A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 12, 2016
Colored People’s Time (CP Time or CPT)

"Colored people’s time” (a later time than scheduled) is often regarded offensive slang, deriding black people as lazy. For example, if church is scheduled to start at noon, it might actually start later—such as 1 p.m.—according to “colored people’s time.”

“We have in our method of gathering what is commonly called, in the vernacular of the street, ‘colored people’s time’” was cited in a Chicago black newspaper in 1912. “C.P. time” was cited in 1925 and “C. P. T.” was cited in the novel Nigger Heaven (1926) by Carl Van Vechten.

American politician Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were criticized when the term “colored people’s time” was used in a comedy skit in April 2016.

Similar expressions for a delayed time include “African time” and “Jewish time.” The expressions are sometimes not regarded as offensive if told within that particular ethnic group.


Wikipedia: Colored People’s Time
Colored People’s Time, or CPT, or CP Time (also referred to as Black People Time) is an American expression referring to a negative stereotype of African Americans as frequently being late.

The expression is often described as a racist and negative stereotype.

In media
(...)
In the Maude episode “Florida’s Problem” (season 1, episode 18), which aired on February 13, 1973, Henry Evans (who later becomes James Evans Sr. on Good Times) says to Florida, “I’m coming back at 9:00, and I mean 9:00 WPT.” He leaves and Maude asks Florida, what’s “WPT”? Florida responds “White People Time. If he didn’t mean 9:00 sharp he would have said CPT. That’s Colored People Time. Which means ‘shuffle on in when you feel like it’”.

There was also a 1960s public interest program produced by Detroit Public Television with the name Colored People’s Time, as well as a 1980s play written by Leslie Lee which consisted of 13 vignettes of African American history from the Civil War through the Montgomery bus riots. (ISBN 0-573-61894-1). In The Wire S03E08 Moral Midgetry, when a girl asked Marlo Stanfield when he wants to meet, Marlo responded, “Five. And five mean five. I don’t truck CP Time. Five and change; I’m gone.” The mention of “CPT” in the television series Prison Break was by the character Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell.

On April 9, 2016, Mayor of New York City Bill DeBlasio said he was on “C. P. time” in a scripted joke skit with Hillary Clinton and Leslie_Odom,_Jr. in explaining his belated endorsement of her presidential campaign. When the African American Odom objected to the use of the phrase, Clinton clarified that de Blasio actually meant it to mean “cautious politician time.”

22 June 1912, Chicago (IL) Defender, ‘Tardiness and Rude Manners” by D. W. Johnson, pg. 4, col. 7:
We have in our method of gathering what is commonly called, in the vernacular of the street, “colored people’s time.”

9 September 1925, Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, “Meddling Is Hit By School Head,” pg. 2, col. 1:
The meeting opened late and Mr. Reed expressed the hope that schools will not be run on C. P. (colored people’s) time this year.

Google Books
Nigger Heaven
By Carl Van Vechten
New York, NY: Alfred Knopf
1926
Pg. 285 (Glossary of Negro Words and Phrases):
C. P. T. : coloured people’s time, i.e., late.

Google News Archive
29 October 1932, The Afro-American (Baltimore, MD), “Reminiscences” by Mary White Ovington, pg. 16, col. 1:
Miss Ovington in Her First Visit to the South Finds “Colored People’s Time” Is Derived from “Southern People’s Time.”
CHAPTER 8.
THE FAR SOUTH.
(...)
One night, the Methodist minister has supper with us, and as I was to speak on settlement work at his church at seven, I watched the clock. But he ignored it, and we did not get to the church until half-past-seven. Colored People’s Time is evidently derived from Southern People’s Times.

17 January 1935, The Weekly Tribune (Moulton, IA), “The Telescope,” pg. 5, col. 2:
NO C. P. T. ALLOWED THIS SEMESTER
Why wouldn’t that be a good moto for us to follow this semester? Do you wonder what C. P. T. means? Here’s the low-down. (It isn’t original with me) C. P. T. means Colored People’s Time—i. e.—late. Let’s start off with a bang, and not be tardy once this next semester. What do you say? Are you game? No C. P. T. (lateness) Allowed.

Google News Archive
19 October 1963, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “The Negro: ‘Be Responsible’ Urging Heard Often” by Laurie Van Dyke, pt. 1, pg. 1, col. 1:
“The time is now”—the theme of the current civil rights struggle—does not seem to apply to meetings conducted by Milwaukee Negroes.

Some Negroes joke about “CPT” (Colored People’s Time).

Seldom does a meeting conducted by local Negro organizations start on time—and there often is little concern about how long it lasts.

OCLC WorldCat record
White people’s time, colored people’s time
Author: Jules Henry
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Society, v2 n3 (196503): 31-34
Database: CrossRef

Google Books
December 1965, Negro Digest, pp. 32-33:
WHITE PEOPLE’S TIME, COLORED PEOPLE’S TIME
BY JULES HENRY
Reprinted from Trans-Action
(...)
For instance, they make a strong distinction between C.P. (colored people’s) time and W.P. (white people’s) time. According to C.P. time an event may occur at any moment over a spread of hours—or perhaps not at all. They believe, however, that in the highly organized world of the whites it occurs when scheduled.

OCLC WorldCat record
CPT = [Colored people’s time. 1968-11-06]
Author: Gilbert Alan Maddox; Tony Brown, (Journalist); Bud Spangler; George Martin; Bette De Ramus; All authors
Publisher: [Detroit, Mich.] : WTVS, [1968]
Edition/Format: Video : Beta : Videocassette Visual material : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“CPT or Colored People’s Time is directed to the black innercity community [and] produced, written and performed by black talent"--Excerpt from 1968 Peabody Digest. Hal McKinny Quintet performs “Blue finger.” “The grapevine”: information about local events and Christine Wilson, the “together sister of the week.” “The poor do pay more”: interviews with Father William Cunningham, sponsor of a survey on inner-city grocery prices, and Mrs. Alfreda Rowley, survey participant. “New faces”: music by The Blends, a local quartet. “The Veterans’ Memorial affair”: George Martin reports on the beating of two black teens by off-duty police officers; includes interviews with Rev. Willis Tabor, father of one of the boys, and Sen. Coleman Young; focuses on need for civilian review of police. “Special guests”: musical performances by Adam Wade and Kim Weston, and discussion of the play “Hallelujah, Baby.” “The Black mother”: monologues by Kent Martin and Berniece Haywood

OCLC WorldCat record
Colored people’s time : a history play
Author: Leslie Lee
Publisher: New York : S. French, ©1983.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
CP time : why some people are always late
Author: J L King; Zane.
Publisher: New York : Strebor Books, ©2007.
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“Everyone has a story of being the victim of CP time. It’s been responsible for the termination of jobs and relationships, and for delaying weddings and even funerals. CP Time is the first book to examine a behavior that crosses all social economic lines within the black community in a way that will bring smiles and groans of recognition to victims and culprits alike. In brisk, engaging chapters, J.L. King provides.

Daily News (New York, NY)
Mayor de Blasio, Hillary Clinton ripped for racist joke at Inner Circle show
BY ERIN DURKIN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 5:07 AM
They may be skilled in political theater — but when Mayor de Blasio and Hillary Clinton appeared on stage together, their comic turn became a tragic gaffe.

In a skit at Saturday night’s Inner Circle show, Clinton joined de Blasio as a surprise guest and ribbed him for delaying his endorsement of her presidential campaign.
(...)
Clinton then stepped in to complete the brief gaggable gag with an assurance that her belated supporter meant, “‘Cautious Politician Time.’ I’ve been there.”

NBC News
NEWS APR 12 2016, 12:18 PM ET
Bill De Blasio’s ‘Colored People’s Time’ Joke Hits Sour Note
by ADAM HOWARD
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has had his fair share of gaffes since he took office two years ago, but they may pale in comparison to his latest public faux pas.

During an appearance alongside “Hamilton” cast member Leslie Odom Jr. and Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton at a black tie event with influential journalists and politicos in the Big Apple this past Saturday, the mayor was teased for taking his sweet time to endorse the former New York senator.

“Thanks for the endorsement, Bill,” Clinton quipped. “Took you long enough.”

To which de Blasio replied: “Sorry, Hillary, I was running on C.P. time.” An audience member can be heard shouting - “No!” - after the line was delivered and was met with only a smattering of chuckles. The term “C.P. time” refers to the racially insensitive term “colored people’s time,” which has perpetuated the stereotype that African-Americans are lazy, unreliable and often late to appointments.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 • Permalink