I got a D on the Black SAT Exam

Yes, it's true. Put me on black probation because I got a "D" on the "Black SAT Exam".

Never heard of it? I hadn't either till someone challenged me to take it on Facebook. I guess the higher you score, the "blacker" you are culturally... which assumes, of course, that all black folks have one experience.

We don't.

No group of people is monolithic. It shouldn't need saying that the "culture" of a black person who grows up, for example, as a Five-Percenter in New York City is going to be totally different from a black person who grows up in rural Texas. And both of those people are going to be absolutely different from a black person who grows up surfing and skateboarding in Venice, CA.

Anyway, clearly I'm psychoanalyzing the one-size-does-not-fit-all illegitimacy of the quiz because I scored a freakin' 68% on it. Every black friend of mine who took it consistently scored in the 90-100% range.

Maybe I could blame it on being half Irish... except for the fact that one of my white friends who took it scored higher than me! He got a 71%.

Sigh, my black card is gonna get revoked because I missed questions like this:

Who in the hell left the _______ _______?

1. lights on
2. gate open
3. door open
4. trashcan out

What did you pick?

If you picked #1 like I did, you're WRONG! But you see, in my house, I wanna know who left the lights on! Even now I can hear my grandma's voice in my head saying, "Cut the light off when you come outta that room!"

Supposedly the answer is #2. Why, I don't know. Someone please explain this to me.

OK, how about this question?

What is the most famous line in the Color Purple?

1. You told Harpo to beat me
2. Til you do right by me
3. Anything come fuh me

What's your guess? And no, you can't phone a friend or go 50/50.

I picked #2 because for me, that's the line that stuck out the most to me. When Celie basically curses Mr. and tells him that till he does right by her, everything he touches is gonna wither and die, I was like, wow, what a moment of power for her character!

I was wrong.

I had no clue the answer is supposed to be #1! Why is #1 the answer? I have no idea. You tell me.

My one consolation? For some reason I don't think Barack Obama will get 95% on this quiz either.

Yes, that makes me feel all better!


Anonymous said…
Well you know I would do even worse... but I don't even have the patience to sit through silly quizzes so we will never know!
ha. I don't think Barack would do well either.

I thought the most famous line in CP was "All my life I had to fight" and that isn't even one of the options?

Black SAT = Epic fail.
Unknown said…
Why am I going to have to find this exam and take it? I am too intrigued.
The Harpo/beat me line is a defining moment in The Color Purple...you see where Cellie has totally given in to the abuse of her husband and is passing it on to another woman...Cellie has sunk as low as she can and the only way is up!

Now that said, hey I missed the first question too...my momma was always yelling about the lights!

It was an interesting exam and an interesting thought that ALL black people have the same experiences in America - NOT!
Anonymous said…
deluking to say - #1 is from a preaching/gospel album commercial that used to run on Bee-ee-tee some years ago. i think it was from a rev.cla.ye.vans. sermon.
tamigill said…
LOL!!! I only got two wrong and I was a little miffed that I even missed those.

We have to remember that one young lady came up with this quiz, so she probably came up with these questions based on her personal experiences. Me and my black friends had our "inside jokes" and funny one-liners from commercials that we would remark on during recess or lunch (i.e. #1 on the quiz here). I could come up with a Black S.A.T. exam myself (and I'm tempted), but I would do so knowing that only other blacks, (or even whites, in some cases) who had a similar experience to me would do great on it! :-) (I personally would throw in some references to the movie "Boomerang" or "Coming to America" or something like that) ;-)
Anonymous said…
I can't for the life of me see why those two answers prove you're "blacker". It seems completely arbitrary and subjective. Hell, if you feel black, isn't that good enough? Why should you have to have your blackness measured?
Toni Campbell said…
The phrase "who in the hell left the gate open" is part of a famous sermon by a Black preacher back in the day. I only know this because 20 years ago when I still watched BET they used to play a commercial that featured it. And they played it over & over & over...
I'm off to take the quiz now.
Jessalyn said…
Similarly, my black, Southern raised husband scored much higher on a Redneck Quiz than I did. I occasionally make a few highly inappropriate wisecracks about marrying a black man who is white trash (yes, I know I'm wrong for this). It's definitely all about a person's experiences and not about his or her color.
Liz Dwyer said…
Well with my 68% you might do better than me even though you don't live here in the States and didn't grow up here! :)

That WAS a good line! Hmm... that movie had a LOT of good lines, didn't it!

Yeah, Mr. President might get a D or an F at this quiz, but I think he'll be alright with that.

Ms. Wooden Shoes,
If you look in FB under the Flixter quizzes, it's in there, otherwise, you can take it on the link in my post. Let me know what you get! :)

With the way electricity costs are through the roof here in Cali, I'm always yelling about the lights too!

I still think I'd feel better if everybody else I know who's taken it hadn't scored so high. I feel left out of the club! I'm having flashbacks of being called "white girl" in grade school! Sob! ;)

Glad you de-lurked. See, that commercial must've run during a time when we didn't have cable, or else I just tuned it out. Then again, I never watched much BET (or TV at all) back in the day.

True, this is only the perspective of one individual... but you got all but two correct! I agree that there should definitely be a Boomerang or Coming to America question. Absolutely!

Your comment made me laugh so hard! I guess the problem is that here in America, we've always measured blackness and we just seem to be unable to get out of the 1/2, 1/4, 1/8... one drop of blackness thing. Really silly. I did better on the "You Know You're From Chicago When..." quiz though. That's a nice consolation!

What did you score? Gosh, I haven't watched BET in I don't know how long. I want to say it's been a couple of years. I miss the good ole days of Video Soul. Heck, I miss videos being on music channels anyway. They should just call them reality channels. RTV instead of MTV, you know?

Haha! That is too funny that your husband scored higher than you on that quiz. It is definitely all about experience! It makes me want to take my kids to China and raise them over there... come back to the States in 10 years and dare someone to say they're not black because they don't "act" black. Sigh!
Remnants of U said…
I'm with you on #8 in the picture. What white person would know about "hair grease" although since the hint for the test you linked to said think dancing shows. I thought about "Soul Train".

Crackin up at Jessalyn's joke about her husband.

"I feel left out of the club! I'm having flashbacks of being called "white girl" in grade school! Sob! ;)"

I can relate to you on that, but my flashback would be to junior high, because I went to a Catholic grade school, and was usually the only black girl in the class. And during the 70's in the south...that was a unique experience.
Lisa Johnson said…
I haven't taken the test and now I'm afraid to. And gate open???? How many people have gates?
Ms Angela said…
Surpised myself! I got an 80. I grew up mostly around white folks on Air Force bases, and people still say I sound like a white girl when they hear me talk. But I guess my parents made sure I got some "blackness" (whatever that means) in me because some of the questions seemed too evident. Of the four I scored wrong--I suspect that I would have known the answers if I had attended a black church regularly, and the other two I was clueless about. An ice pop? Where would you buy that on an Air Force base?
Jameil said…
chile please. i TOTALLY knew it was no. 1! i love that movie! and everyone i knew in college used to repeat it constantly. i got 77.5 which i was actually proud of! lol.
Liz Dwyer said…
I went to Catholic grade school from 4th-8th grade and so I know exactly what you mean, although I imagine it was much more painful socially in the South. Before that though, I remember being called white girl by other kids at public school. And "zebra". That was one of the worst.

I would never have guessed "gate" at all, although my Grandma told us to shut that too. She was on us more about the lights though.

See! Everybody scores higher than me! Yeah, I didn't attend a black church growing up either so I wonder how much that would've made a difference in my score.

Sigh! I remain the lowest scorer! Someone take pity on me! I remember going to see the movie with my family when it came out and there just wasn't a whole lot of discussion about it afterwards. Just not a lot of reference to it at all. Sigh.
Anonymous said…
I grew up pretty much like yourself only difference I was in Maryland. My brother and I were the only blacks in our school and church. I picked turn the lights off too, but picked 'You told Harpo to beat me' funny, because I was just thinking of that line and the movie a few days ago. That line always stuck out in my mind for some reason.

Just because we share the same color doesn't automatically mean we will all have the same experience. My first time around a lot of people that looked like myself was in college and even then the blacks in that colleges were in the minority.
Lola Gets said…
If you thought this quiz was hard, you should check out the one over at What Would Thembi Do?
I blogged about it, so come check it out!

Oh, I got an 85 on this one. I dont know nothin bout no frozen juice in cups!

Anonymous said…
I think this proves your exact point that blacks most certainly aren't monolithic. I mean, the simple fact that I didn't grow up in the South, but in the concrete jungles of Chicago, I aint NEVER heard of no "cool cup" before--we called 'em icee pops or something like that.

My momz wasn't too keen on me loading up on flavored sugar water like that in the summer.

I'm sure whoever came up with this quiz probably meant it as a joke, but it's reflective of the myopia we as humans can sometimes have. Too often our world is the world. Although this is meant as a joke, I'm sure if the original author(s) were called to task on this, they'd prolly call me and some others whitebread black folk.


Fall back!
Toni Campbell said…
I got a 90! Whew! I love it when my blackness is confirmed! But I guess having stuff like Fleetwood Mac on my ipod keeps me from being 100%!
Liz Dwyer said…
Gaming Diva,
Yep, I feel you. I had one other black person in my school from 4th-8th grade and we didn't hang out. Going to a public high school was really weird for me. The sad thing was, there was only one other black person in any of the Honors/AP classes in high school, so I never got the academic perspective of my fellow African-American peers.

LOL! I don't know about the frozen juice in cups either! I'll come check out that other quiz! :)

The Uppity Negro,
I'd be right there in the whitebread box with you! My mom had a ban on kool-aid or any other stuff like that in our house and I only drank pop if I was at my granny's house. Ok, now I'm missing home and I want a bag of Jay's chips...

Haha! Love the Fleetwood Mac! Somebody told me they're going on tour again.
West said…
I only made it about halfway through the comments. In case no one finished the story...

That one commenter was correct about the "who in the hell left the gate open" quote. It was about a little dog who barked like crazy when a big dog walked by his gate. He did this regularly. One day that dog jumped on his @$$ and that little dog said he had one question, "Who in the hell left the gate open?" Something like that, anyway.
West said…
By the way, I got an 85%.

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