Black Don’t Crack


What does Black Don’t Crack mean?

Black don’t crack is an idiomatic phrase reflecting on the fact that the skin of people with dark complexion ages much slower, appearing to wrinkle much less than white people’s tactile organ.

Apart from the obvious meaning, in some contexts “black don’t crack” is used to refer to the strength and durability of black people, defying all the suffering they have went through.


What's the origin of Black Don’t Crack?

The origin of the expression is clouded in mystery.

One early mention about the smoothness and durability of dark skinned people – especially those of African ancestry – comes from the Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation 1838-1839, written by Frances Anne Kemble.

In the journal, she writes – among other things – of the smoothness and silkiness of black people, taking time to mention, that skins with such quality are retained by white people with similar, darker complexions.

Spread & Usage

How did Black Don’t Crack spread?

“Black don’t crack” became an idiomatic phrase both in the literal and abstract sense, appearing in various contexts, including art, poetry as well as fashion.

The phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2006.

“Black don’t crack” appears as the title of several songs from various artists, like Rochester.

A famous mention of the clause emerges in the intro of Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 song “The Blacker the Berry”.

External resources

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