Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What is a BAP?

While tossing about impressions of the characters in Fabulation or, The Re-education of Undine, we were struck by the characterization of the “BAP”, or Black American Princess, as represented, maybe not so much by Undine, but by her equally status-seeking, nouveau-rich friend Allison. But what is the stereotype of a BAP?

Tossed onto the desk of our Promotions Director came the clever, if tongue-in-check, book:
The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess (at amazon.com).This humorous slant by Kalyn Johnson, Tracey Lewis, Karla Lightfoot, and Ginger Wilson looks at the definitions of the Black American Princess as:

1 : a pampered female of African American descent, born to an upper-middle or upper-class family;
2 : an African American female whose life experiences give her a sense of royalty and entitlement;
3 : BAP (acronym) : colloquial expression; or
4 : an African American female accustomed to the best and nothing less.

A whimsical look into “BAP speak, BAP style, and BAP history,” the BAP Handbook, also includes lists of so-called BAP colleges, famous BAPs and a glossary (who doesn’t need to know the crème-de-la-crème of French phrases to toss about?).Our particular favorite feature? A break down of the leading “types” of BAPs:

Betty \’bede, ‘bete, -i\n., usually cap B [short for continuous betterment]: a. A BAP by birthright who strives for perfection in everything she undertakes. B. a BAP whose life expectations are based on a sense of entitlement. C. the Quintessential BAP.

Boho \‘’bo-ho\n. usually cap B [diminutive of bohemian]: a. a BAP by birthright who lives an unorthodox lifestyle. B. A funky-fresh sister with a decidedly unique if not outrageous approach to life. C. A majorette in her one-woman band.

Butterfly \ ‘be·ter·fli\n., usually cap B: A BAP who evolved from a dormant state at any point during her life. B. A BAP who is often presumed to be a Betty. A BAP who may protest the categorization.

We found this satirical book quite amusing, and hope you do too!
Photo: Crystal Anne Dickinson, photo by Richard Anderson


Ananda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ananda said...

Hi. I just discovered your wonderful blog this morning. Thank you for sharing information about Fabulation and its connection to The BAP Handbook. The BAP Handbook is one of my favorite books. I agree with you that it is an entertaining read. My mother and I really enjoyed reading it and taking the BAP test which we both passed several years ago. We also discovered that I am a 4th generation BAP! Click here to learn about my BAP history and my 15 BAP commandments:

-My BAP History and Definition

-My 15 BAP Commandments

The BAP Handbook inspired me to write a novel about a BoHo BAP character. To learn more about my BoHo BAP character Karma Francois in Love's Troubadours - Karma: Book One (2007), visit www.lovestroubadours.com. As a result of positive feedback from readers of my novel, I created BAP Living, a social networking site for BAPs (http://baplivingforbapsandebw.ning.com) and BAP Living Radio, an Internet radio show (www.talkshoe.com/tc/18598) in 2008. The BAP Living movement has spread to Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. To learn more, click on the following sites:

-BAP Living Facebook Group http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15124364305

-BAP Living Myspace Group http://groups.myspace.com/bapliving

-BAP Living on Twitter

There are many other BAPs who are using social media (blogs etc.) to share their BAP life stories and experiences. Some of my favorites include:

1) Bmore BAP Life http://bmorebaplife.blogspot.com

2) BAP Society on Myspace www.myspace.com/baps4ever

3) BAP World

4) Confessions of a BAP

Again, thanks for the information.
Enjoy your day.

Ananda, a BoHo BAP in DC

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TL said...


Just discovered your blog, and as one of the authors, I really appreciate your awesome analysis!! Glad it made you laugh!!

Tracey L.