Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Things All Black Households Should Have

Even bougie ninjas have plastic on their furniture. Ask Barack and Michelle.

Much like the Baltimore Ravens, all Black families have murderers in their families. Or is that just mine? Wait…did I just snitch? If I tell on myself, does that violate the Stop Snitching hood edict? I’ve never known the answer to that question.

Mr. Panama sir…what’s your point?

Glad you asked.

While criminals are innate to the Black family – and shouldn’t be – there are some things that all Black households should have.

(Don’t you love that completely non-sensical unparalleled parallel that I made there?)

Growing up, I always noticed a certain similarity between my home and the homes of my various friends and family members with Africa in their souls. Simple things like those big ass spoon and fork combos that nobody but Shaq or Willie The Giant could eat with that always managed to sit in a corner like they were fine collectibles and antiques. What is it with ninjas and big versions of everyday stuff? We like big cars, big hair, big booties. None of that is practical. Big cars use a lot of gas. I STAY losing my keys in big haired chicks big hair and a to quote the great poet laureate Andre 3000, “fat t*tties turn to teardrops and fat a** turns to flab…”

I’ll bet you never heard of a player with no game.

Anyway, to be a truly Black household, here is a list of things that you should have. Get like we.

1. A drum

Stereotypical out the gate? Absolutely. I’m dumbfounded by how many Black households don’t have a drum. Any kind of drum. Real talk, when ever I have people at my home and a deep conversation gets going I always break out the drum so people know that it’s real. Amazingly, all of the convos then follow the cadence of my conga playing. Basically it all looks the scene in Love Jones when Savon starts drumming, because drumming was SOOOO a Savon thing to do. By the way, all of this was hypothetical because I don’t actually have a drum. *hangs head in shame*

2. Some sort of Obama something

Commemorative plates. Bobbleheads. Random wanton posters featuring Obama saving a kitten in a tree. Chinese porcelain dolls named Sasha and Malia. Brown paper packages tied up with string. Something. No Black home is complete without some sort of picture, shrine, or weekly family dedication to the Obama clan and their quest to make Black people relevant.

3. Coming To America and at least 2 Spike Lee movies

Well, duh.

4. The Bible and an African-American historical book

Let me tell you something. Back in the day when folks used to go door to door selling sh*t like vacuum cleaners, X-ray machines, and encyclopedias, my parents were the ideal client. Especially if there was some sort of Black book collection. We ended up with a Black Bible (what made it Black, no idea, except it was huge and heavy. We automatically laid down our burdens every time we tried to pick it up.) and some set of encyclopedias that told the Black story. Which was great except 1) who just sits and reads encylopedias (aside from me) and 2) no reports in school were ever about who created spinners or the first ninja to niggarig something. But still, no household is complete without it. Extra points if you have that same ridiculous African-American bible that we have.

5. TCB

Every Black household should have some of that good hair food. That and some pink lotion. Hell I have four bottles of pink lotion and I don’t even have hair. Oh, and NO household is complete without Palmers. One day at Target they were selling bottles of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion for $1.99. I don’t know why or who thought that was a good idea. But I’ll tell you what, I copped 5 bottles. Ashy to classy like a motherf*cker. Word booty. Target definitely caught the fade that day.

6. Diana Ross’s The Bossand Diana albums strictly for the album cover art

It’s that real in the field. Admittedly, this could be a man thing.

What else should all Black households have? Talk to me.


[***AdminNote: For the DC ninjas, come party this Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Liv Nightclub (2001 11th Street, NW) as VSB brings you another edition of REMINISCE, the party dedicated to all 90s everything. Free before 11pm ($10 after); open bar from 10-11pm (real talk); and no dress code. Party wit’ ya folk. Doors at 1opm.***]

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • Yoles

    i feel like my membership/card/and everything else is in question… i grew up with none.. thats right zero of the things mentioned… not even things adjacent to

    on a brighter note i did grow up with plastic covered furniture like in the pic!!! ???cuz i’m black yall, i’m black ya’ll, cuz i’m black black blackidy black cuz i’m black and i’m back, cuz i’m fvckin’ black man! ???

  • My black household wasn’t complete without thee blackest thing evah, which I grew up being fascinated with at Mama Cheek’s crib. So I decided to claim it. She gave it to me. Best housewarming present evah. What was it?

    A picture of a lady making hot water cornbread:

    Oh, and make sure you have Kool-Aid in the fridge. My fridge could be THEE most barren college-aged bachelor lookin’ fridge evah, but I’mma still have some Kool-Aid in there.

  • Damn. I don’t have any of these things in my household.

    (clutches tightly to Black Card)

    I keep telling y’all you can’t have it.

  • I’m great. I love me some gem for now…i just wanted to say that…for twitter.

  • Reggie

    A collage of (badly) painted images including (along with Obama) MLK, Malcolm X, Tupac, Biggie, & JFK.

  • Iamnotakata

    Can we add common sense and home training to that list of things Black people should have in the house….(yes I know these two things are not purchasable, but they are trainable) there is not a lot of it being passed around over here in Houston with black folks….I swear if one more negro hollars at me from their car with some b.s. Or I see another black chick with unnaturally colored spectrum of the rainbow colored hair I’m going to go off….<< venting…

  • BisforBrittani

    That pot of used grease that you will reuse 5 more times before you throw the grease away.
    A jar of vaseline which is good for chapped lips to basing a scalp.
    The iconic Malcolm and Martin picture which is akin to Obama stuff, I guess.
    Oh almost forgot…that room or chair you cant go in or use.

  • Something that is picturing Mammy will be in the household regardless of how the people there feel about her. And there will always be a specific photo album set aside of all the distant/deceased family members with the photos in sepia or black/white.

  • CurlyTop

    Wash cloths in the bathroom
    A belt
    Negro Art

  • YouMiss

    Most of the list above was in the household of my early childhood (except the drum and Obama stuff. My grandmother has sent a new Obama book for the last 2 Christmases and 1 birthday…)

    I would like to add:
    – Something afrocentric or some symbolic representation of “The Mother Land”
    – The picture of the “black” Last Supper
    – Spray Starch.

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