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‘You Are the Black Pearls of the Family’: White Grandmother Gives Her Black Daughter-in-Law a Gift That Leaves Social Media In Uproar

A Christmas gift from an older white in-law to a Black woman has caused an uproar on social media. Many believe that a post about a holiday present suggests that the grandmother was making a racial microaggression, instead of acknowledging the valuable gift as a sweet gesture of her love.

According to Newsweek, a Reddit post sparked the controversy. A white man, who is married to an African-American woman, posted a picture of the gift of Tahitian pearls from his grandmother to his wife.

He captioned the post, “Xmas present from my very Karen grandma to my African American wife.” He punctuated the heading with a white embarrassment emoji.

The grandmother’s card to her granddaughter read, “Like my Black Pearls — Rare and of great value! You are the black pearls of the family (smiley face). Love you, Karen.”

Almost 4,300 comments have been made since the Christmas post went up and most commenting didn’t see a problem with the present. A few people said generationally and culturally, her remarks reflected someone trying their best to rise above white privilege. Others even blasted the man for including the palm hand in the note, suggesting he was embarrassed by her.

User Codeesha asserts that people should give the older white woman a break because “she’s trying” and what more can one expect. ObsessiveRecognition chimed in, writing, “Yeah like my grandma (she doesn’t TRY or WANT to be racist or homophobic, it just happens). She says ‘he-she’ when talking about her trans neighbor and always mentions if q person is black or brown when telling stories to us. I remember we were watching Shark Tank and she goes “wow look at that! An Indian can get rich today, huh?”. We just kinda stared at her lol.”

One B1GTOBACC0 wrote, “Bless her heart, grandma’s trying. The delivery needs a little work, but she’s trying.” 

“I think she meant well and that’s an amazing gift…If the pearls are real then it’s SUPER expensive!” another person 420_Catlover commented, ultimately agreeing that “the delivery was off.”

Gas_Grouchy commented, “I think acknowledging the fact she is black and could feel left out but that she is beautiful and rare in her own regard and loved by the family is completely sweet. I think the ‘cringe’ card was actually perfectly delivered and genuine.”

DanysDeadDragons posted that he believes that by making this public, the grandson was “looking for a reason to look down upon his grandmother,” while 2forroughing went further, writing that the man was going to pay for posting this. “Wow. Give your grandma a fu##ing break here. This was a very thoughtful gift, and clearly comes from a place of love. Be thankful that your wife is loved and accepted by your family- regardless of her race. And for f###s sake- quit throwing your grandmother under the bus for points – it makes you look like an ungrateful sh## head karma wh##e.”

According to the retailer Pearl Lang, Black Pearls are called Tahitian Pearls and come from French Polynesia, Fiji, the Sea of Cortez and the Cook Islands. These specific pearls are considered the most exotic variety of pearls in the market, with the most high-quality batch of them going from $1,000 to $36,000. While they are called Black Pearls, they are not actually black. The most common colors of the gem are pistachio, aubergine, peacock, gray, brown and deep purple.

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