Colored People's Time

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Colored People's Time, or CPT, or CP Time (also referred to as Black People Time) is an American expression referring to a stereotype of African Americans as frequently being late.[1][2][3][4] The term can also apply to South Asians in the form of "Indian standard time" or "IST".[5][6][7][8]

In media[edit]

The phrase or acronym has been referenced numerous times in various types of media, including the films Bamboozled, Undercover Brother, Let's Do It Again, House Party and several television series: The Mindy Project, Prison Break, The Boondocks, The Wire, Weeds, Where My Dogs At?, Reno 911, 30 Rock, Everybody Hates Chris, The PJs, Bridezillas, Mad TV and Cedric the Entertainer Presents, Empire, and reality series The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In the Black Jeopardy sketch aired during the March 29, 2014 episode of Saturday Night Live, host Alex Treblack (Kenan Thompson) says upon the sound of the final bell, "As usual, we started late."

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Baratunde Thurston: Black History Month: An Explanation of CP Time by Your Very Delayed Guest Book Editor". 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  2. ^ Nikki Lynette (2009-12-03). "“CP Time”: Does my Black race indicate I’ll always be late? | Becoming Nikki Lynette". Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  3. ^ "A Geography of Time". Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  4. ^ "Valerie June On Learning To Love 'Perfectly Imperfect' Voices : The Record". NPR. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  5. ^ "The 15 things that white people should know about black people". Times LIVE. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  6. ^ "Why Black People Time is Folly « FAB BLOG". 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  7. ^ "Black World/Negro Digest - Google Books". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  8. ^ T.J. Holmes (14 March 2014). "Black Stereotype: C.P. Time Is Not a Myth - The Root". The Root. Retrieved 18 March 2015.