“A Few Of My (Black) Favorite Things…”


“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…”

You’ve heard these words before to describe some “favorite” things that I believe reflect mainstream tastes. But I’d like to share what appear to be favorite things of Black people…at least the Black people I know and love. Their favorite things include:

Pepsi Cola – For some reason Black people love Pepsi. You bring Coke, be prepared to get the “side-eye.”

Chick-fil-a – Now we love chicken in general but it’s not politically correct to acknowledge that so I’ll just point out that despite the expressed homophobic attitudes of its owner, Black folks will line up for some Chick-fil-a.

Newport and Kool cigarettes: It is true that smoking rates are down among all groups, including African Americans but for those who smoke, they just cannot get enough of those Newports and Kools.

Nicknames: Nobody assumes as many aliases as Black folks. From Ray-Ray to L’il May May we always have nicknames. And, those nicknames always have a story attached. No respectable Black person gives themselves a nickname. You have to earn a nickname.

Preachers: Oh, we LOVE preachers…especially those who are half way good at delivering a sermon. Our White friends may like or respect their preachers but we LOVE ours. White folks refer to “The Pastor” but Black folks almost always say, “My Pastor.” When you get demoted from the pronoun “my” to the article “the” you are not long for that church!

A male singer with a sexy voice – Barry White, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrast, Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Trey Songz, Maxwell, Jaheim…whoever. We don’t care what you look like. It’s about how you sound!

Hairdressers and Barbers – White folks go to therapy; we go to the person who massages our scalp.

Bootleg DVDs – We will put up with a little shaking and blurring to see a first run movie for $2. Incidentally, we generally get these movies from our therapists/hair salons and barber shops.

Movies with Black actors: We don’t really care about the cinemagraphic  value of movies as long as there are some memorable lines delivered by Black folks. Everybody I know has seen “Coming to America,” “Love and Basketball,” and “New Jack City” multiple times…and “Boyz in the Hood” is a religious experience for us…we keep waiting for Morris Chestnut to make the right decision and not end up dead!

Funerals – I know it sounds morbid but Black folks really do like a good funeral. It is a major family gathering, filled with drama, and the food is generally off the chain!

The heat turned up to at least 80 – We know there’s an energy crisis and that gas and electric is expensive but we cannot stand to be stuck in a cold house. If you want to keep us happy crank up that heat (and turn on the air in the summer).

Red Kool-Aid – We have no idea why they make other flavors.

Bling – Sometimes you just need a little shiny something. And bling on a sista over 75 is IT!

Napkins – I actually can’t figure that one out but we just have to take more than one napkin in self-serve restaurants and ask for additional napkins in sit-down restaurants. We love napkins.

Laying out our clothes – Black people love to just “lay out their clothes” before work or church. And, if we’re going on a trip we start “laying out our clothes” weeks ahead. So we say things like, “My clothes is already laid out!”

Seasoning Salt – This is our attempt to follow doctors orders about going low sodium. However, we never look at the jar to see that the first item in it is SALT!

Cooking Grease used a minimum of 2 times – What do you mean your chicken don’t taste like fish? Are you wasting good Crisco?

Lotions, creams, and body butters – Most Black folks would rather be deprived of water than not have access to “the butters.” Whatever can help us fight that ash is a necessity.

Dining rooms that we only use twice a year. And if there’s a china cabinet…OoooWeee!

Tin Foil – We know you call it ALUMINUM foil but we call it tin foil and we use it for all kinds of things…wrapping food, cooking food, stuffing a mouse hole, tuning a TV or radio…and yes, we save and reuse it!

The Soul food side dish triumvirate – Baked macaroni and cheese, candied yams, and greens. These 3 can be accompanied by almost any meat–chicken, fish, turkey, beef. We are not interested in swamping these out for arugula, goat cheese, or any other fancy, upscale sprig of nothing.

Martin Luther King – Let’s get this straight. WE DO NOT TOLERATE PEOPLE SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT DR. KING! #thatisall

Stay Black & Smart!

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