10 things that are considered Taboo within black societies. Actually not all of these things are taboo, this post just attempts to explore the things that the majority of black folk don’t do (based off the YouTube series Black Folk Don’t). I understand that times have changed within the past 10 even 20 years and people may actually refute these claims, now but I know in my own experience that these topics were a no go for black people a good 20 years ago. This is not to say that black folk absolutely don’t do these things, but these things are definitely not encouraged
Being an Atheist –
Black folk don’t do atheism. Spirituality is a big thing for black people. You cannot come between us and our God. Black people as a whole have gone through a lot, and if it wasn’t for God we wouldn’t have made it through. Spirituality keeps us functioning. Spiritual rituals no matter what shape or form they may take is the core of our being. Telling a black person there is no God is like telling them to jump out of a plane without a parachute (or even with one for some black people LOL).
Black folk don’t commit suicide. This topic is particularly frowned upon within African communities. So much so that the person who did that is not given a proper burial. Having had my own personal experience with this, this is very difficult for me to write about. We tend to ignore mental health issues, (which I’ll touch on later) or cries for help in the form of self harm all in the hope that the person will, toughen up and ride through the storm. These thoughts also go hand in hand with our spiritual views too…Thou shalt not kill right??? Unfortunately depression unchecked can kill you from the inside out.
Eat raw meat –
Every time I used to go to a restaurant with my fellow black folk and order a steak, everybody around the table would ask for their meat to be WELL DONE. Lately I’m hearing people asking for meat medium well done…getting a bit riskay. Meat cooked at home by our parents is washed with lemon or lime and cooked thoroughly ensuring there is no blood left within the meat. This was to ensure there was no harmful bacteria ingested, and again spirituality plays a big part as there are biblical scriptures that stress not to eat blood (Leviticus 17,10). When the news would report the likes of Swine Flu and Mad Cow Disease, I knew a guy who would always say that the cure for these things would be to cook your food properly, LOL. Nowadays because of the hormones that are being pumped into the meat more and more people are becoming vegetarian or vegan.
Go camping –
Black folk don’t like the unknown. We don’t have time to go investigating strange noises in the woods. We don’t like wild animals or creeping things. We don’t like putting ourselves in situations we can’t get out of, so usually camping in the woods is a no go for us. Although I actually have…at a festival with thousands of other people though.
Black people don’t really keep pets. It’s a struggle to feed our own households let alone another mouth to feed. If we do have pets we definitely don’t sleep with them in our beds or allow them to eat from the same plate, eeeewww.
Black women especially don’t like to get their hair wet, because the hair they’ve paid for will get messed up or natural hair shrinks down to the scalp and nobody wants to deal with that. Also a lot of black peeps don’t know how to swim because they never learnt when they were young. At the most black folk dip their feet in a pool all day long, and the majority will stay by the shore on the beach. Like I mentioned earlier we don’t like the unknown so where the sea starts to get murky and we can no longer see through it, we don’t go beyond that point.
…and now for the greatest taboo. I think talking about it is probably more of a taboo than practicing it in this day and age. Yes, homosexuality is frowned upon within the black community and again I think this way of thinking is linked to our spiritual views. Everybody knows what happened to the cities Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) and its from these stories that ragga songs like ‘Bun down the chi chi’ and “Boom bye bye inna batty bwoy ‘ed’ comes from.
I live in Dubai, and I fly back to my home town at least 3 times a year. I’ve been there for 4 years and every time I’m on the plane, I can count on one hand how many black people are on there. Sometimes its just me! Although I do believe black people are travelling more often now, we still don’t back pack alone or hitchhike…it’s just too dangerous.
Put leashes on their children –
My mum’s friend (a white woman) used to put her mixed race child on a leash LOOOOOOOL (sorry I’m laughing out loud as I type this because its too funny). Black people don’t do that because all it takes is one look to keep a child in check…wondering off…which part?
Go to therapy –
As I mentioned earlier, mental health issues seem to get ignored in the black community and we tend not to invest in shrinks. Church is the local shrink for black folk. This is really bad and although I’m kinda talking tongue in cheek about the issue, it is a very serious one and we as a people should take it more seriously. Talking about things is therapy and even if you don’t want to tell your personal business to a stranger, invest your energy in making good friends. All a person needs is one good friend (or even family member) that you can trust, that will listen and give you good sound advice.
What do you think? Let me know if there are anymore, by leaving a comment below.
4 thoughts on “Taboo”
Thanks for this post. Very interesting!
I’m finally declaring myself as mixed raced as I have broken five taboos.
I had a pet cat for ten years…( Mind you…we got here due to the rodents)..
I camped last year for a week in Newforest alone in a two tent for a church conference.
I have traveled to thirty countries and will be backpacking this summer. Yaay! I also backpacked around East Africa.
I also had my first counselling session on the first day of this year.
On a serious note though. Mental health is huge. More needs to be done and we should speak out more. Unfortunately this facade we have to maintain does us no favours.
Prayer, counselling, exercise, eating well and being in a good environment are some factors which are conducive to better well-being. Talking with one another and sharing our concerns are also important.
Typical things that stick with us across the ages, At large this is us haha, but 2017 it’s nice seeing our people break out of certain things, but I lover some things that are just marinated with melanin!!!
(bait things about blk folks ) African culture, use your right hand (esp wit elders), over cook in parties so there’s these visitors have takeaway (don’t forget the containers), loud af at the barbers, (women getting your hair done) watching sports with the fam sippin on supermalt
One big taboo though is snitching…
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This is spot on! In Africa, there are a number of taboos that emanated from cultural beliefs which dominated the pre colonial era. Acts such as – walking over another’s legs, handing people items with a left hand, eating with your left hand, sleeping on your bed with your head in the position your leg should ordinarily be, whistling at night, etc are still regarded as taboos to date.
However, while Superstitious beliefs are part and parcel of our culture, we are slowly becoming more accustomed to perspectives predominant in the western world, which have diluted the effect of these so-called taboos.
Wow i didn’t know all of those were taboos! Whistling at night yuh nuh! I’ve learnt something new today 🙂