No matter where you are from if you are a black person you have experienced “The Nod”. An experience of unknown origin that may have been around since the beginning of time, at least since Post-African International Slave Trade. The Nod is a simple movement of the neck that represents an acknowledgement of existence that one black person gives to another black person. It is almost like a secret code of a fraternity/sorority that you were born into, and that’s pretty damn cool. The Nod however, is also so much more than that. It is a quick yet personal statement of ethnic solidarity. The Nod in many ways says, “I see you out here doing you’re thing.”
Believe me it is international. For example, a few years ago, I was lucky enough to go to Greece. I stayed in Greece for almost a month and during that time I saw quite literally zero black folks. Especially, when compared to my norm of almost 100% black in the Caribbean. Then one night at a nightclub I saw a black man and woman in a corner. Thinking that my slightly inebriated eyes must be deceiving me, like a man dying of thirst in the Sahara. I made sure I played it cool and instead of sprinting through the dance floor like I saw family; I simply nodded slightly to my soon to be best friends. As they did the same, I knew that we reached true understanding. No, I never got their names, we didn’t need names to become life-long friends. I will never forget you whatever your names were.
For a black person, there are some areas such as countries, bars, boardrooms, workplaces, and events where, for mostly economic reasons you are not expected to be there. So, when a black person achieves some sort of success, and surprisingly sees another black person in a similar area “The Nod” is a quick acknowledgement of being black while being in a white dominated world, it is in itself an act of resistance and rebellion towards the world. This unspoken truth is for some beyond logical reason embedded in almost all black people regardless of nationally. Next time you simply walk down the street take a mental note, on how much people do this without realizing. Most importantly, continue to spread this unspoken international tradition to the next generation. Continue to tell your fellow black person, “I understand your struggle, no matter if you are rich, or poor, married or single we are all black in this world”. The Nod ensures that you acknowledge someone who is more often than not, not seen in this world, and that is pretty damn great.
For more information on how to activate it here is a skit from Key & Peele: