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Public Service Announcement: Rules for A Black Thanksgiving


Here at Black Men In we are starting to prepare for Thanksgiving now.  To ensure that this traditional family gathering is “drama free,” we consulted MasterChef Gary to help us by sharing some written and unwritten rules for an inclusive “Black Thanksgiving.

Disclaimer Statement:  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

This is your mandatory “can’t miss” menu:

  • Turkey:  Duh?  Smoked, baked, or fried.  Do not bring a turkey breast from the Dollar Store.  That’s the fastest way to get your “Black Card” revoked.
  • Dressing:  I said dressing, NOT stuffing.  There’s a difference.  Look it up.
  • Macaroni & Cheese:  Also known as Mac & Cheese.  Don’t try to fool folks with some “instant” or box version.  Aunt Ronnie makes a top-notch Mac & Cheese.  The “bar” has been set high.
  • Gravy:  Again, do not “cut corners” or try to fool folks with packaged or canned gravy.  If you’re caught, you might be asked to leave.
  • Greens:   I’ll give you some flexibility on this dish.  Turnip, collards, and mustard greens or any combination.  No canned greens!  Not even the “Glory” brand of greens.  Bringing canned greens to Thanksgiving is like wearing “tennis shoes” to church–dress up.
  • Dessert:  Pies, cobblers and cakes in that order.  

Bring At Your Own Risk List

  • Vegan Turkey:  Stop trying to convince your guests that this “meat” is tender, juicy, and tastes like turkey.  The only reason that this dish got into the house is because we have more young people who want the family to consider healthier food options. 
    • Do not try to find a space on the table for your “turkey” next to the real turkey.  You’re going to get your feelings hurt listening to the comments around the table. 

  • Potato Salads with Raisins and Chickpeas:  I would not do that if I were you.  This is a crime against potato salad.  Your dish may “accidentally” fall in the trash can.
  • Vegan Macaroni and Cheese:  Remember Cousin Jerry?  He brought his new girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner knowing that his ex-girlfriend is still part of the family.  The new girlfriend brought vegan macaroni and cheese and didn’t wash her hands before she started touching the food.  Poor thing.  She didn’t know how to do the “WOBBLE.” (For those who don’t know, the “WOBBLE” is a dance.  You can watch the video below) That was in 2011.  That was the last time anyone saw Jerry (or his girlfriend).


“Aunt Chuck” accidentally tossing the potato salad with raisins and chick peas.

If You Feel Lucky

  • Turkey Tetrazzini:  Most of your guests will not know what this is.  Turkey Tetrazzini is a casserole.  How do I know this?  I used to work with White people and someone would bring this dish to office parties.  As best I can tell, Turkey Tetrazzini is baked spaghetti with turkey, mushrooms, peas, and cheese.  Enough said.  Put this on the table and you risk losing “3 out of 10 Hood Points.”  Can you afford that?  You can frown all you want.
    • Don’t tell anyone that I told you this, but Turkey Tetrazzini can be “hooked up.”  Sprinkle some MasterChef Gary Vu-Doo seasoning in that “bad boy” and you have the best kept secret on the menu.  And there will be enough leftovers for you to take home.

Bless The Food

A senior member of the family usually leads the prayer.  If your senior members are intoxicated or heathens, next in line would be an authorized family member like a brother-in-law.  (Every family has that one brother-in-law who is a preacher or certified deacon).  Or the great Aunt who carries the bible with a ton of page-markers and highlights, or your cousin who “speaks in tongues,” (but that’s how they speak all the time). 

Dinner Conversations

No topic is off limits.  You can talk about anything.  Here are some suggested topics:

  • Which “Aunt Viv” was the best on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air?”  The first one or the second one?
  • How old is Smokey Robinson?
  • You can only pick one of the following:  Who would you spend your last dollar to see?  Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Luther, Bruno Mars or _____________________. 
  • Why is Uncle Bunny still driving?
  • Is Aunt Chuck still undecided?
  • Danny has a girlfriend?  Is he still the Choir Director?
  • Kanye, Kyrie Irving, Herschel Walker.
  • “Junior” just pulled up and parked on the grass.  I thought he lost his license.

Warning:  Be Prepared To Be Moved

  • If you violate too many rules, the family may vote you away from the family table and seat you in a different section of the house.


Check out this video featuring Natalie Love discussing the rules for Thanksgiving at her house.

The Official Wobble Dance Video

Black Men In
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