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 September 08, 2016
“I like my coffee black, like my soul”

"I like my coffee black, like my soul” is a darkly humorous saying that has been printed on coffee mugs and GIFs. The line possibly comes from Hollywood. The book Tallulah—Darling of the Gods (1972) attributes “Just black — like my soul” to American actress Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968). The book Fifty Hollywood Directors (2015) attributes “Black – like my soul” to Ausrian-German filmmaker Fritz Lang (1890-1976).

“‘I like my coffee black....like my soul, like my poetry, like my life.’ -Anders Carslon” was posted to the newsgroup alt.gothic on March 1, 1995. “Just coffee. Black — like my soul” is a line in the novel City of Bones (2007) by Cassandra Clare.


Google Books
Tallulah—Darling of the Gods:
An Intimate Portrait

By Kieran Tunney
New York, NY: Manor Books
1972
Pg. 76:
The waiter put the coffee on the table and withdrew to his listening post.

“How do you like it, darling?”

“Just black — like my soul.”

Google Groups: alt.gothic
UK Goths (Coventry Q)
Ned Kirby
3/1/95
(...)
“I like my coffee black....like my soul, like my poetry, like my life.”
-Anders Carslon

Google Groups: alt.gothic
coffee, anyone?
Joyce
3/7/97
i like it black, like my soul.  i prefer my women brown and watery. 

Google Groups: alt.music.hardcore
I like my coffee black
Pmc666
3/12/98
black like my soul

Google Books
City of Bones
By Cassandra Clare
New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books
2007
Pg. 36:
“I’ll get the coffee if you find us a seat. What do you want?”

“Just coffee. Black — like my soul.”

Twitter
George Ruiz
‏@georgeruiz
Need coffee! I like it inky black - like my soul.
10:47 AM - 14 Nov 2008

Twitter
Garret Lamson
‏@G_Monet
coffee please...black...like my soul.
8:55 AM - 10 Mar 2009

Twitter
allthedoll
‏@allthedoll
I like my coffee black, like my soul.
9:19 AM - 21 Apr 2009

Twitter
Coffee Evolution
‏@coffeeERA
“What do you want?” “Just coffee. Black - like my soul.” — Cassandra Clare
6:20 PM - 18 Oct 2010

Google Books
Fifty Hollywood Directors
Edited by Suzanne Leonard and Yvonne Tasker
New York, NY: Routledge
2015
Pg. 135:
Throughout his life Lang cultivated this almost caricatured self-image (responding to a question from an interviewer as to how he liked his coffee with the retort: ‘Black – like my soul’ ).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, September 08, 2016 • Permalink