View Full Version : Top 20 Superstitions By Black People


Iwanthealthyhair67
08-05-2010, 08:06 AM
Is this true


http://newsone.com/files/2010/08/main-pic.jpg
African-American superstitions originate from a mixture of ancient African religion, Native American traditions, and European folklore.

Growing up do you remember hearing that an itchy palm means you are going to receive money soon? Or stepping on a crack can break your motherís back? Or dreaming of fish means someone you know is pregnant?
In our technologically savvy times some of these are regarded as foolish wives tales, but superstition was part of a legitimate belief system during slavery. There are many recorded instances of slave masters who stated they saw Black magical conjurers that healed the sick, performed spells and curses, and taught others these superstitions.
Although many typically wonít admit they are superstitious, there are many superstitions black people believe in because of how deeply ingrained they are in Black culture.
I have compiled a list of 20 superstitions that many black people pass on generation upon generation.
1. Step on a crack, break your motherís back.


I remember learning this rhyme as a child, and always thought of it as an innocent childish game, but feared the repercussions of stepping on that infamous crack in the pavement. I recently learned that the original rhyme was far from innocent: ďStep on a crack and your mother will turn black.Ē It is believed to come from the late 19th century racism. Who would have known?!
2. If your ear is ringing someone is talking about you.


I know many people who believe this one. This superstition creates paranoia in many because nobody wants to find out someone is talking about them behind their back.
3. Donít cut a babyís hair before his/her first birthday.


If you do so they will have ďbadĒ hair or bad luck. This wives tale may hold valid reasoning. African American hair naturally changes consistency and texture many times throughout their lifetimes, and methods of hair cuts can affect the look or texture. This old wives tale originates from the fear of coarse, ďharder to manageĒ hair many refer to as ďbadĒ hair, along with a recorded history of babies who have gotten sick because they did not have hair to help in keeping them warm. Iíd probably research more before I tried it on my child.
4.Sunshine,Raining, and Thunder at the same time: The devil is beating his wife.


This is called a Sunshower when the sun is shining and it is raining and/or thunder and lightning at the same time. Sun showers are very rare occurrences. Does that mean that the devil keeps his wife happy typically?
5. If you keep making funny faces, one day it will get stuck that way.


As a child I always believed this one. I remember seeing a man with very big eyes, and believed that the condition was self-inflicted. It is a humorous superstition, although we all know that your face will not really get stuck.

6. If your palm is itching that means that you are coming into some money.

An itching in the right palm means coming gain; in the left, coming loss.
Whenever my momís right palm would itch, we would go buy lottery tickets. We have yet to win, but the itchy palm superstition is one of my favorites to this day.
7. Donít talk on the phone or turn on the TV while it is thundering and lightning.


Apparently you can get struck by lightning. I always thought of this as a superstition, but recently found out that this one was true. If you are using a landline telephone, you can be shocked by a lightning bolt. There have been lightening related deaths, due the lightning hitting a home and the current passing through wires. Preventative measures have been implemented into most home appliances, but the risk still exists.
8. Donít put your purse on the floor or youíll stay broke.


I think this superstition is used to teach people accountability. A magic curse may not be the reason youíre broke if you put your purse on the floor, but it might be the issue if youíre not paying attention to your purse and the valuables inside of it. Although I donít believe this superstition, I avoid removing a womanís purse off of the floor at all costs. It would be disrespectful on one hand, and wouldnít want to be blamed for ďcursingĒ someone to be broke.
9. Donít go to the zoo when you are pregnant.


Your baby will come out looking like an animal, particularly a monkey.
This superstition sounds like it was also created from racist notions. I was unable to find the origin of this superstition, while there has yet to be a baby who has transformed into an animal. I am sure this superstition keeps pregnant women away from the zoo.
10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby.


A friend from college once received a call from her grandmother, asking her if she was pregnant. Her grandmother had a dream of fish. Believe it or not, my friend was pregnant. Call it mothers intuition, or mysticism, it is a very interesting superstition.
11. Animals know when you are pregnant.


This superstition is somewhat true. Some scientists believe that a dogís keen sense of smell allows it to notice a hormonal difference in a woman when sheís pregnant. This phenomena is not completely explainable, but does happen.
12. If you break a mirror, you will have 7 years of bad luck.


Luck is a funny thing. We avoid things that can create bad luck, and believe that we can use lucky items to change our bad luck to good luck. Iíve broken a few mirrors in my life, possibly the reason I have yet to win the lottery.
13. Itís bad luck to cross a black catís path.


This is a timeless myth that originates from multiple cultures. Black cats seem to be mystical, sneaky, and even evil. It is always creepy to cross paths with a black cat at night when you are walking alone. It kind of makes you wonder what might happen next.
14. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. Because heíll walk out your life with them.


I know many women who believe this superstition. I never heard of anyone who this has happened to, but I can imagine there are people who can lay claim to this.
15. You will catch a death of cold by walking around with wet hair.


This one is true. Your head releases most of the heat in your body. If your hair is wet and you are in cold temperatures, you are putting your body at risk of getting a cold.
16. Girls are carried high; boys are carried low.


This is a myth about predicting the gender of a baby during pregnancy. Doctors have proven that this superstition is not true. In fact the way the baby is carried depends on muscle tone or the way the baby has positioned itself in the uterus. It is fun to speculate or guess the gender, but this one isnít scientifically true.
17. If you allow children to sweep the floor, they will sweep up unwanted guests.


I have heard this one before and believe there is some truth to it. Children typically take a long time to do mundane tasks like cleaning, so I can imagine that any guests who arrive during your cleaning process are ďunwanted.Ē
18. When you cross the railroad tracks you touch a screw for safe crossings.


I never listened to this superstition as a child. I always thought it was better luck to get across the tracks as fast as you could.
19. Never put your hat on a bed, or you will have bad luck (or worse die).


I have been guilty numerous times of putting a hat on a bed, and never thought twice about it until I saw a superstitious friendsí reaction. The worst consequence I can remember was when someone laid down on my hat. Poor hat.
20. Splitting the Pole Gives you bad luck.


If you are walking with someone, never let a pole, sign, or scaffold, break the plane between the both of you. After a bad experience, I always take heed to this superstition. One day during the winter I was walking down the street with a group of friends towards a pole. My friends warned me not to split the pole, and said I should walk on the same side of the pole they were walking on. I ignored them, and after a few steps, slipped and fell on black ice. From now on, I donít split poles at all, or I say ďbread and butterĒ to protect myself from the ensuing bad luck.

hanna_light
08-05-2010, 08:40 AM
3. Don’t cut a baby’s hair before his/her first birthday. I've heard a variation of this one that says don't cut baby's hair until they could talk

4.Sunshine,Raining, and Thunder at the same time: The devil is beating his wife. In the Bahamas we would say that the devil is beating his wife for potcake.

8. Don’t put your purse on the floor or you’ll stay broke. I heard this one from my Mom but recently I caught her doing the exact thing she warned me not to do, she said that it didn't matter because God was her provider.

10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby. I've heard this one time and time again. It's proven someone had this type of dream that lead to the revelation that my niece was pregnant

14. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. Because he’ll walk out your life with them. Reason 101 my marriage didn't workout it had nothing to do with his cheating but the shoes definitely lead to the downfall of the marriage.

mskyra
08-05-2010, 08:45 AM
LOL! Well I too have heard about the fish dream and yes, each time someone is preggers..So far, I have not bought my husband any shoes, so maybe I won't....

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-05-2010, 09:11 AM
haven't heard this one in a long time
4.Sunshine,Raining, and Thunder at the same time: The devil is beating his wife. In the Bahamas we would say that the devil is beating his wife for potcake.

Only thing you will get is bacteria all over your bag
8. Donít put your purse on the floor or youíll stay broke. I heard this one from my Mom but recently I caught her doing the exact thing she warned me not to do, she said that it didn't matter because God was her provider.

I beleive this is true
10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby. I've heard this one time and time again. It's proven someone had this type of dream that lead to the revelation that my niece was pregnant

LOL @ you
bought shoes before and he left, in retrospect I think he was on his way out long time...
14. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. Because heíll walk out your life with them. Reason 101 my marriage didn't workout it had nothing to do with his cheating but the shoes definitely lead to the downfall of the marriage.[/QUOTE]

you forgo one, itching hands....

jusstoya
08-05-2010, 09:13 AM
#8 I hadn't heard until I went to get my hair braided at this African shop and the girls went crazy when I sat my purse down. LOL

TDC1978
08-05-2010, 09:42 AM
These are great, I hadn't heard of some of them, but the dreaming about fish...I believe that one! My grandmother used to have those dreams and when she did my mom or one of the women in our family was always preggers.

sweets
08-05-2010, 10:11 AM
heard them all...lol some seem true or its just coincidence

angel_hair
08-05-2010, 10:41 AM
Heard them all and most are true somewhat... but hey I tend to stay out the supernatural world.

ButterflyHair
08-05-2010, 10:49 AM
LOL, these bring back memories.

Saunta2
08-05-2010, 04:09 PM
3. Donít cut a babyís hair before his/her first birthday. I've heard a variation of this one that says don't cut baby's hair until they could talk

4.Sunshine,Raining, and Thunder at the same time: The devil is beating his wife. In the Bahamas we would say that the devil is beating his wife for potcake.

8. Donít put your purse on the floor or youíll stay broke. I heard this one from my Mom but recently I caught her doing the exact thing she warned me not to do, she said that it didn't matter because God was her provider.

10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby. I've heard this one time and time again. It's proven someone had this type of dream that lead to the revelation that my niece was pregnant

14. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. Because heíll walk out your life with them. Reason 101 my marriage didn't workout it had nothing to do with his cheating but the shoes definitely lead to the downfall of the marriage.

In Barbados we say the devil and his wife are fighting for the cou-cou stick

Dividir
08-05-2010, 04:25 PM
lol

Growing up do you remember hearing that an itchy palm means you are going to receive money soon? yep, well only itchy right palm. Itchy lefy means some money is leaving you!
2. If your ear is ringing someone is talking about you.


3. Donít cut a babyís hair before his/her first birthday.
A lot of africans belive this one! I probably wont cut my sons hair until he is 1, mostly because babies have squishy heads.


6. If your palm is itching that means that you are coming into some money.

An itching in the right palm means coming gain; in the left, coming loss.
Whenever my momís right palm would itch, we would go buy lottery tickets. We have yet to win, but the itchy palm superstition is one of my favorites to this day.

8. Donít put your purse on the floor or youíll stay broke.


I think this superstition is used to teach people accountability. A magic curse may not be the reason youíre broke if you put your purse on the floor, but it might be the issue if youíre not paying attention to your purse and the valuables inside of it. Although I donít believe this superstition, I avoid removing a womanís purse off of the floor at all costs. It would be disrespectful on one hand, and wouldnít want to be blamed for ďcursingĒ someone to be broke.

Thay is the first thing I thought

11. Animals know when you are pregnant.


I think young children know when you're pregnant

CherriPepsi
08-05-2010, 04:30 PM
I wish 14 was true. I would by that DUDE some shoes and he'd leave me ALONE....

curls4mea
08-05-2010, 06:12 PM
WOW. I've heard of them but they all sound so silly. I didnt cut my son's hair before one because the doctor told us to wait to make sure the soft spots were finished growing.

Halibel
08-05-2010, 06:52 PM
Is this true



1. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
5. If you keep making funny faces, one day it will get stuck that way.
7. Don’t talk on the phone or turn on the TV while it is thundering and lightning.
10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby.
12. If you break a mirror, you will have 7 years of bad luck.
13. It’s bad luck to cross a black cat’s path.
20. Splitting the Pole Gives you bad luck.





LOL I believed in all of these except for the crack one and fish dream one...only heard of other people's mamas talk about those two.

ursayollia
08-05-2010, 07:01 PM
Stuff my mom used to tell me:
1) "Don't put your purse on the floor. Money on the floor, money out the door!"
2) "Turn off the electricity when it's lightning! When I was little, I saw a cow get hit by lighting strike!" (What does a cow have to do with using the phone?)
3) My mom would have a hissy fit if you swept her feet with a broom, by accident.

The itchy left hand always works with me. Before my mom passed away, my left hand was tingling so badly! I went to the doctor and even got all kinds of heart monitoring tests! Thank the Lord, all was OK. After the funeral, my siblings and I received a nice inheritance! About three years ago, the left hand was itching like crazy and I got a pretty nice income tax refund.

evanny
08-05-2010, 07:10 PM
#1 didn't make me too happy....lol

Treece
08-05-2010, 09:58 PM
I probably shouldn't have read this as I'm kind of superstitious. I never split a pole when I'm walking with someone. I have to walk back and walk around the side they walked on.

And my mom's from Jamaica, and just a few weeks ago when it was SUNNY AND RAINING, lol, she said they used to call it that the devil and his wife were fighting for herringbone (or some other type of bone as I've found out lol).

Interesting stuffs.

ac22ford
08-05-2010, 10:20 PM
I've heard of a majority of these. Not sure if they are true but I know my cat definetly started acting different towards me since I've become pregnant.

kita
08-06-2010, 04:09 AM
This is so cute...

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 07:35 AM
I think 7 and 10 for me....sounds funny I know


LOL I believed in all of these except for the crack one and fish dream one...only heard of other people's mamas talk about those two.

HairObsessed
08-06-2010, 07:37 AM
Salt over the shoulder while cooking keeps the devil back!

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 07:40 AM
What's a cou cou stick

In Barbados we say the devil and his wife are fighting for the cou-cou stick

HairObsessed
08-06-2010, 07:44 AM
Keeping water under the bed when someone is dying for the soul. Cuban and African tradition...

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 08:40 AM
wow, I think lots of our traditions are unhealthy spiritually...

Saunta2
08-06-2010, 09:49 AM
What's a cou cou stick

A wooden paddle used to stir cou-cou when it is cooking. Do you know what cou-cou is? Couldn't find a picture of the stick all the pictures I saw were using a wooden spoon and that's just sooooo wrong. This is a picture of our national dish - Cou-cou and flying fish. They say that if a man marries a woman and she can't make a nice creamy, mellow cou-cou adn flyng fish he sends her packing back to her mother. I will never attmept cooking this though, lol. You gotta stand over the saucepan and keep stirrign with the cou-cou stick to prevent lumps and pour in okra slush all the time to make it smooth. UGH

http://bajan.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/flying-fish-coucou.jpg

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 09:53 AM
oh, so cou cou is like a soup or stew???

A wooden paddle used to stir cou-cou when it is cooking. Do you know what cou-cou is? Couldn't find a picture of the stick all the pictures I saw were using a wooden spoon and that's just sooooo wrong. This is a picture of our national dish - Cou-cou and flying fish.

http://bajan.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/flying-fish-coucou.jpg

Saunta2
08-06-2010, 10:01 AM
I've heard of a majority of these. Not sure if they are true but I know my cat definetly started acting different towards me since I've become pregnant.


Say WHAT!!!!!

Saunta2
08-06-2010, 10:07 AM
oh, so cou cou is like a soup or stew???


Oh no, no. It is normally served drowning in gravy that's wjhy it looks so. It is quite soild, the big yellow lump at the top of the plate is the cou cou all that other stuff is just gravy from the fish. It's made with just corn meal, okras, butter and salt.

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 10:11 AM
sounds interesting....I love okras

Oh no, no. It is normally served drowning in gravy that's wjhy it looks so. It is quite soild, the big yellow lump at the top of the plate is the cou cou all that other stuff is just gravy from the fish. It's made with just corn meal, okras, butter and salt.

Saunta2
08-06-2010, 10:22 AM
I heard that if you have a guest who is over staying their welcome, you discreetly put a little bowl of salt under their chair and they will soon leave.

There is also th Old Hag who sucks out the soul of babies when they are sleeping. She takes off her skin and creep in at the window or door. To prevent her from getting in you have to paint the babies room in blue or the the window or door with grains of salt, sand or rice. She has to count every single one before she can gain entrance. If the sun comes up and catches her she will die, or if anyone walkign the road sees the skin that she shed they can put salt in it and she won't be able to get it back on so she will die when the sun rises. I think this was just a folklore to explan SIDS though.

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-06-2010, 10:38 AM
serious folklore

angel_hair
08-06-2010, 11:40 AM
I've heard of a majority of these. Not sure if they are true but I know my cat definetly started acting different towards me since I've become pregnant.

Awwwwh CONGRATS honey! Enjoy this journey!!!!

ysm
08-08-2010, 01:51 PM
I've heard of a majority of these. Not sure if they are true but I know my cat definetly started acting different towards me since I've become pregnant.

Say WHAT!!!!!


That's what I said!! :eek: Congrats AC!!! :D

ysm
08-08-2010, 01:57 PM
Oh no, no. It is normally served drowning in gravy that's wjhy it looks so. It is quite soild, the big yellow lump at the top of the plate is the cou cou all that other stuff is just gravy from the fish. It's made with just corn meal, okras, butter and salt.

sounds good. is cou-cou the same as cous-cous?

ysm
08-08-2010, 02:05 PM
Is this true
1. Step on a crack, break your motherís back.
2. If your ear is ringing someone is talking about you.
3. Donít cut a babyís hair before his/her first birthday.
4.Sunshine,Raining, and Thunder at the same time: The devil is beating his wife.
5. If you keep making funny faces, one day it will get stuck that way.
6. If your palm is itching that means that you are coming into some money.
7. Donít talk on the phone or turn on the TV while it is thundering and lightning.
8. Donít put your purse on the floor or youíll stay broke.
9. Donít go to the zoo when you are pregnant.
10. Fish dreams means that someone is having a baby.
11. Animals know when you are pregnant.
12. If you break a mirror, you will have 7 years of bad luck.
13. Itís bad luck to cross a black catís path.
14. Never buy your boyfriend or husband shoes as a gift. Because heíll walk out your life with them.
15. You will catch a death of cold by walking around with wet hair.
16. Girls are carried high; boys are carried low.
17. If you allow children to sweep the floor, they will sweep up unwanted guests.
18. When you cross the railroad tracks you touch a screw for safe crossings.
19. Never put your hat on a bed, or you will have bad luck (or worse die).
20. Splitting the Pole Gives you bad luck.

I remember all of these except for #s 8, 9 , 10, 17 and 18. To this day, my dad never puts his hat on the bed. I ALWAYS say "bread n butter" when I split a pole. Even if I'm walking amongst strangers. and I still get the urge to get off the phone if a storm is coming. My friends laugh at me, but some home training just can't be broken. :o

NFW_THA_QUEEN13
08-08-2010, 02:50 PM
The only one I've heard of was the first one. I thought #7 is a fact because you can get Electricuted! I only believe what I want to and God is the only person in control of my life. But it was interesting to hear those other superstitions...Never heard them before. :)

HairObsessed
08-08-2010, 05:56 PM
ITA! You hit that on the nail!

wow, I think lots of our traditions are unhealthy spiritually...



Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk

Saunta2
08-09-2010, 04:57 AM
sounds good. is cou-cou the same as cous-cous?


Nope, I don't believe it is. Cou cou is the national dish of Barbados, it's a meal that was cooked by the slaves and passed down to off spring. Any self-respecting Bajan woman or any woman with a Bajan man should know how to cook it. Shame on me :o

Aight I just googled cous cous and it is definitely not the same or even close.

Mrs.Harrington
08-09-2010, 06:10 AM
Stuff my mom used to tell me:
1) "Don't put your purse on the floor. Money on the floor, money out the door!"
2) "Turn off the electricity when it's lightning! When I was little, I saw a cow get hit by lighting strike!" (What does a cow have to do with using the phone?)
3) My mom would have a hissy fit if you swept her feet with a broom, by accident.

The itchy left hand always works with me. Before my mom passed away, my left hand was tingling so badly! I went to the doctor and even got all kinds of heart monitoring tests! Thank the Lord, all was OK. After the funeral, my siblings and I received a nice inheritance! About three years ago, the left hand was itching like crazy and I got a pretty nice income tax refund.

LOL @ the bolded!

Im not too superstitious, I've broken my share of mirrors, split numerous poles, I let umbrellas up in the house, but I do find it annoying when someone sweeps my feet! The fish dream has always proven to be accurate though. My mom believes the superstition about right eye jumping? I can't remember the whole saying b/c I never believed it.

I remember when I was little though we always avoided cracks in the sidewalks b/c we didnt wanna break our mothers back. Well one day I got punished for something and I got mad at her and I thought stepping on that crack would solve all my problems lol. Well I found out it didnt work. I was bad.

Iwanthealthyhair67
08-09-2010, 09:05 AM
here are the do's and don't during and lightning storm...still looking for the mirror theory but staying off the phone is valid...


http://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/emergency/weather/lightning/