Happy Belated Birthday, Oreo

7 Mar

How did I miss this?

The Oreo cookie turned 100 years old, yesterday, March 6, 2012.  The cookie originated in a Nabisco factory in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, and is the most popular cookie of the 20th century, with over 490 billion sold over the last 100 years.

The name of the Oreo evolved over time.  It was first named the Oreo Biscuit in an effort to attract British customers.  Other names included Oreo Sandwich in the 1920’s, Oreo Creme Sandwich in the 1940’s, and the  overly wordy, Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie, in the 1970’s.  Of course, we all just call them Oreos.

I know you know where I am going with this.

www.urbandictionary.com definition of Oreo:
A  black person who is said to “act white” because of the way they dress, talk, or act. Someone who does not play in to “acting black” and believes that there is no way to “act black”. Someone who typically hangs out with whites, or gets along well with whites.Sometimes blacks take being called an oreo as an offense, but others might take it as being called a “classy black”, someone who did not grow up in the projects so has no particular reason to be someone they aren’t in order to fit in well with the black community

A few examples of sentences using the term oreo, given on www.urbandictionary.com :

Caleb is such an oreo. He’s always going up north to snowboard and lives up in rich country with the white folks.

I’m black. Even though I live in the projects, I maintain an A average, and speak properly. I have a few white friends, I don’t really like watermelon or acting like an animal, and I prefer Gwen Stefani over Crime Mob. Apparently, this makes me an ‘oreo’ among my people.

A painful word of irony that causes Spike Lee anguish, and historical black figures to turn over in their graves.

Have you ever been called an Oreo? If so, and even if you haven’t, you might want to check out Toure’s, Who’s Afraid of Post Blackness, and Baratunde Thurston’s, How To Be Black, which talks back to the whole definition of what it is supposed to mean to be black.





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