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Opinion Editorial Desk

11 Household Items That Have An Alternative Use For Black Folk

Tell me I'm lying.

While we know that everyone's household is different, there are a few household items that I believe are fundamental to black folks. These items mean something different to us based on our experiences. While an outsider looking in may think of these things as simply everyday possessions, we know there's a story with all of these items. Hopefully taking a look at few of them will bring you back to what it was like growing up in your parents' and grandparents' homes. Maybe you'll even realize how many of these items mean the same thing to you now in your own household.

1. A Wooden Spoon

Photo: Pinterest

A wooden spoon can be used for several things: stirring a pot of greens, mixing a cake, or my personal favorite, for a whooping. 

2. A Toothbrush


Photo: Pinterest

It's a right of passage to know that if you want your edges laid, you need a toothbrush. Laid and slayed, honey.

3. A Grocery Bag


Photo: Pinterest

Every black household has a grocery bag full of more grocery bags. I call it resourcefulness, tbh.

4. A Butter Container

Photo: Twitter

Black people save all types of plastic containers (more resourcefulness), but butter containers are infamous for being full of anything other than butter. 

5. "The" Royal Dansk Container 


Photo: Twitter

Somewhere in your mama's house is a cookie bin like this with sewing supply in it. If you actually get one of these bins with cookies in it, you are lucky.

6. The Jar of Bacon Grease 

Photo: Pinterest

If your mama didn't have a saved jar of bacon grease in her house, I'm sure your grandmother did. 

7. The "Forbidden" Living Room

Photo: AliExpress

We all had that one room at our parents or grandparents house that we were forbidden to enter. Its sole purpose was for decoration. It's where the parents housed all of the "good stuff". Never get caught in this room. 


8. A Belt

Photo: Amazon

"Go get the belt" is all I need to say. (and it's not to hold your pants up) 

9. Vaseline

Photo: Vaseline

Vaseline is lotion, lip balm, and a moisturizer. Everybody knows that person whose parents always got carried away with the vaseline on their face.

10. Cast Iron Skillet

Photo: Amazon

A cast iron skillet is a staple for black food. If your cornbread isn't made in a cast iron skillet, is it really cornbread?

11. Vapor Rub

Photo: Pinterest

I'm not sure what makes vapor rub so amazing, but our grandparents swore by it. It's still passed down from generation to generation. Until this day, I use socks and vapor rub when I'm sick, whether it's a headache or a sore throat.

Black people are the most creative, resourceful people on the planet. What are some items in your home that have double usages? Let us know in the comments below. 


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22 year old writer from Cleveland, OH, living in Mississippi, destined for coastal living. Deep thinker, wine drinker. Contact me: malindajny@gmail.com

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