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There are certain things you need to like in order to keep the peace and to keep people from coming at your head in my office. Say you haven’t seen Poetic Justice and it’s like someone saying they haven’t seen daylight: “YOU HAVEN’T SEEN POETIC JUSTICE!? You’re like 20 years late!” Same goes for certain famous folks. Stand up and say that someone’s show or new music is just okay and you’re immediately labeled a hater. It’s something we have comical debates about often (like today), and it’s how I came up with this short list of things you better watch or love unless you want to get embarrassed.

Note: This is all for fun by the way, no actual black cards were stolen in the making of this slideshow.

Color Purple

How can you miss a movie that literally came on UPN every other week and BET at least once a month? Not only is it an amazing film, but it’s always on. If you can’t quote at least one line from this joint (How about, “I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I’ll kill him dead before I let him beat me!), you better hurry up and play catch up.

Love Jones

A co-worker today said that she wasn’t too impressed with Love Jones, which caused quite an uproar. How can you not appreciate the storyline? The poetry? The eye candy? She’s personally not a fan of romantic comedies and found the story too predictable, and in response to that, she was literally yelled at for 10 minutes straight by the rest of us. If you’re not a fan of being the blues in someone’s left thigh, or trying to be the funk in their right, keep that to yourself when in mixed company.

Kerry Washington

If you love don’t love Scandal and you don’t absolutely swoon over Kerry Washington on the red carpet and in everyday life, you’re going to have a gang of Gladiators to deal with! When she lost the Best Actress in a Drama Emmy last year, Twitter almost exploded in rage.

At Least One Of The Music Group Movies

The TemptationsThe Jacksons: An American Dream, The Five Heartbeats: if you haven’t seen at least one, loved it, and memorized one song (“NIGHTS LIKE THIS!”), you will disappoint quite a few people. Just saying.


You already know. If you say anything bad against Sasha Fierce, Queen Bee, Bey, JuJu, Mothe, Mrs. Carter, or whatever name you want to call this diva, you might as well say it in your head. Like Big Brother, the BeyHive is always watching and listening.


I can’t really say what the legacy is for the sequels, but the original Friday movie is a hood classic. It made calling folks DeBo, saying “Heeeeeey Ms. Parker” and dropping the phrase “You just got knocked the f**k out” necessary to throw into one’s everyday conversations.

The Cosby Show

Let anyone try to make a show about a black family and it’s always getting compared to The Cosby Show. Everything seems to pale in comparison for people, because everyone knows a successful black family with a obstetrician as the patriarch and a lawyer as the wife with FIVE smart kids staying on the right path beats out any other representation you can think of after the fact. Don’t like it and you’re sure to get a serious side eye.

At Least One Movie About The Grittier Side Of Life In Los Angeles

I’m talking Boyz N’ The Hood, South CentralMenace To SocietyBaby Boy, and the aforementioned Poetic Justice. It’s like men who love Scarface and The Godfather, you just have to see at least one, probably Boyz N’ The Hood in particular, to not look like an out of touch square.

Barack Obama

You don’t have to agree with his stances on everything, but just ask Stacey Dash about what can happen when you talk out of the side of your neck about the POTUS. Folks ride quite hard for the First Family.

Coming To America

Eddie Murphy movies have undoubtedly declined in quality, but if there’s one you better watch and have your quotes ready to spill with friends (the sadness on people’s faces when you don’t know what “sexual chocolate” is about is quite gut-wrenching) is Coming To America. It’s Murphy at his finest, and his performance and the film itself bring our people great joy it seems.

Lupita Nyong’o

I personally don’t know anyone who didn’t act like they knew Nyong’o from the old neighborhood as her star rose during the Awards season, but the few people who thought they’d ask why everyone keeps talking about her and fawning over were shut up real quick. They tried it. Didn’t work.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

I’d personally be offended if you told me you never cared for this movie, because it’s one of my absolute favorites (Angela Bassett is my boo). But seriously, you will get quite the shocked look on the faces of friends and family if you say you never watched the whole thing. Classic I tell you!

Lauryn Hill

She might have gone to jail for failing to pay her taxes, but fans still ride hard for Hill like it’s 1998. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill had that much of an impact on not only black women, but men. Ask Jay Z:

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