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20 of My Favorite Black Grandma-isms

20 of My Favorite Black Grandma-isms

If I were to describe my mom in one phrase, that phrase would be high maintenance. My Grandma Lolo, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. For most of my childhood, I can remember her sitting comfortably on the couch in the front room, wearing nothing but her bra and a pair of jogging pants. The phone was always pressed to her ear for hours while she caught up on Young & the Restless. When she wasn’t busy watching a house full of badass grandkids who were setting the carpet on fire (guilty as charged) or playing Cowboys and Indians with my grandad’s loaded shotgun (yeah…that happened), you could find her leading Bible study, ushering at a funeral, or doing missionary work in our community.

Over the years, she offered my cousins and me a lifetime of advice, often disguised in crazy sayings I like to call “black grandma-isms.” She’d say things, like “If you gon’ be something, be the best,” “You attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar,” “Never tell a man everything,” and “If you sleep with a man, make him pay for it, even if it’s just a quarter.” Her advice, both solicited and unsolicited, always came from a place of love and played a major part in shaping me into the businesswoman I am today. She never hid her truth or tried to protect me from the harsh realities that came with being a black woman in America.

She not only inspired me to be the best version of myself possible but also pushed me to be authentically me. Grandma Lolo was always unapologetically herself, no matter who was around. This philosophy is still prevalent in my life today and in the way I manage my company.

So, in honor of Grandma Lolo and the millions of incredible black grandmas offering up priceless wisdom and guidance, I took to Instagram and asked you, the tgin fam, to share some of your favorite black grandma-isms you grew up on. Here are 20 of my favorites!

  • @luv.angelaxoxo: “Don’t give a man enough money to buy a mosquito a pair of stockings…Grandma Gracie Lee Robinson”
  • @chasethewaist: “Every goodbye ain’t gone, every shut eye ain’t sleep.”
  • @therealmonicaj: “You don’t believe fat meat greasy, huh?”
  • @toya_saaa: “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are.
  • @itslauren_89: “Every grin ain’t a friend.”
  • @crystal_light827: “Every closed eye isn’t sleep.”
  • @operation_phase2: “Idle hand is the devil work.”
  • @au_naturale_hustle6: “Don’t let the right hand know what the left one is doing.”
  • @arteaa23: “Every new broom sweeps clean.”
  • @dopelikedasia: “All skin folk ain’t kinfolk.”
  • @sknight39: “You made your bed, so lie in it!”
  • @alf130: “Excuses are like butts. Everyone has then, and they all stink!”
  • @jbrylander: “Everything good to ya ain’t good for ya.”
  • @danigrl01: “I don’t care how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides!”
  • @the_titansclash: “If that man doesn’t treat you right, tell him to put two eggs in his shoes and beat it!”
  • @rominabrown: “A hit dog will holler.”
  • @ayyyyyy_shanti: “Never bite the hand that feeds you.”
  • @lynnepoowhtitdooo: “Keep a prayer on your lips.”
  • @krystlekleer: “If things don’t go your way, go the thing’s way.”
  • @crownjewel21: “Everything that glitters ain’t gold.”

No matter how crazy our grandmas’ advice was, at least we knew they always had our back and our best interests at heart.


Who has inspired you to be your most authentic self?

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