The 5 Classic Black Guy Poses

Ok so today I received a link to visit where the people from my degree program had posted all of the photos we took at socials throughout last semester. Of course, while perusing the pictures I was really only looking for ones with me in them. Not too difficult, since I’m the Token Black Guy:

Not Pictured: Blending In

Most of the pictures were at parties with a bunch of alcohol, so predictably they ended up with me being uncomfortable in a picture with guys or girls looking uncomfortable as they tried to “Black it up” and throw up gang/peace signs for the camera or stuck their tongues out. Kinda like this:

That's exactly how I look in real life

About 60% of the pictures were like that. Just me generally being uncomfortable and/or not knowing what to do with my arms or face in mostly candid pictures. However, the other 40% of the pictures were deeply horrifying to me because I was committing one of the 7 Cardinal Token Sins. I was using one of the 5 Classic Black Guy Poses in each picture. Every black guy from birth generally uses one of these when he poses for a picture because we don’t often smile in them. Check the FB albums if you don’t believe me. Here’s the rundown:

The Poses

  1. The Mean Mug/Blank Stare/Mugshot-This is the most common pose. Check your driver’s license if you don’t believe me. Usually done in place of a smile, but done inappropriately when others are smiling. You look like you are being booked for your 8th offense. Trust me. An example:


  2. The Folded Arms/Bboy Stance-Similar to the one above but with folded arms
  3. The Point/Double Point-My personal favorite. (You think) it makes you look cool and nonchalant. However, it just makes it that much easier to imagine or Photoshop you with a gun in your hand(s).
  4. The Deuces-Don’t. Do. This. Ever. This stopped being acceptable in the office when Asians started doing it in Coke commercials. Also reminds people of gang signs.

    Never cool

  5. The WASSSSUPPP?-Only suffices in making you look more aggressive. Leave this one in the club.

    All this guy's stock photos are in one of the 5 poses. Trust me

    Now if you’re a black guy, look through your facebook album and you’ll see the truth. If you’re not a black guy check out your black friend’s page. The 5 Classics are great in social settings, but make us stand out EVEN MORE in professional/academic settings. Leave them at home. Smile, just don’t overdo it and end up like this guy:


2 Responses to “The 5 Classic Black Guy Poses”
  1. The Knature Boy says:

    Great comprehensive work!

    I take it the “praying hands” pose didn’t make it into the top 5?

    A mentionable nonetheless.

  2. Tee says:

    LOL ! I like this, i’ve been searching around for an article like this. I thought I was the only one to notice poses. Most black guys photos now only consist of number 4, the dueces. I didnt even realise that had a name. In my head its called rock paper scissors pose with the photo taker drawing first and opting for paper !

    Anyway, I friggin hate these damn dueces poses, it only reinforces the fact that blacks always want to show off about something, always on show, like some friggin minstrel. Its annoying and stereotypes you into some thug/gang affiliate.

    Oh just to note too, I think the last one with the guy smiling looks 1000 times better than any of the 5. I’d rather see more blacks with something to smile about rather than something to show off.

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