Meme Watch: Successful Black Man Is Borderline Offensive, But Hilarious

08.31.11 7 Comments

When I first took note of the Successful Black Man meme bumping around the web I thought, “Well that might be offensive to some.” However, it almost always made me laugh, though I’ll admit to feeling kind of guilty for doing so.

Featuring a stock photo of an young black man in a business suit, it’s a classic misdirection meme — the top line of text illustrates a racial stereotype associated with urban black men, while the bottom line of text goes in the opposite direction to illustrate a stereotype commonly associated with upper middle class suburbanites. Yuppies. White folk. Hilarity often ensues, though the meme can go off the rails when placed in the hands of the ignorant and the stupid, and we all know there’s plenty of that on the web.

The Successful Black Man meme appears to have originated in the bowels of 4chan (of course!) months ago, where it remained largely unnoticed, until it eventually crawled out to Quick Meme and Meme Generator — and now it’s all over Tumblr. There are scores of these floating out there right now, but I’ve put together a gallery of the ones that made me LOL the most for one reason or another. They’re filled with enough stereotypes to make just about everyone feel guilty about finding them funny. Enjoy.

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