3 Ways Being Hood has Prepared You for the Coronavirus

My PostI am coming to you, writing this, from the comfort of my home. I imagine many of you are reading this from your homes, too.

As I am writing this, it’s lunch time and because of the coronavirus and all its nasty impacts, I am now tasked to prepare yet another of my own meals. As of this writing, I have now prepared 100% of my own meals for the past two days. My will power is dwindling and has been stretched to its limits.

Trying to avoid having to clean YET ANOTHER pot, I have decided to eat leftovers. For what I have on hand, the fastest leftovers is the dish preferred by Baby Boomer Black moms everywhere: spaghetti.

As I prepare to heat up the spaghetti, I realize that right now, in these high stakes moments, I have turned on myself, doing to myself what I said I would never do, and that is to tell MYSELF: “Self, IT’S SOME SPAGHETTI IN THERE!” when I ask myself what’s for lunch. I have heard “It’s some spaghetti in there” from my own mother many times, but never, ever, did I think I would have to say those words to myself. I prepare myself to eat the “spaghetti that’s in there” and  long for the sweet embrace of Wendy’s chicken nuggets.

So, before I begrudgingly but somehow also thankfully, “go sit down somewhere” and eat this spaghetti that was “in there”, I wanted to share 3 other ways that “hood / poor / brown / insert your own adjective here/ ghetto” people are specially equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemonium.

Hood Advantage #1: You Likely Have Leftovers

leftovers

Image credit: https://giphy.com/gifs/Bounce-TV-comedy-bounce-3ov9jEOwe82gUOm6D6

As I have already mentioned, you probably already “got some spaghetti in there.” You might also have:

  • Some Chinese takeout from a few days ago, before that RONA got you shook
  • Some fruit that is soft, but not quite old enough for you to be afraid to eat it
  • Some more fruit that can be thrown into a smoothie that you will drink and wish was ice cream
  • Some green vegetables that you can finally use to make that recipe from the New York Times that you definitely wouldn’t otherwise make unless you just had to (shots fired at myself)
  • Lots of sauce packets from fast food places you’d really like to go to right now

Hood Advantage #2: Your Momma Already Programmed You to be a Germaphobe

germaphobe

https://giphy.com/gifs/funny-star-trek-school-3ne4TnvHYegzm

My mom has been mostly healthy her whole life (so thankful!) and this coronavirus stuff has made me realize why my mom, and other Black moms, are seemingly super people when it comes to avoiding germs and viruses: they “don’t fool with them nasty ass people.” Having a hood momma has prepared you to avoid lots of coronavirus having ass people, places, and situations.

Your mom, like my own, probably does the following things to MAKE SURE they are not, in fact, fooling with them nasty ass people:

  • Hovering over the toilet in public bathrooms
  • Washing your hands before and after you use a public bathroombecause you had to touch that nasty ass door to get in there anyway
  • Opening all public doors with a paper towel, your sleeve, or jacket hem
  • Keeping *STOCKED UP* on cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, 24/7, 365 days per year and not just cleaning “when this corona thang is going on”
  • Keeping community sized tissue boxes in their purses *all of the time.* My own mother has given tissues to complete strangers…and then washed her hands afterwards (because although my mom is a saint, she still ain’t “fooling with them nasty ass people”)

Hood Advantage #3: You Already Know How to “Not be Tripping”

oprah

https://giphy.com/gifs/oprah-bath-relaxing-MvZKiDJmB1XEs

Look, growing up in the hood and/or poor (rich people and scholars call this being “socioeconomically disadvantaged”) is no cake walk. Many aspects of hood life require you to be thankful, gracious, flexible, and resilient. These four qualities produce people who are not, in fact, “really tripping.”

Sure, you are likely taking the necessary health precautions, but if you have been able to somehow still maintain your mental health levels so far, your hood upbringing may be to thank.

Growing up in the hood requires you to learn to sometimes just accept things as they are. Learning to accept things as they are while simultaneously not being discouraged by them, is not only a Zen Master level type skill; it’s also the entire curriculum required to pass Hood 101.

Here are a few hood examples of things that are not easily or quickly change, but despite how much these things suck, hood people continue to live, laugh, love, thrive, and “keep it moving”…

For example:

  • The police might “always be around when nobody even called they ass.”
  • They got money “for all that other shit but won’t fix these raggedy ass streets.”also, “if these raggedy ass streets was over there by where them rich folks live at, they woulda BEEN fixed.”
  • Your next door neighbors may suffer from unwarranted feelings of superiority to you aka “Susie Q nem think she better than us because ole boy she fooling with done went and bought her that old raggedy ass Cadillac.”

You get the idea.

These are all things that just have to be accepted as they are for the time being. And, thanks to your hood conditioning and magma cum laude status as a fine graduate of the hood, you’re especially capable of getting through this coronavirus shit! For real, you ain’t even trippin’ off this coronavirus shit. You’ve got your ginger ale, saltines, and your momma’s prayers…what is there to be tripping about?

Now, if you or someone you know is not from the hood, disinfect your phone and call them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that right now, it is what it is. Tell them to don’t fool with no nasty ass people. And most importantly, tell them that there is, hidden away, in the recesses of the fridge, already SOME SPAGHETTI IN THERE!

Proof that in my house, there really was some spaghetti in there:

IMG_5895

3 Reasons Why I Loved “Black Panther”

By this time, everybody and their momma has seen the new “Black Panther” movie, so I hope it’s safe to write about it. I don’t want to be that guy who spoiled things for others.

I had been avoiding most social media coverage of the film to make sure I did not accidentally read any spoilers. Aside from watching the trailer and seeing all of the excellent reviews, I knew almost nothing about the movie.

I finally saw it on Tuesday and I LOVED IT. Here’s why:

Women Warriors

This movie broke with the tradition of a muscly/smart/rich/kindhearted/some combination of the four White dude being the savior of everyone in the film. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love muscly/smart/rich/kindhearted White dudes probably as much as anyone else. I love the other Marvel movies (Thor, IronMan, etc.) and I even love the DC movies (even though, shame on them for not doing more with the latest Superman story, but I won’t get into my disappointment about that).

HOWEVER…
I am both Black and female and of course it was a welcome surprise to see Black female leads playing WARRIORS and SCIENTISTS. I won’t spoil it for anyone else, but OMG GO SEE THIS MOVIE. No matter your color or shape of your genitals, it’s amazing.

To be honest, I actually CRIED when I realized the warriors were women. Yes, I sat in the movie theater and cried real tears of joy. I was SO EXCITED to see Black women being the warriors. Is this what it’s like to be a White dude watching “Star Wars?” OMG I can finally relate. I GET IT. The shit’s super exciting!

I can also honestly say that I never *truly* understood how important it is to see representations of yourself in media until yesterday. I have read countless magazines and never felt the pressure to be skinnier, or lighter, or have a specific kind of hair. I usually feel nothing. I am writer, so I have always focused on the written content of printed media instead of the photos.

But, to actually feel SOMETHING when you see people in media who look like you, wow, that’s amazing. So I cried. Now the internet knows about it and I don’t care. Go see the damn movie. I’m going to see it again.

The gentlemen in the movie are lovely (Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan are both intellectually and physically amazing, for sure), but THE WOMEN make the movie. Lupita, Letitia, Angela, all of them, I love them.

Beautiful and Rich Cinematography

When you go see it at the theater, try to see it in IMAX if you can. I just happened to see it in IMAX because the movie timing fit my schedule, but what a happy accident. Seeing it on such a huge screen, I felt enveloped in all of the colors and emotion of the story. I especially loved all of the high tech and fight scenes. It’s a beautiful experience, both visually and emotionally.

The After Effect

I actually took a mid-day break from work to go see the movie because I wasn’t feeling well and I was in a deep funk. I couldn’t concentrate at all, so I figured it was worthless to just keep sitting at my desk, getting more and more frustrated.

After the movie, I felt so lifted and inspired. Sometimes I am a pretty staunch cynic, pretty much walking around in my own atmosphere of logical reasoning. But after the movie, the first thing I did was drive to Starbucks and engage a STRANGER in talking about the movie.

I did not drink or eat anything during the movie because I have a bladder the size of a peanut and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing a millisecond to go to the ladies’ room. So, at the end of the movie, I was parched. The drive-thru attendant asked me how my day ways, and I YELLED “IT IS GREAT! I JUST CAME FROM SEEING BLACK PANTHER!!!” GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I was on some kind of weird high! I told her to go see it and after she responded with a nice, but cordial, response, I said again, “NO, YOU REALLY MUST GO SEE IT.” It’s like I’d found the cure to melancholy at the movie theater and it was my job to tell everyone about it.

Those are my top three reasons for loving “Black Panther.” It is amazingly well done and it truly deserves all of the praise that you read about on the Internet. I hope you, too, will go see it…and again, and again, and again, and a fourth time for good measure.

WAKANDA FOREVER

Until tomorrow, my friends…