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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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly 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. 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.

  • 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! ???

    • CurlyTop

      You ain’t got no Pink lotion? Every black (and Puerto Rican) chick I went to Middle and High school with was slathering that mess on their hair. Lol. My mom never bought so I didn’t feel “as black” as the others. Now I just think its stank!

      • Yoles

        not even pink lotion… i never used any hair products just shampoo and conditioner.. i never knew how much my blackness was in question until i started reading blogs.. :(

        • I Am Your People

          Yaaaay! She’s out of the hospital! Yoles is Back! The VSBs reactions to your absence was a mess

          • MizzCam

            Woohoo! Welcome back, e-sis!

        •!/XylinaChapman Lina

          welcome back, welcome back, well-come baaack

        • Kema

          Welcome back!!

  • Cheekie

    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.

    • Prissy TomBoi

      OMG! I absolutely frickin love that picture. Classic!

  • TheAnti-Cool

    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.

    • Yoles

      we’re in this together e-sis…
      *clutching your hand AND my black card tightly*

      • CurlyTop

        *snatches both cards* I lost mine at a rock concert and since ya’ll ain’t using them…

    • WIP

      A black card is in your heart.

    • Malik

      Just get some black inside you.

      • rhenewal


  • Sagey Bear

    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.

    • YouMiss

      My dad’s prized possession for like 6 years.

    • CurlyTop

      I REALLY hope these don’t exsist. How you gonna put MLK and Tupac in the same collage? If I ever saw one with Soulja and Obama that would be the end of CurlyTop

    • E. Reed

      My mom has Malcolm, Martin, and Mandela hanging on the living room wall. She added Obama as the focal point in 2008.

      And don’t forget about Black Jesus and the semifreaky picture of the half naked Mandingo brotha with his half naked Nubian queen LOL

      • Todd

        Oh, my parents AND my grandparents had that one. ROTFLMAO

      • randomeffery

        i am definitely getting some freaky black art (after i pay some bills)

      • Kema

        I dont have anything on the list but I have my black Jesus!

      • Gabe O.

        Definitely needs that naked nubian art in my house, what’s good E. Reed? Didn’t know you were a VSBer haha

        • E. Reed


    • Todd

      I used to have that until my wife made me get rid of it. LOL

  • 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…

    • SimplyMeRenee

      We had both of those in my house growing up! And they’ve carried over to every household I’ve had since!

    • WIP

      “…Or I see another black chick with unnaturally colored spectrum of the rainbow colored hair…”

      Nothing wrong with a wild hairdo!

  • 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.

    • carolinagirl27

      I swear have 5 random jars of vaseline in my house….a couple for hair, one for my face, and two for my lips…we stay lubricated!!

      • Geneva Girl

        Vaseline and Nivea when I was growing up were required in every room just in case Mom noticed some ashy knees.

      • WIP

        Y’all are killing me with putting Vaseline on your face…

        • xLadyTx

          Vaseline clears up your skin & keeps it smooth & hydrated! Proven fact! Lol

          • WIP

            I can’t see it happening. I’d be shiny like a seal if I put Vaseline on my face.

      • A Woman’s Eyes

        and don’t forget the jar that’s just for your feet. can’t mess around and use someone’s vaseline for that reason lol

      • keisha brown

        that’s what she said.

        oh and i cosign. i’m lost without you vaseline.
        and by lost.. i mean chapped and ashy.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          and never eva use vaseline in an old person’s house as they use it for things that shall not be said on this boards… lol not even grandma’s vaseline…no….

    • VenturaCountyStar

      LMAO at the can of used grease! Some of my relatives still live by that code today!

    • MizzCam

      And you need a separate can for fish grease, y’all. Don’t be fryin’ my chicken in no fish grease!!! (that’s right, I said don’t be, dammit)

      • Cheekie

        School ‘em! Bet NOT see no Fish particles in my chicken grease!

        • kingpinenut

          *nods slowly*

    • Perfect Square


    • Sea Jay Bee

      I used to daydream of the day that I could throw that leaking, sticky coffee can of oil away. Where was a safe place to toss it, pouring the oil down the toilet?

  • Malik

    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.

    • YouMiss

      It’s always a picture of an unsmiling Mammy…

  • CurlyTop

    Wash cloths in the bathroom
    A belt
    Negro Art

    •!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      I am still amazed by the fact that black folks seem to be the only folks using wash cloths. My roommate in college didn’t even know what the hell my washcloth was for.

      • WIP

        Now y’all being racist. How are people washing their behinds without a washcloth? LOL

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          just a bar of soap and their hand…just nasty! or soap and a body wash thingie.

          • CaffeMochaChocolate

            Grossss! LOL

      • Todd

        Oh, so true. On the flip side, other groups are a lot more likely to use body wash instead of bar soap. If you’re using body wash, there’s less of a need for wash cloths. :)

        • MizzCam

          Exactly. I have washcloths for guests, but that’s about it. I have a sponge thingy for my body, a loofah, and exfoliating gloves for my face. I haven’t used a washcloth in years.

        • A Woman’s Eyes

          oh no, you still need a washcloth even if you use body wash. I use a body wash for my body and washcloth for my face. I shall never use something that I wipe my butt with to wash my face! Eww!!

          That reminds me: Not just a washcloth, but a washcloth for your face and a washcloth for your body (if you don’t use a body wash).

          • xLadyTx


  • 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.

    • Chad C.

      Co sign on the black Last Supper picture. Also, my mom has 2 pictures of black angels

    •!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

      Spray Starch

      I learned in college that black folks are some of the only folks who still iron every day.