Exerpt of 'The BAP Handbook'

The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess is the work of four self-proclaimed BAPs: Tracey Lewis, Karla Lightfoot, Kalyn Johnson and Ginger Wilson. The following in an excerpt from their book.

The lights are bright, the camera is rolling, and both the baby BAP and her mother are screaming. Her parents, with the help of an expert team of doctors, escort her to center stage. It is her greatest entrance of all. This is why to this day she feels that those around her should celebrate her birthday as if it were a national holiday. Still protesting her untimely eviction from the womb? the ultimate condo? the baby BAP begins her quest to solve the major mysteries of her new life. With the abrupt end to her food supply and a totally unnecessary smack on the tush from a green-masked stranger, questions pop into her inquiring mind: What's going on? Where am I? How will I eat? Who will pay for my Ivy League education? Who will buy my clothes? I want Prada. I want Kate Spade. Jewelry? Cars? And my wedding? I want a Vera Wang wedding dress.

Amidst the commotion there is a moment of calm as father and daughter see one another for the first time. She gurgles and smiles as she is handed over to him; unbeknownst to both of them, she has just succeeded in wrapping him around her tiny little finger for life. At that very moment, her father vows that his little princess will have a regal existence and never want for anything.

Little does her father know that his pledge will cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Little does she know that her magical spell over him will result in a lifetime of zealous overprotection. Without enunciating a syllable, this demanding waif telepathically transmits her desires to her parents. Now, they will do anything to give her the "perfect" life?trips abroad, membership in the most coveted organizations, nice cars and homes, a closetful of beautiful clothes, and a top-notch education.

A creature like no other, she demands the Best and Nothing Less. She is the BAP, the Black American Princess!

BAPitude

BAPitude, the BAP mind-set, starts before she can even talk and only escalates after that. Her arrival home from the hospital marks the beginning of a life full of the Best and Nothing Less. Eager to provide their daughter with endless possibilities, her parents' first task is to ensure that she is fully equipped to meet life's challenges. So, the BAP's first housewarming gift is a solid value system.

The BAP is raised to be a respectful and considerate person. She may have a selfish moment or two (okay, or three or four) but she quickly learns that her parents will not tolerate it. Spoiled? Yes. Overindulged? Yes. Obnoxious and intolerable? No, never! Her BAParents, like the TV Huxtables, don't play that. Many-a-time she will be told, "That may be how those little girls you go to school with act, but that's not acceptable behavior in this household!" By hook or by crook, her parents instill their little girl with qualities that teach her to be a princess regardless of her material possessions and worldly experiences.

Surprisingly, this overindulged young child who has been tempered by pragmatism and love blossoms into a well-balanced individual. She is taught that BAPitude does not give her license to run roughshod over others. Imbued with a sense of largesse, the BAP remains grounded and appreciative of her charmed existence.

Etiquette, Schmediquette

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