Because I Said SO: Things Black Parents Didn’t Let Their Children Do
Growing up their were universal rules for black kids that never really made sense. Of course, some things are universal among all cultures but others are exclusive to growing up black.
1 Stay Out of Grown Folks Business
So, this was a directive given to you when you were eavesdropping on the conversation on Uncle Tommy cheating on his wife or you were staring down the mouth of an adult. As a kid, the tea always seemed steaming hot when you weren’t even supposed to know. The best way to get the most out of the conversation was to keep quiet and just listen. Whenever the rest of the kids were in the living room and you were in the kitchen with family members 30 and up… it was time to get out of grown folks business. If you were bold, and hopped in the conversation, asking questions or adding two cents, brace yourself, because you’re about to get kicked out.
2 Turn the light off in the car while driving
Now this got me, I grew up my whole life believing I would go to jail if I drove with my dome light on. It didn’t matter if you lost your glasses and it was dark in the car, you had to sit in blindness until you got where you were going. Disclaimer, of course it is not smart to try to read an entire book with the dome light on while driving, but it’s not illegal.
3 Say the word “LIE”
In a black household, saying someone is lying or calling them a liar, was equivalent to cursing. It was like “What did you just say” or “Are you calling me a liar” every time you thought that the truth was not being told. You had to say replacement words like “not telling the truth” or “telling a tale” because mothers and grandmothers would be quick to smack the taste out of your mouth for the L-word.
Was it just me or did it seem like all your friends’ curfews were earlier than yours? Or if you’re a tad bit older, the streetlights were your curfew.
5 Certain Hairstyles/cuts
Black moms did not play about “Letting people play in your head.” They required your hair be the same way it was when you left. As females, haircuts and hair dye were forbidden until a certain age.
6 Red Lipstick/Nail Polish
Still clueless as to why red was the color that was equivalent to being a stripper or something, but you could have any color lipstick and any color nails but red. Your grandmother would wipe it all off if you tried to sneak and wear it.