Charles Pulliam-Moore, FUSION
(Fusion.net) — Somewhere in San Francisco there’s a small network of open-minded, non-judgmental black men and women who will answer any question you have about black people. Their service, Anonymously Ask A Black Person (1-877-605-2741), was designed to give anyone quick, easy access to black opinions for those times when you’re too embarrassed to ask or, you know, when you just don’t know any black people. Unlike the popular ¡Ask A Mexican! column, which is satirical, all of Anonymously Ask A Black Person answers are written in earnest.
The concept is simple: you text your question to Anonymously Ask A Black Person’s phone number and wait for an answer. The time it takes to get an answer varies — the team’s only recently expanded to 10 people — but every answer is thorough and straightforward no matter the question.
Ever wonder why some black people prefer to be called African Americans? Ask. Curious about why Beyoncé’s always on beat? Ask. Do black folks skew more Maoist or Leninist? By all means, ask.
There are certain questions about blackness that rarely come up in casual, polite conversation because they brush up against deeper, more complex ideas about black identity that can be difficult to discuss frankly. Anonymously Ask A Black Person wants people to ask those questions knowing that they’re going to get answers directly from black people.