Blackness in America is an all encompassing state and experience that encapsulates a collective history and heritage. With that history and heritage comes a common wisdom, but counter to that common wisdom are mysteries.
Gather ‘round the big wicker chair as we examine and explore some of these Mysteries of Blackness and search for the unanswered questions of negritude. Let us journey together to ask the seemingly impossible questions and, perhaps, unearth the truth.
1. How does Murray’s Hair Care Products stay in business?
It’s a product you only buy once, maybe twice in a lifetime. I don’t get how they maintain cashflow, meet quarterly goals, maintain share price and all that on a product that most men may only buy once or twice in a lifetime for less than $10?
2. What’s the proper way to prepare Ramen Noodles?
There’s two types of people in this world; the ones who open up a pack of Top Ramen and boil them whole, and the savages who insist on crushing up the noodles first before putting them in the water.
3. Why order Schlitz Malt Liquor if you know the bull is gonna bust through the wall?
You remember the commercials. Dude sidles up to the bar all smooth and shit (or Kool & The Gang dances in), gets ready to order a beer and someone tells him it’s time for The Bull. He agrees, orders the Schlitz Malt Liquor, the floor commences to shakin’ and a bull come barreling into the room.
If you’re a bar owner, aside from all of the other issues that might arise from serving malt liquor, isn’t the immediate threat raging bovine intruder enough for you to tell your beverage supplier that you’re just gonna pass this time?
4. Where is Egyptian Musk manufactured?
There ain’t no shortage of that shit. The Oil Man in every city, town and hamlet in the world got it. Who makes it and where and how could anyone stand to live next to a facility that always smells like a high school junior named Kima?
5. What’s the first thing that happens at church?
We all know that church starts at 10:30am and we all know that we don’t show up ‘til ‘bout 10:45-11:00. So how does a church service actually kick off? Has anyone actually been physically present when someone got up and said, “Aiight, we churchin’ now. Assume praise positions.”?
6. Why does your auntie house always smell like that?
You know the smell. It’s like a mix of old fried chicken, kerosene heat, 1977 and Ivory Soap. And then they got the nerve to want to ask you if you want something to eat. Like you could actually stand to chew on food while your nostrils are being assaulted by the aroma of old wet bibles.
7. Where do old Black women buy their candy?
The strawberry ones. Where do they come from?
8. Do people ever catch the holy ghost outside of church?
Is it a condition? Like, once you get touched by the spirit, is it always with you? You’re at home, watching Unsung and then you just break into spontaneous and violent praise and now you gotta call in to work and say “I can’t make it in tomorrow, my ghost is actin’ up again.” Does that happen?
9. Do natural-born Africans ever wear Kente cloth?
I ain’t never seen my relatives rocking it.
10. What’s the “grace line” on food?
We all know to bow our heads and give thanks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but at what point is a food item being consumed not worthy of a blessing? Do we stop at meals? Do we include snacks? Are you obligated to bless that bag of Flamin’ Hots with the same faith and fervor you had for that meal from Boston Market? And don’t get me started on leftovers.