10 Superstitions Black Folk Can’t Let Go Of

July 29, 2013  |  
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10 Superstitions Black Folk Can't Let Go Of

Life can be frighteningly unpredictable. So, it’s no wonder that people look for clues, no matter how irrational, to exercise some type of control in their lives. The following superstitions, prevalent in the black community supposedly predict good, bad and sometimes scary things to come.

Palm Itching

Palm Itching

When your palms start itching it means more than dry skin. I remember as a kid complaining to my grandmother that my palm was itching. She promptly told me that some money was coming my way. Now, I can’t remember if this money ever came, but it was a nice thought to take my mind off of this uncomfortable feeling.

Don't Split the Pole

Don’t Split the Pole

If you find yourself walking down the street with another black person and suddenly an obstruction, like a pole, pops up in your path don’t split it– meaning both of you should walk on the same side of the object as you pass it instead of walking on opposite sides. It’s bad luck. I didn’t hear about this superstition until later in life so I’m always doing this, inadvertently. While I hear people get faux outraged when I do it, I don’t know if anyone really believes it to be true.

Fish Dreams

Fish Dreams

If you dream of fish, it doesn’t mean you have a strong desire to go swimming. Dreaming of fish means that someone you know is expecting a child in the near future. I know it sounds far fetched but this is a superstition I actually believe. It’s happened quite a few times in my own family as well as a few friends too. This one runs deep in the black community. The superstition was even referenced in the movie Soul Food. 

Transferring energy through the hair

Transferring energy through the hair

I can’t really say where I got this one from but I don’t allow just anyone to put their hands in my hair. And it might not be the reason you assume. A lot of black women have an issue with people touching their hair because they don’t want to feel like an exhibit in a zoo. I don’t generally have an issue with decent people touching my hair. But I definitely don’t want certain people to touch my hair because I believe the hair can absorb negative energy. In other words, if a person is shady or exudes a bad vibe it’s nothing for them to transmit that energy through your hair, which is dangerously close to your brain.

Don't Let White People Touch Your Hair

Don’t Let White People Touch Your Hair

Not only should you not let white people touch your hair because you’re not some type of rare specimen, but I’ve heard that back in the day white folks considered it “good luck” to rub a black person’s head. Not that you were letting people pet you in the first place, but now you have an additional reason to avoid all of that.

Menstrual Blood in Spaghetti

Menstrual Blood in Spaghetti

Fellas, ever wonder why your momma told you not to eat from just anybody? Well this “special spaghetti” might have something to do with it. This voodoo-ish type superstition says that if a woman puts some of her menstrual blood in your food and you eat it, you’ll fall in love with her. So unless you want a mouth full of menses, be careful who you let cook for you.

Don't Let People Take Your Picture

Don’t Let People Take Your Picture

Have you ever seen old folks run from the camera? It might not just be because they don’t think they look good. There might be a reason for that. An old superstition says that whenever some takes your picture, a piece of your soul is captured as well. Extreme? Yes. But I couldn’t make this one up if I tried.

Ear Itching

Ear Itching

Your ears been bothering you lately? That may mean that somebody’s chatting about you. You can only hope that they’re saying good things.

Don't Put Your Purse Lower Than Your Moneymaker

Don’t Put Your Purse Lower Than Your Moneymaker

In case you’re confused, your moneymaker is your other pocketbook in this instance. Other people say you’re not supposed to put your purse on the floor–which is coincidentally also lower than your moneymaker. The legend has it that if you put your purse on the floor or below your moneymaker then you’ll be broke.

Don't Accept Shoes From A Man As A Gift

Don’t Accept Shoes From A Man As A Gift

Word is if you accept shoes as a gift, the very man who gave them to you will walk out of your life. I’ve never put this theory into practice, but I do remember that when Evelyn Lozada and Chad “OchoCinco” Johnson started dating he gave her a pair of shoes. And as we all know, those two are no longer together.

What superstitions do you or your family jokingly or seriously believe?

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  • Mario Sanchez

    Ok, I see this is an old discussion but just wanted to add that I am in Iowa and heard this in a group I attend today. One black guy in the group mentioned how you can use your earwax to tell if a potential partner has certain STDs, by inserting a small amount of earwax into her vagina (preferably on the sly) she will react in pain at the touch of said earwax. Intriguing. Then the next black gentleman brought up the menstrual spaghetti myth which I (and the rest of the group) had also never heard of. But the original speaker (earwax) backed up the bloody spaghetti story. Learned a lot today

  • philkizer

    Any woman who refers to her vagina as a “moneymaker” shouldn’t get offended when a man calls her a “ho”.

  • Metro

    In my family we have to wash clothes the day before the New Year. Never on New Years Day. It supposedly means you will wash someone out of the family.

  • Fayette-nam 910

    Oh yea, if you say something negative you’re suppose to knock on wood 3 times so it won’t come true…lol

  • Fayette-nam 910

    -I know if the clasp of your necklace is on your chest, someone is thinking about you.
    -If you let a man play in your hair, it grows
    -When you’re pregnant, if you reach too high over your head, you could wrap the cord around the baby’s neck.
    -When you’re pregnant, whoever upsets you the most, that’s who the baby will look like.
    -NYE: you’re suppose to eat black eyed peas for good luck and leafy greens for luck with money.

    These are a few I grew up with…

  • LaLa

    I am from the Lowcountry of SC, and we have so many of these superstitions – it is not even funny. In New Orleans, it’s called VooDoo; in my neck of the woods, it’s called Roots. *The purse on the floor* – I remember an old man explaining to me that the reason women shouldn’t set their purses on the floor was so that no one could steal it or from it. When you put something on the floor you tend to forget about it (or you don’t watch it as closely). *Discarding your hair* – I think this superstition comes from an old African folk story “The Princess Who Lost Her Hair.” I’m sure most (not all) of these superstitions have interesting explanations. I’m not sure I believe in them all, but because they are so ingrained, I can’t help but follow most of them. Lol, my great-great uncle used to say, “Black people got all the roots (superstitions), white people got all the money.”

  • Whitty Huton Wuld Toor AKA DD

    Whenever I wwould walk with my sister and I would split the pole she would hurry up and grab my arm and make me walk back around the pole. Never believed that one.

    • Smizz

      If you split the pole whoever is younger has to say “bread and butter” 3 times or they will die.

      • Whitty Huton Wuld Toor AKA DD

        What? Nah I never heard that one before lol. My sister would always freak out when I split the pole.

  • DressSox~n~draws

    Dreaming of birds in the house means someone is going to die. My grandma told me that. Also dreaming of talking to people have died on the phone means their spirit is well.
    Side Note: Anyone with kids may be able to help. Does it ever seem like someone ( spirit, ghost, whatever) is playing with or messing with kids at times? I’ve seen several, including my own daughter, seem like someone else is there. They would laugh for no reason, start talking to the air, take off running or whatever as if someone is there. I know that kids are just playing but there were moments, witnessed by others, where its like someone else is telling a joke we don’t know. Not in a creepy way but It that that “WTH”? kind of way.

    • Whitty Huton Wuld Toor AKA DD

      The one with with kids I believe. when kids talk about imaginary friends. There’s nothing imaginary about them. It’s loved ones or angels. They say it happens with pets too Idk about that one. I hate animals.

  • Nene

    Anything can be true if you believe in it hard enough. Haven’t you heard of speaking things into existence? The tongue is very powerful.

  • Nene

    What about the one when a child looks between their legs that mean they are looking for the next little one behind them, pregnancy.

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    i always heard it was if ur ears are burning then sum 1 is talkin about u

    • Whitty Huton Wuld Toor AKA DD

      When my Palm itches money is right around the corner!!!!

  • Team nymphis

    Superstitions
    Nuggas
    1.if you don’t smoke bud you must be soft
    2.if you work everyday…you’re skipping weed hours
    3.rappers are the real blak activist
    4.if u ain’t saggin…your laggin
    5.condoms don’t feel as good
    6.if you don’t look like you’re hard…you must be soft

    Hood chicks
    1.weave it or leave it” don’t be seen without your hair did”
    2.nuggas wit real jobs r lames
    3.if a nugga got more than my momma,let him beat raw
    4.love is b/shxt…ain’t no way he just wants to be with me
    5.i got no money ,no credit,no car,so all I’m worth is what I didn’t have to work for or earn,is my pu-c
    Cause I’m too dumb to know is that real men in their game have unlimited access to pu-c.

    U can’t control the life u were born into…but u don’t have to imitate ur surroundings

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    i know the one about blac eyed peas and a greens on NYE for wealth and good luck is gonna be on here…

  • MM82

    I’ve heard every last one of these except the one about the shoe. I hate to say that I actually believe in the majority of them maybe it’s the Southern in me.

  • JJonah

    I thought it was don’t buy shoes for the other person b/c they’ll use them to walk out of your life?!

  • KJ23

    My friend’s family believe that you shouldn’t throw your hair in the garbage, but flush it down the toilet, because if a bird gets it then if means bad luck/eternal headaches.

    • Gymo

      All that does is put the plumber”s kids through College and keep them in braces.

  • Gymo

    All superstitious nonsense.
    This is why there are so few black engineers, scientists and doctors in the world.
    This is why Africa the Continent has never built a car or a plane – too busy getting controlled by superstition.

    • nana

      have you ever been to Africa yourself?
      Actually some of the brightest doctors and engineers that are Black in the USA are actually expats from Africa. They leave their country and come here for the schools. A few of my friends are African and even have photos of their actual villages (despite popular belief villages don’t usually mean some hut filled slum- real houses people) where their family is still living.

  • TaliTales

    Haven’t heard of the moneymaker one, but I know some folks who believe putting your wallet or purse on the table is bad luck.

  • ChillItsAWhiteMan

    Yo — what’s up with the broom-touching-shoes superstition?

    • Apoloniaglo

      females- you’ll never get married
      males- you’re going to jail

    • Nene

      You have to spit on the broom if it touch your feet, if you don’t then you will have bad luck for a while.

    • Dee

      if someone sweeps your feet, you won’t get married

    • Dee

      if someone sweeps your feet, you won’t get married

  • britchick91

    Call me crazy but I really do believe the one about dreaming about fish

  • AnonNY

    I have heard all of those except the hair but I am not superstitious so I hate being around people who believe in that stuff.

  • jsmith12

    I have heard all of these except the transferring of energy through your hair. I think the one with the spaghetti is so gross. I am a female and I will never eat someone else’s spaghetti or anything with red in it because of this. I rarely even eat from anyone else unless it is a close family member.

  • SDW3

    Am i the only one who gagged when they read that spaghetti one?? GROSS! Never in my life have i heard that!

    • AnonNY

      I have heard people say that but it is gross to think that someone would actually do it.

      • Nene

        Yup that one is real.

    • KJ23

      I know someone who actually did it, but it didn’t work because the guy ended up marrying me, no blood needed.

    • nana

      Yes this is 100% true. My fam is from deep south Louisiana and is full Creole, unfortunately many of my clan have dealt with “southern hoodoo” to help with things. So much so, when my grandma was in town (I live in the North now) and one of my young cousins happened to make spaghetti, she ended up sharing a story about how her very own sister tried to put a root on a man using this method…ew.

  • MsLadyE

    Another superstition I always used to hear is when your eye twitches, you’re either getting money or going to have good luck. And if your feet itch it means you’re going on a trip.

    • britchick91

      I thought eye twitching mean you were going to cry

  • Outlook

    gods and religions…….