Quid Pro Quo: Bad for the President; Good for Black Women.

President Donald J. Trump is currently in hot water over his alleged attempt to grab the president of Ukraine by the shorthairs in order to gain leverage over a political rival. The center of the issue is “quid pro quo.” He had hundreds of millions of dollars on pause to help Ukraine ward off Russia until the president of Ukraine agreed to publicly announce that they would investigate Joe Biden’s son.

That’s not what this post is about though.

It’s about quid pro quo–you scratch my back, I scratch yours. It’s a simple lesson that unfortunately many black women miss.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been criticized because I don’t simply give products like The Pink Pill away for free. After all, if I really wanted to help black women, why on earth would I charge for a course that took me years to create?

The roots of that idea come from an unfortunate reality that black folks often don’t value what other black folks–especially black women–bring to the table to benefit their lives. We don’t question the $500 we have to pay for bundles of hair, the $700 for the red bottoms, the $3k for the Chanel bag, and so on. But for some reason, the expectation that any skillset a black person has to service the black community should be given gratis.

That’s the larger picture. But let’s go small. How many times has a relative expected you to carry them financially because you have a career and they don’t? How many black women are engaging in “wifey tryouts” to be picked by men who only wish to exploit their desperation for a loving, black male partner and take a backseat to scores of other women in the queue? Who has a parent that bleeds them dry? I read recently that a follower of mine graduated from high school with over $200 in cash gifts that her mother summarily confiscated for her own use.

Folks, black folks exploiting other black folks buys into the very supposition that we are worthless, and everyone else is worth paying to play.

Ladies, I absolutely forbid you to do another thing for randoms who want your blood, sweat and tears without there being any benefit to you. It makes you bitter and your face looks funny with those perpetual frown lines on your forehead and mouth. Keep your pretty face intact and stop giving selflessly to others with no expectation of a favor returned.

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There’s absolutely no shame in asking, “what’s in it for me?” So…start doing that. There’s a lot in it for you.

Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed (Simon & Schuster 2012), brand ambassador for, and publisher of the blog,, and social media personality.

Most recently, Karazin has parlayed her formal etiquette and protocol training to create a unique online self-improvement course called The Pink Pill, made with especially with black women in mind. The original course, launched in 2018, was so popular that Karazin recently released The Pink Pill for College, an etiquette and personal coaching program for college-aged young black women.


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