While everyone’s upbringing is not the same, black households cling to tradition and old school ways of raising up kids. Of course there could be slight differences like adding fat back to the collards as opposed to turkey butt; but for the most part, we have a strong thread of similarity running through our childhoods in a Black American household.
Listening to Motown classics on weekend mornings while cleaning
I distinctly remember waking up Saturday mornings to the smell of either food or cleaning solution with the sound of Motown classics, Isley Brothers, or maybe a little Janet Jackson playing in the background. It felt incredibly comforting for some reason. An instant good mood for the day.
Being in church almost all day Sunday
Church in the Black family is not a 1 day a week, exclusively morning time activity especially if the grandparents are involved. We would go to church in the morning, come home for lunch, and head back to church after that.
Speaking of church, those ruffle socks
This may be a thing that all little girls wear but, I remember wearing my little ruffle socks on Sundays for church only and feeling incredibly fancy. Church is a place to come as you are, unless you are a part of the Black community. In that case, it is a place to praise & worship as well as wear your very best clothes; kids included.
School clothes and non school clothes were never the same
As a kid, we were not allowed to wear our school clothes to go play in the park with our pals or lounge around in the house. We were not going to mess up our good clothes with mud and other childhood activities. That’s what our high water pants were for.
“When we get in this store…”
The famous quote said by every Black mother, grandmother, and auntie across the nation. Come on, I know you know the rest.
When your mom asks if she needs to take you in the car or bathroom
Translation: Immediately stop what you are doing. A pop upside the head is in your near future.
Sunday dinners were mini Thanksgivings
Somehow, in the midst of all that church going, mom was able to put together a full spread on Sunday & no, eating dinner on Sundays with the family is not an option.
Grandma, Big Mama, Mimi or whatever you call your mother’s mom
Grandma is the head honcho in the Black American family. She is not some old senile lady that the family disregards. Grandma’s wisdom leads the family and keeps it together.
It’s a family reuuuuunion!
Some of the best times in my childhood were at the family reunions where you get to see your 5th cousin by marriage and uncle John drinks a little too much and your older cousin lets you take a few sips of her beer while your parents aren’t around.
Bobos, knobs, formerly known as barrettes
Most Black little girls know these very well. The ponytail, barrette filled, beads with the foil bottom headed little Black girl was me.
Mom constantly asking you to do things
I say asking but we both know I mean telling. Pass me the remote, pour me a Pepsi, clean and season the chicken, take the meat out of the freezer… The list goes on and on.
The street lights were our cell phones
When those street lights come on, that tail better be in the house.
No closed doors..
Because you don’t pay bills in this house! I seriously am astonished when I see kids with their bedroom doors closed and the parent knocking to come in and the kid telling them no on television. It is amazing!
It takes a village
Growing up in a Black American family, your parents are not the only people raising you. Our village, uncles, aunts, grandparents, close friends, they all have a hand in influencing and raising up the kids in the family.
What reminds you of growing up in a Black American household?