56 Things All Black Kids Had To Deal With Growing Up
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Politics and Activism

56 Things All Black Kids Had To Deal With Growing Up

“Don't make me repeat myself again before I get my belt. IF SALLY HAD FIVE…DAMN…APPLES…”

56 Things All Black Kids Had To Deal With Growing Up

The great thing about black culture is that the majority of us grew up the same. It feels good to know that you aren't the only one who had to grow up with getting yelled at or being hit with a slipper.

People who didn't grow up this way always assume that we are being abused. But to tell you the truth, looking back at how I grew up was the funniest thing ever. Especially knowing that you weren't the only one. Here are the 56 things you had to do with when growing up black:

1. Getting asked a question and then getting yelled at for “talking back."

“Oh, so you think you're grown?" Mom, you just asked my why didn't I do the dishes and I said “I don't know."

2. Your mom doesn't apologize after an argument, she just asks if you want to go to the store with her.

And then she wants to be your best friend again after saying “I'm not one of your little friends." But honestly, going to Walmart with my mom was fun because she'll ask me if she should buy certain foods that the 'family' eats. So basically, I get what I want without asking for anything.

3. “If I don't find it everybody is getting it!"

4. “I'm not one of your little friends."

The most overused black parent line.

5. Your mom doesn't help you with homework…she just repeats the question louder and louder until she grabs her belt.

“IF SALLY HAD FIVE…DAMN…APPLES! Little girl you are testing my patience."

6. If your sibling breaks something in the house, EVERYONE is going down.

Listen this is survival and I'm snitching to save myself. I'm not going down for something my sibling broke.

7. Asking your mom if she needs help for the groceries and then being told “no I got it." But then 5 minutes later rants about how no one helps her and how we're going to miss her when she dies.

No correlation…at all.

8. Getting excited when your mom brings home a bootleg DVD of a movie that just came out, but then you see random people getting up and moving across the screen.

Yes, she got it from the man who was always getting chased by the cops. Sad part is that during one of the “jump scares" for this one movie I watched, some dude let out some ungodly sneeze.

9. You memorized “Lift Every Voice & Sing" down perfectly.

If you ever had the AUDACITY to mess up…

10. Telling your mom that you're hungry and she responds with “You got McDonald's money?"

Or hearing “we got McDonald's at home." And if you cried, she would say “well then you're not hungry."

11. Ginger ale and Vicks were a form of medicine…

12. Sitting on the floor in between your mom's legs as she yanked the soul out of your hair.

Ever been yelled at for saying “ouch?" And then she wants to yell, “HOLD STILL!"

13. Asking your mom for money in the morning and she says, “go get my purse."

Every black mom with her headscarf on…

14. Waking up on a Sunday morning to gospel music and you already know what's going on.

When you know your day is going to be spent cleaning.

15. Everyone has that auntie with THAT haircut…

16. Running away when your mom asks you to come to the phone to speak to a relative.

Nothing is scarier than hearing “yes, she's right next to me," because talking to your Caribbean auntie for 90 minutes is awkward.

17. When you're at church with your mom and the pastor says something about disobedient children.

And then she wants to stand up and start clapping like she can relate. The shade of it all.

18. Acting up in public and your mom pulls you to the side, and you already know it's lit for you when you get home.

I remember when my brother and I were younger and we were running around and playing tag in TJ Maxx and then my mom pulled us to the side, saying don't embarrass her. But then my brother knocked over a bunch of shoes and we had to go to the dressing room to get spanked.

19. That nap after getting a whooping…

You don't even KNOW how good that nap feels man. I can't explain it.

20. “Stop crying before I give you something to cry about!"

You had to fix that face REAL quick.

21. “When we get to the store don't ask for NOTHING or touch NOTHING."

Black parents LOVE the saying “look, but don't touch."

22. Your grandma or auntie had these couch covers every time you came over.

23. Kiddie perms…

“Let me know when it starts burning." THE HORRORS I TELL YOU!

24. Your mom or dad had to come to school when you were misbehaving and you got embarrassed in front of your classmates.

When your mom goes “thank you Mrs. Jefferson, I will handle her when I get home since she wants to act like a clown," and then everyone in class starts laughing.

25. Being on the verge of dying and your mom goes “see that's because you be on your damn phone too much."

*Looks over at your phone charging on the other side of the room while you just lay there and die*

26. Seeing your life flash before your eyes because you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer.

If this wasn't a scary situation, then you can't possibly be black. The microwave or boiling hot water is your best friend (and probably still is). Once you hear that garage door, you better think fast.

27. Getting in trouble because you went in and out of the house too much.

“YOU EITHER IN OR OUT!" And her excuse is that the light bill is going to go up if you keep wasting energy. Yeah I don't know either…

28. That gut-wrenching feeling when all of your friends are playing outside but you didn't do the dishes.

And you have to look at them riding their scooters and trying to communicate with you from the window.

29. Your grandma had these candies…

30. Your mom SAVES all of the extra sauces she gets from McDonalds.

If you don't have THAT drawer in your kitchen…

31. Your mom telling all of your relatives your business at family gatherings.

I hate when people tell me to get rid of the negative and messy people telling my business but that's my mom I love her!

32. Turning 18 and being able to sit at the grown folks table!

Being asked for your opinion is the best feeling ever. It feels like you're about to give a speech at the podium and it's the best one yet.

33. Being sick isn't an option…

“Drink this ginger ale and put some Vicks on your face and go."

34. Slamming doors and getting that “do you pay bills" lecture…

Or having closed doors in general…that's illegal in a black family.

35. Crying when all of your cousins are spending the night at your grandma's but your parents say no.

My mom was so petty…

36. When the street lights came on and you had to book it home.

Yeah, of course we had to go home before all of the creepy old men come out calling you “sweetheart" and asking for your scooter.

37. Getting an attitude and all of a sudden, you're “trying to act grown."

You can't voice an opinion in a black home because only grown people are supposed to do that. And yes, I'm 20 and my mom still says this to me.

38. Your grandma has that China set that she NEVER uses…not even on holidays.

But somehow, they're always clean.

39. When your dad/mom says, “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you," before getting a whooping.


40. When your parents ask for your report card not knowing you've been hiding it for weeks responding with “My teacher is fixing my grade because she messed up."

Please tell me I'm not the only one that did this because my dad pretty much thinks a B is an F.

41. Getting whooped and planning on how you're going to run away from home with $0.93 cents in your bank account.

And then you just sit in the corner of the shower creating fake scenarios in your head and arguing with yourself and wishing you could say those things to your parents.

42. THIS was the only thing you had to play with when you were on punishment.

This doorknob thing was fun. What exactly is this though?

43. Staying home from school and being able to watch Maury and Jerry Springer

Two-hour delays or snow days were lit because you got to see wigs fly everywhere and you could watch all of the mom shows.

44. When you're the only black kid in your class and a rap song came on or you had to watch movies like Roots.

The whole class would look back at you or even feel sorry for you too. You would look over and some white kid quickly turns away because they were staring at you for a while.

45. The cookie and butter container…does not have cookies NOR butter in it.

When you need some butter for your toast and you open it up and see rice and peas from last week's dinner. Okay cool.

46. Your aunties took their potato salads seriously

It was a whole competition on who can make the best potato salads. You got both aunties begging you to choose your loyalty and they wear it around like a crown.

47. Your mom has a giant plastic bag full of 40 plastic bags

Because she's trying to SAVE them…


It should really be “whose fork is that in the sink?" Because that is all I see…

49. The iced-teas always had the right amount of diabetes.

Just DUMP the entire mix in would you mom?


Guess I'm sleeping in the kitchen tonight.

51. Getting mail but your parents opened it already.

Being black and asking for privacy is like a perfect man…doesn't exist.

52. When your non-black friends say “just tell your mom no!"

Why would I ask to get my ass whooped?

53. Getting extensions and everyone at school thought you grew your hair overnight.

This was the best joke ever and the sad part was that these people were actually serious.

54. Not having your man rub his fingers through your hair because it will mess up your bonnet.

If my man even dared to mess up my hair we would have problems.

55. Every function, no matter what played “Before I Let Go…"


56. No matter what, you love your culture because you can embrace it with other black kids growing up.

Because being black is bomb no matter how many ridiculous things we had to deal with growing up. It's because we can all relate and laugh about it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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