn told her fans in Atlanta) “I don’t’ have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible.” When I show up to work at 11:47am instead of 9am like I’m supposed to, I wouldn’t have a job.

I am one of Lauryn Hill’s biggest fans. That being said, she is trifling. You got the nerve to be late for people that keep you in good standing with the IRS after not releasing a new album since the Great Depression? If my black ass waited until I was rested and liberated to do anything, I’d ALWAYS be at the house. Get your ass on stage L-Boogie. ON TIME.

Let me calm down.

My mother threw a birthday/tenure party for my aunt a few weeks ago. It started at 2pmEST. I showed up at (my mother’s house in Lexington) at 1:45 to help my mom with last minute party stuff. She had prepared games and wanted to wait for everybody to get there to play said games. We did not start games until around 4:30pm. I had somewhere to be in Louisville at 7:30pm. I left Lexington at 6:30pm.

My friend (who has been black longer than me and don’t play that late shxt) had invited me to the Louisville Orchestra’s final performance for the season that same night. It started at 8pm. I told her we could meet at 7:47pm. She said ‘girl, this ain’t a black event, that’s too late’. I was rushing to get to the event. I left Lexington too late fooling with my late ass family/friends.

My black ass showed up a little after 8 and had to walk across about 100 white people to get to my seat in the middle of the aisle. (If you’ve been in Whitney Hall you know what I’m talking about) It was 8:03. Thank GOD they were still making announcements and giving out Thank Yous. (It is BAD musical etiquette to be walking around while the orchestra is playing). The event started at 8, I got there RIGHT AT 8 and EVERYBODY had BEEN in their seat for a minute. My black ass was embarrassed.

“You should be honored by my lateness” – KanYe West

This is my mantra when anybody questions my timeliness. I’m grown and my stay at home game is strong. Be thankful I showed up at all. I had to stop and get rellos. But when we are late you know what we’re saying? We’re saying that you, your event, or whatever is not important enough for me to put forth the effort to be on time.

WE can be on time. It just takes effort. Are you late for work? for court? for the 9:05 showing of a movie? for free before midnight at the club? Right.

I was on time to my mom’s party because I love and respect my mom. I am on time to work (most days, help me Holy Ghost) because I’m broke I like that direct deposit every other Friday.

As a young entrepreneur, the goal is to change the world and make a lil change. I want to be taken seriously and that is hard because of the two strikes against me (black, woman).  I cannot afford to be sloppy when it comes to timeliness. I hate going to events (after I’ve bought a ticket) and waiting an hour or 3 for the show to start. I didn’t buy a ticket to watch you set up. On the flip side, people don’t support my events to sit around for an hour after the advertised show time waiting for the talent to show up. We’ve got to do better, yall.

I’m making a commitment to be on time both at my events and in my personal life. If you aren’t doing better, what are you doing?

 

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