The Ebony Alert

  • July 14, 2014

One night after my cardio hip hop class, I decide to run into my neighborhood grocery store for a cup of lentil soup. I’m still wearing my sweat-soaked Lululemon gear. While I’m standing in line to check out, the “gentleman” behind me decides to strike up a conversation…

Gentleman: “Hey, Fitness Body. If you keep it up, your body is going to be just right by July…July-August.”

nenesay what

I guess I should be flattered because at least he didn’t say, “November…November-December” or “With a few more years of hard work, a trainer, and a good surgeon…”

He continued.

Gentleman: “You look great.” Rubbing his round belly, “I need to get myself together too.”

I just stare at him, which is obviously a sign that he should continue:

Gentleman: “By the way, what side of 3rd St. do you live on?”

Me: “Why, [serial killer]?”

Gentleman: “Because if you lived on this side of 3rd, I would have seen you before.”

(He’s clearly one of those self-appointed “I’m the mayor of these three blocks” types.)

Wtf, right?

A few days later, I’m reading a book and drinking my green juice on the patio of the same grocery store where “July-August-gate” occurred when a man yells at me from the passenger seat of a car that is sitting at the light…


He has a very “Tea Party/Westboro Baptist” tone.


Driver: “Leave her alone.”

Concerned Citizen: “Whaaat? She might have something to say about it!”

What’s happening, world? I’m just trying to drink my green juice.

A week later, I’m accosted at my neighborhood grocery store yet again. (Clearly, I need to shop elsewhere.) This time it’s by a Ugandan taxi driver who is standing in line paying for his groceries when I walk in. When he sees me, he hops out of line before getting his change and runs over to introduce himself.

He wants me to know, among other things, all of the following:

– the benefits of veganism

– the surprising number of male prostitutes in Atlanta

– how black women in LA only date white men (* crickets *)

– that Whole Foods has gone to the dogs, and

– Jesus is an illusion.

He also complained that black women don’t speak to him. (I’m thinking, I didn’t speak to you either.)

But when he asked me…

Crazy Nutjob: “When did you move to the neighborhood? I’ve never seen you before…”

It hit me.

I must be the only black woman living within a 1-mile radius.

I knew shit was strange when I moved into my new apartment building a few months ago, and I was the only woman or person of color that I saw in my building for weeks. It felt like I moved into the set of The Mindy Project.


But when I thought about it, I realized that I haven’t really seen any other black women in my neighborhood in the three months that I’ve lived here.

Apparently, as a black woman, I’m so rare a find in my neighborhood that people can loosely approximate when I arrived.

And my neighbors are all like, “WE GOT ONE!”


Unfortunately, I don’t suffer from bitchy resting face.

bitchyrestyingfaceCELEBI smile a lot.


I have a penchant for conducting all of my affairs in Lululemon yoga pants.

And although I wouldn’t describe myself as friendly, evidently I have a welcoming disposition, as evidenced by all of the people who feel welcomed to approach me.

As a result, my neighbors are like, This is our chance to cast all of our hopes, dreams, and fears upon her! We’re finally going to get to lay our burdens down – everything we’ve been wanting to ask and meaning to say: “Who do you date?” “How often do you work out?” “What do you call your hair?” “What do you think about [various Obama Administration policies]?” “Can you sing because my band is looking for black backup singers who have a Motown sound?” (These are actual questions. All of them.)

Once I was sitting at a coffee shop waiting for my carry out order to be ready when a white woman started waving aggressively at me as she approached.

Me: “Umm, I think you’re looking for someone else…”

Tacky Woman: “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were my friend…The friend I’m meeting is black.”

This lady was so confident that there wasn’t more than one black woman in my neighborhood that she literally ignored her own two eyes.

Apparently, she didn’t receive the Ebony Alert1 on her phone that another black woman had moved into the neighborhood.

It’s like every day with this shit.

A young white dude yells at me from his car window as I’m walking to church, “HEY! You’re beautiful!”

An old black guy wants me to have his number just because it “just seems appropriate” that he should know me.

When I’m wearing one of my pink Lululemon running jackets, multiple white women stop me to say, “Great jacket…Not everyone can pull that off!” I’m thinking, I’m wearing a pink running jacket, not this:


One time, a blind white lady holding a white cane in the locker room at my gym asked me what products I use in my hair…

Chick, I thought you were blind.


It gets even wilder when I’m hanging out in my neighborhood with a girlfriend who generally fits my same description. Then there are TWO black women in my neighborhood. And folks lose their collective shit. Strangers want to hold court. Drinks are on the house. People send over food. Once it was a bowl of pasta compliments of some dude who had a girlfriend but wished he could hang out with us because we looked like so much fun. Restaurant owners, managers, and staff walk us out and wave from the curb as we drive away.


My life has become a never-ending string of awkward pick up attempts, inappropriate questions, weird and offensive compliments, and random free shit.

Under different circumstances, I guess maybe someone “might could” find all of this attention flattering. I don’t.

However, to clear up any confusion, I think my Neighborhood Association should disseminate an Ebony Alert to every resident’s cell phone any time a new black woman moves into the neighborhood. The emergency notification should be complete with the new black woman’s name, picture, and whether or not she’s interested in being approached:

The Absolute Final Akilah Alert







  1. For those who missed the reference, an “Ebony Alert” is a term that I just made up as a play on the “Amber alert system,” the U.S. emergency response system that disseminates information about a missing person (usually a child) by media broadcasting, electronic roadway signs, and/or alerts sent directly to the cell phones of residents in a particular geographic region. 

21 Comments on "The Ebony Alert"

  • Fatimah says

    Haaaahaha! That baby: “Gyotem!” lol. and I’m dead @ the actual alert. lol. Your new hood needs to get a grip.

  • AJ says

    Hahahahaha @ the Ebony Alert.

    I also need to know your exact response to the blind woman inquiring about your hair routine. Lol.

  • Jeff F says

    This is the best line: “This lady was so confident that there wasn’t more than one black woman in my neighborhood that she literally ignored her own two eyes.”

    • Leila says

      Yeah right!

  • Michelle says

    Lol!! “Lay my burdens down… And the Ebony Alert” You slay me! You’re so funny!! I couldn’t imagine dealing with this on the daily. Well, keep smiling since you’re representing all black women. Wouldn’t want them to think we’re all angry and unapproachable 😉

  • Will says

    Blame it all on the green juice.

  • Lauren says

    Akilah Green!!! Akilah!!!! I can’t with you! This is hilarious! Where do you get all of these gifs and memes and did you find them first, then write the copy, or write the post, then search for hilarious graphics of Carla Bruni, Michelle Obama and Beyoncé?!?! I’m rotfl! This is absolutely brilliant and hilarious and comedic and special and it’s own next scripted series based on some kind of reality most won’t dare talk about!! Real talk with humor! Get it!

  • Kelli says

    Awesome as always kiddo. Keep the blog posts coming!

  • Ebony says

    As an Ebony, I think having an alert would be wonderful.

    And I’m the person that thinks all of this attention is flattering. LOL

  • Taara Sultaana says

    Dead. LOL…and you’re in “liberal” “diverse” Cali!!!

  • Raynelle says

    How about this one? Malcolm moved into a new apartment complex, our packages (including a flat screen television) were stolen from in front of our door; and the primary suspect (the only other black person we’ve seen since we’ve been here) says to him, “oh, I assumed white people moved into that unit.” Sir, if that’s your way of saying you wouldn’t have stolen our stuff had you known we were kin, please just return our belongings and never make eye contact with us again. Please, and thank you.

  • Jarell says

    “Chick, I thought you were blind.”

    …And roll credits.

  • Veronica says

    You just made me holler! I’m blown by the blind chic asking about your hair. Lol

  • Tommy says

    Hilarious!!!! Now you need to assemble an arsenol of strange and tacky comebacks for these comments. I will expect an amazing blog about the reactions soon!!!!!

    • Angela says

      Ooohhh! Yes! Yes! Comebacks!

  • akilah says


  • Omario Kanji says

    OMG Akilah – this is hilarious and simultaneously disturbing. Looking forward to catching up soon – I wonder what people might say hen they to come up to both of us hanging out together. I’ll bring my voice recorder.

  • Eunice says

    bowl of pasta!!! hahahah!!!

  • Lawrence Scott says

    You are the funniest person I know…seriously!!! WGT:Lies….lol

  • Amy Morales says

    “What do you call your hair?” It’s the question that refuses to die. The best and worst answer was given by your mother some 10 (ish) years back…dude felt it more important to flag down a stranger than receive his change? They don’t bang PAC in Uganda? M.O.B., mayne…when people think you’re more important than money…you’re doing something right. Carry on my friend, carry on.

  • Michael Riddick II says

    Wow. This made me smile.

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