"Meet a black guy"


The weekly Farmer’s Market in Corvallis, Ore., has an unlikely hit on its hands. It’s the “Meet a black guy” booth, where white folks can chat about race relations with two young men skilled at improvisational comedy, reports the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Jeff Oliver, who is black, and Sean Brown, who is white, say they “just want to get people to talk.” The event has garnered national attention, but what’s even bigger is a Web site called rent-a-negro.com, the deft domain of Portland writer and artist damali ayo. She features T-shirts of a black woman with the message: “My new friend,” as well as photos of an earnest white man closely examining the kinky hair of a patient black man. She also sells a greeting card – she calls it “the racecard” -- sporting the message: “We don’t always take the time to talk about racism,” and another that admits: “So I’m your only black friend.” And she’swritten a book outlining in detail how white folks can dramatically improve their “race-dar”; it’s titled How to Rent a Negro.

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