Growing Up Black: A List Of Eleven Experiences

You've done well in life.

You played by the rules, studied hard and made something of yourself.   Some of the old folks would say that you've "Done the race proud."

You may live out in the suburbs or in a dazzling urban setting but if you grew up a middle class black kid in the 70's and 80's you'll recognize a few things on the list below.

While the list may not be entirely unique to black people, most folks of my generation may see a glimpse of their upbringing.

  1. Did you grow up with a grease can on the stove?

  2. Your grandparents/grandmother had one of the combinations of the holy trinity (Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy/Robert Kennedy) somewhere on a wall.

  3. Olive oil was used as a lotion and not for cooking in your house.

  4. How many times did you get snatched back from splitting a pole?

  5. You never dared sit a woman's purse on the floor.

  6. Were you on the junior usher board?

  7. Two words:  Hot comb.

  8. You can't even begin to count the times your thighs stuck to those plastic slipcovers in the summer at your grandma's house.

  9. If you didn't go to a church with "nurses."  You know someone that did.

  10. To you Red Kool-Aid will always be a flavor, not a color.

  11. Two more words:  Easter speech.


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