Dear Culture

The Best of Blackfessions

Episode 29
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Blackfessions, a confession about your Blackness, is one of the most entertaining and oftentimes memorable moments of each Dear Culture episode. So here’s a wrap-up of some of our favorites.

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Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Black culture amplified. 

Panama Jackson [00:00:06] At the end of 2022 is here. And to wrap things up, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite Blackfessions. It’s something I ask all of my guests to share at the end of every episode. A Blackfession is basically a confession about your Blackness. You know, something that people might be surprised to learn about you because, well, you’re Black. You know what I’m talking about? One of those things that you bring up in mixed company or with the homies or whoever. And people look at you like, Yo, do we need to take your Black cardt? Yeah, that’s a Blackfession. So let’s start at this year’s first ever Grio Awards, where I got to speak with everyone from author Nikole Hannah-Jones to actress Brely Evans, comedian Luenell and R&B singer Goapele. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:00:51] I’m about to get canceled over this. 

Panama Jackson [00:00:52] Oh, let’s do it. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:00:53] But I’ve seen Gone with the Wind about ten times. 

Panama Jackson [00:00:55] Really? The whole thing? 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:01:00] The whole thing. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:01] So what you like. You actually, like, Gone with the Wind? 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:01:05] I feel like it’s an amazing, one, it is amazing story. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:08] It is amazing storytelling. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:01:09] The fashion is beautiful. But also, if you want to understand how Black people and slavery were conceptualized in the white mind, there’s almost no better case study than Gone with the Wind. So for all of those reasons, yes, I’ve seen that movie many, many times, but I, I, I’ve never admitted this publicly before. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:28] Exclusive right here on Dear Culture. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:01:31] I’m gonna say this tape was doctored. But yes, it’s yes for many reasons. It it tells you everything about how white people thought about slavery and Black people at that time. And in many ways, how think about it now. 

Brely Evans [00:01:42] Let me see what would be mine. I don’t know if you guys would be surprised to know that I can go from the ghetto to the White House and have a good time. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:52] Any White House, any version of the White House? 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:01:55] Any version of it. Any version of it. Because I’m a bring my Blackness with me. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:59] 2016 through 2020 White House? You can do that? 

Brely Evans [00:02:02] I can handle it. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:03] Okay. And you know what? I believe you because the energy that you’re giving me right now, I believe fully that you can do that. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones [00:02:08] I really believe that I could. No, absolutely. I think is something to find your most authentic self. And that’s been my superpower. So, yeah, I think that that’s going to go on a roll with that. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:18] What’s something that people will be surprised to know puts you on a spot. 

Luenell [00:02:22] That if some of my friends knew how much I don’t care about them, they be really hurt. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:35] Oh. That’s a confession right there, boy. 

Luenell [00:02:38] That’s a Blackfessional. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:40] So what is a Blackfession that you have, if you have one to share and. 

Goapele [00:02:45] Give me some examples, how far are you going to go with this? 

Panama Jackson [00:02:47] Okay. So, you know, a lot of people have never seen Friday, which is always surprising to me what people are still finding out. The Bobby Caldwell is white, which I’ll give you one. I’ll give you one I just came up with. 

Goapele [00:02:57] I didn’t know that. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:58] Oh, well. 

Goapele [00:02:58] I would say I didn’t know that. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:59] So you were today years old when you just, I just told Goapele that Bobby Caldwell was white. Yo, I think I literally just unlocked a level of Blackness. 

Goapele [00:03:06] When you listen you can’t tell. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:07] Listen, I didn’t,  Nu Shooz the song “I Can’t Wait.” I genuinely thought they was Black people. I didn’t know that until two weeks ago. This is what I mean. 

Goapele [00:03:14] I’m happy we share that. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:15] A lot of times people share Blackfessions about food like writer and king of Black Twitter, Michael Harriet and film producer and director Renika McQueen. 

Mcihael Harriot [00:03:25] So my Blackfession is kind of embarrassing, but most Black foods I cannot eat or I have never eaten. So I have a terrible, I’m allergic to all milk products. So I’ve never really had macaroni and cheese, although I make a good macaroni and cheese, I am told. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:44] Okay, I was about to say you can’t really verify that. 

Mcihael Harriot [00:03:47] And I grew up not eating pork. So like I’ve never I’ve never had most pork. I’ve never had a hog maw, a chitterling or a chitlin. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:57] Okay. By the way, he’s a Black man from South Carolina. I just want everybody to be very aware of this. 

Mcihael Harriot [00:04:03] I have seen more actual pigs than I have eaten. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:09] I don’t even know what to do with this information. But I appreciate you sharing it with us because that lets me know that you love and care about me as a human, that you would share something so antithetical to your very career. 

Mcihael Harriot [00:04:23] So this is the worst part, right? This might get me kicked out of the club. Because of this, because not eating baloney pork. I have never had the baloney with the red string around it. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:37] I’m not sure you’re missing anything because I have had that. And while I remember eating that. I don’t remember that being a choice. So, you know, well, look, we appreciate you being here. Sharing this with us here for a minute here. 

Mcihael Harriot [00:04:49] I feel like I’ve cleansed myself. If this was a cathartic moment. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:52] We’re gonna let the people decide on that one, because we’re definitely airing this. So we’re going to let the people decide on what that means. 

Renika McQueen [00:05:00] I think my Blackfession is I don’t like a lot of the as we deem Black foods, you know, like I don’t like mustard and turnip greens, I don’t like chitlins, I don’t like ham hogs, I don’t like I just, ah, eaten candied yams maybe like a year ago. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:20] Wait, just started eating candied yams? 

Renika McQueen [00:05:22] Yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:24] Where’s your family from? They from Louisiana? 

Renika McQueen [00:05:28] They from down south. And, you know, going back down my family tree, a lot of them are from down south and stuff like that. But I just never liked any of that stuff. I don’t eat it. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:40] Now I’m with you on turnip green. I don’t like those either. Oh, I’m from down south. And that’s why I ask my friend from Alabama. So I know a lot of people. We’re missing our family in Alabama, so everybody went straight up. But the candied, you just started eating candied yams. 

Renika McQueen [00:05:55] Yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:57] You don’t like it? 

Renika McQueen [00:05:57] I didn’t like it when I was, like, this is disgusting, but I just got into it. Yeah. Now I just started eating, I think oxtails for the first time, like last year. My husband made some oxtail soup and it was really good and I was like, okay, I can do this, but. Mhm. No 

Panama Jackson [00:06:16] That’s interesting. Now is it, is it because you just eat healthy, you just don’t like that stuff. 

Renika McQueen [00:06:22] No. 

Panama Jackson [00:06:23] Some people it’s a lifestyle thing. 

Renika McQueen [00:06:24] No. It is not. No. 

Panama Jackson [00:06:26] You just don’t like it. 

Renika McQueen [00:06:27] I just don’t like it. No, I really don’t want to eat chiltlins. The way they make your house smell. 

Panama Jackson [00:06:33] I don’t do chitlins. I don’t do chitlins. We don’t, my family isn’t big on chitlins. 

Renika McQueen [00:06:38] Yeah, and if my husband eat them. I’m like, dude, do not kiss me for a good week after you eat. That’s disgusting. I don’t like chicken gizzards and pig knuckles and pig feet. No. No. 

Panama Jackson [00:06:52] You talking about that deep that that real deep, deep, real deep Black food stuff. 

Renika McQueen [00:06:57] I’m basic. Macaroni and cheese, a litle dressing, you know? 

Panama Jackson [00:07:02] Okay,. 

Renika McQueen [00:07:02] Potato salad if it’s good. 

Panama Jackson [00:07:05] All right. Well, that’s interesting. I feel like you might have a lot more people who agree with you on that than wouldn’t your Blackfession seem like normal for a lot of people. But no one and I mean no one, had me as disturbed as my Grio family member and host of the Blackest Questions podcast, Dr. Christina Greer. Her Blackfession floored me. I’m still not over it. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:07:33] I’m going to tell you and your listeners that I am a Black person. I am a descendant of the US south. Both sets of my grandparents are Southerners and I can only eat my grits with ketchup and mustard until they are bright fluorescent orange. And that is the only way I can eat grits. I don’t do butter, I don’t do sugar. I don’t do salt and pepper. I don’t do cheese. It has to be ketchup and yellow mustard. That is my Blackfession. I know you can take away my Black card if you want to. I don’t care. I’m standing true. Yes, but everyone says they hate it. But no one has tried it. So don’t knock it before you try it. With some fried fish on top. 

Panama Jackson [00:08:14] How did you do it? How did you discover this? What happened that day where you were like, You know what? And why weren’t you doing where you decided to put ketchup and mustard? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:08:25] I think I was four and I think I had a babysitter where we had grits and I wasn’t eating them because I didn’t like the texture. You know, a lot of folks are very sensitive about texture. Like I don’t like the texture of eggplant, but I love the texture of okra. And I think she was trying to get me to eat my grits and because I like ketchup and mustard on my hotdogs when I was a kid, when I ate hotdogs until I realized what’s in a hotdog. I think she just sort of was like, Hey, let’s try this. And I loved it. And I love fried fish and grits. And so I like fried fish with hot sauce and lime juice over my ketchup and mustard grits. That is my Blackfession. Your face looks horrified. You look mortified. 

Panama Jackson [00:09:05] Have people seeing you do this? Are people watching you do this? 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:09:09] I only eat grits around my family and I don’t eat grits in public because it usually causes a kerfuffle. So if there are grits, like if we’re at brunch. 

Panama Jackson [00:09:20] Yeah. I mean, talk about a conversation starter. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:09:22] If we’re at brunch or like, you know, or I’m at your house and, you know, you guys have grits on the table. I won’t eat grits. If we’re out at a restaurant, I won’t eat grits. But if I’m with my family in the safe space of people who know that I do this and they just they look and, you know, the spirit of my grandmother just shakes her head. That’s that. But it’s it’s like, you know, one of those things where it’s like, you know, how some people are like, you know, closet smokers or like closet drinkers. I’m like a closet grits eater where I can only I can only do it around certain people. 

Panama Jackson [00:09:54] You know, I got to say, I don’t know how many episodes we’ve done of this show of Dear Culture. You. You are easily the number one Blackfession. Like there is nothing topping that. Because number one, I didn’t see you coming. Number two, I mean, people argue about sugar and salt in grits and you over here and ketchup and mustard and you need it to change. 

Dr. Christina Greer [00:10:19] I need it to be bright orange and I go by color. That’s when I know it’s ready. Yes, I know. 

Panama Jackson [00:10:28] My face says it all, and I just. Wow. I just became a meme. 

[00:10:34] You know, the thing is, I kept this a secret for so many years, and now I’m just standing in my truth. That’s right. 

Panama Jackson [00:10:41] Listen. You should. You should. I’m with you. I mean, I’m not with you, but I respect it while also being slightly horrified. There’s no, there’s literally no universe where I would try that. Like, it is impossible. Oh, my goodness. All right. That’s fine. Congratulations to you. I’m very happy for you. And I hope that. That it brings you as much joy as it brings me, whatever the extreme other end of joy is. Like I said, I’m still not over that. So let’s just move on to Black TV, films and music. I will say some of our favorite Blackfessions are the ones we just didn’t see coming. Award winning actor Anthony Anderson gave us one of those. Pure gold. 

Anthony Anderson [00:11:30] The only thing that I can think of right now, I don’t drink Kool-Aid. 

Panama Jackson [00:11:38] Ever? Or like now? 

Anthony Anderson [00:11:40] I haven’t drank Kool-Aid in over 20, 25 years. 

Panama Jackson [00:11:45] Okay. So that that’s fair. And I think that’s probably why you’re why you’re successful. Actually, you’re probably healthy enough to still be here so you can actually continue on and in life, because I don’t think Kool-Aid households make it too far. I don’t think they do it. Oh, and I never. 

Anthony Anderson [00:12:06] I never called cherry or strawberry, it always red. What flavor you want? I will red. 

Panama Jackson [00:12:11] Yeah. Though funny because grape is an actual flavor, but red is also a flavor. I had this debate all the time of people. Red is a flavor as far as I’m concerned. It could be cherry, it could be strawberry. It could be was a mixed berry. Whatever. What the, the, the one that came in the blue pouch. Yeah. That was red, too. Tropical. There you go. Tropical. Yeah. You know that’s a Blackfession and I’m proud of here. I don’t drink. I haven’t my children have never had Kool-Aid  

Anthony Anderson [00:12:38] Why? That’s why diabetics now, Panama. 

Panama Jackson [00:12:44] Right. Because you when you make Kool-Aid, if you want to make a genuine good batch of Kool-Aid, you pour and you pour sugar first, and then you add, like you pour from your heart. And the heart will lead you astray when it comes to making Kool-Aid. So, I’m glad you haven’t had any Kool-Aid. I don’t know if we would have got all them seasons of Blackish if you have been drinking Kool-Aid. 

Anthony Anderson [00:13:06] Also, I’ll tell you this myth. While the Obamas were in office, I took a USO trip to to Afghanistan, and we flew over on Air Force Two, which was I believe the first lady’s plane. 

Panama Jackson [00:13:24] Did not know there was an Air Force Two. Honestly, I’d never heard that before. 

Anthony Anderson [00:13:27] Yea,Air Force Two. And, uh, I was going through the cabinets, and this is when I knew that we had a Black first family. There was packets of grape Kool-Aid in cabinet. I had to take a package and break Kool-Aid off Air Force Two and bring it home, dog. I still have it sitting in my office at home. It’s  a little small package of grape Kool-Aid that I took off of First Lady Obama’s plane, Air Force Two. That I’ve been cherishing for, you know, for quite some time now. 

Panama Jackson [00:14:04] I have never heard of them drinking Kool-Aid. You might have just literally dropped, like, a bombshell. 

Anthony Anderson [00:14:12] Grape Kool-Aid on Air Force Two. 

Panama Jackson [00:14:15] That is amazing. That one’s going to be hard to top, but I’m always blown away by how many Black folks have missed out on some of the most culturally significant classics and moments. Let’s start with food writer and singer Dai Poole, followed by J’amie Griffith, who’s the coach of the dance team at Grambling State University. You have a Blackfession for us. Please, share. 

Dai Poole [00:14:39] I have never seen Love Jones, Love and Basketball or Friday. You wrote an article about New Jack City. And I was like, Actually, I’ve never seen that either. So, yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:14:58] So, you know, I want to be upset about this. I really do. But you know what I’m learning? The more we do stuff like this is how many Black movies Black folks haven’t seen. Like Friday comes up all the time among people. People. All of you. I’ve never seen Friday. Like Love Jones is surprising, but not surprising when you consider how little money it actually made, like at the box office or like in, you know, like it just it’s it’s like a indie film, darling, that everybody loves and references. Like, everybody knows what happens to love Jones Even if you’ve never seen it. Right. I think it kind of ascended to that. You have no idea. Okay. Just threw that whole idea out the window. Okay. All right. Got me cussing. Cussing on a Tuesday. All right. So you haven’t seen Love Jones. Love and Basketball. That’s so interesting. Why? 

Dai Poole [00:15:44] This is what I tell people. 

Panama Jackson [00:15:47] Because at this point it’s a choice. 

Dai Poole [00:15:48] At this point, I almost. Is it a part of my identity to just keep being this anomaly in the, in the, in the Black community? Like because I did eventually watch The Color Purple. So like I have broken some ones that I hadn’t seen. But I always argue this. I was like, I was raised in 2000s. I was a child, I had no business watching any of those movies as a young kid in the nineties. So it’s like when I was of age to watch it. I had my own stuff to watch, you know, like we had our own movies and things that we would want to watch. So I just never made it back to watching it. But, you know, it’s nothing against them personally. I think that they’re probably incredible. 

Panama Jackson [00:16:28] You know, have any curiosity about like even Love Jones or, you know, Love and Basketball. I mean, Friday. But Love Jones is like. Love Jones. 

Love Jones [00:16:38] I don’t wear draws. You don’t have any right now? Breaking it. Wave goodbye to your daddy, baby. And putting it all together. This is nothing serious. 

Panama Jackson [00:16:50] No Curiosity? 

Dai Poole [00:16:50] I think I have so much admiration and respect for all the actors in that film. It’s just never been something that I was. I let me go on and see what Love Jones is about. It’s just never been. Maybe I’m also not the biggest romance drama movie person. I’m pretty cynical a lot of times when it comes to romantic love, but, you know, maybe one day it’ll come out. Like when I would watch cable. That’s how I would. That’s how I saw the sequels to Friday, because they would come on VH1 or something like that. So maybe one day if I’m sitting at home. 

Panama Jackson [00:17:21] So you’ve seen Next Friday and Friday After Next. 

Dai Poole [00:17:22] One of those I don’t know which one, but and because everyone kept calling, because my nickname is Dai Dai and there’s a character named Dae Dae. So I watched that just because I had to understand the reference to why everyone kept saying that to me. 

J’amie Griffith [00:17:34] I I’ve never seen any of the Friday movies. 

Panama Jackson [00:17:42] You know, I want I want to be surprised by that. But I that happens so often. People be like, you ain’t seen The Color Purple. I ain’t seen Friday. I ain’t seen. Has everybody here seen the Color Purple? All right. I feel like that also, this would be a speaking of classes along with spades, there should be like required. Like when you fill out your application for college, you need to be able to fill out the movies. You got to check off certain movies. If you haven’t seen it, you got to be required. That’s a prerequisite before you get here. You need to watch.  Love Jones before you get here or you can’t come. When the homie and writer Justin Tinsley shared his Blackfession. Well, as it turned out, I saw it in his Blackfession, too. So please, please share with us yo, Blackfession. Justin Tinsley is on the Blackfession stage. Go ahead. Go ahead and share your Blackfession. 

Justin Tinsley [00:18:30] Okay. Here’s the back story. So it all started over. Quarantine has nothing to do with the book Start of Quarantine. There’s no sports on TV except for the Last Dance. There’s no music coming out because why would you release music in a quarantine? You can’t do anything with it and I started watching this series off the recommendation of my wife. And she told me she started watching it years ago and she laughs. She thinks it’s hilarious. And everything I knew about this show my Blackness would not allow me to like the show because of the history it had with another show that was super Black. I’m going to come right out and say it. Friends is funny as hell, dog. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to tell you. Yo, Panama. I was so adamant. Like, hell nah. I was like, CB4 and I’m Black, ya’ll, and I’m Black, ya’ll. I’m like, I ain’t watching no Friends. Not After what they did to Living Single. Living Single is the superior show. And for the record, I still love Living Single. I watch all the episodes on repeat, rerun, but and this is the messed up part too, because Friends is basically aired from like. Nine to like four every night on Nickelodeon. So they’re getting those syndication checks. And I’m like, some nights there don’t be anything on TV and she was like just watched a couple of episodes with me. I’ll watch the first episode and I chuckle and I’m like, I’m trying to keep my laughter in. I’m like damn, that’s pretty funny. Next thing I know is like four or five episodes later, I’m like, Yo, I might actually like this. Like a couple of months later, I’m starting to see episodes that I’ve seen again, like three or four times. I’m like, yo, I’m still laughing at them. And I’m like, Yo, man. 

Panama Jackson [00:20:25] I like Friends. I’m, I’m like You, bro. I actually like Friends. I went to a Friends series finale party. I actually went. Now I put on a bandana and I definitely had on some shirt that was proof that I was down for the cause. But I enjoy Friends I always like. I still have, I have favorite episodes of friends. Like, I genuinely enjoy it. 

Justin Tinsley [00:20:43] Bro. Like in like the six main characters. Like, you know, they’re all funny in like their own way. And I’m like, Yeah, this is amazing. I’m like. 

Panama Jackson [00:20:52] I was invested in the relationship of Ross and Rachel. Like, I actually cared. I wanted them to work out like that. So, listen, I’m with you. I love Living Single. I’m with you Living Single GOAT show. I’m all there. But I really I like friends. 

Justin Tinsley [00:21:06] Yeah we definitely did not give friends the shake that it deserved I think. I’m with you, I got favorite episodes of, you know, the joint where they were trying to move the couch up the stairs. And Ross was like, pivot. 

Friends [00:21:24] Pivot. Pivot. Pivot. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! 

Justin Tinsley [00:21:40] Oh, yo. The joint is hilarious, man. 

Panama Jackson [00:21:43] It is. It is funny. 

Justin Tinsley [00:21:44] I was watching it last night, so. Yeah, that’s. That’s my Blackfession. Like I am a huge Friends fans. 

Panama Jackson [00:21:50] As we love to say in our community, we are not a monolith. So go ahead and prove that for us. What is your Blackfession? 

Bassey Ikpi [00:21:57] This might actually ruin my career. 

Panama Jackson [00:21:59] Oh, interesting. I’m ready. 

Bassey Ikpi [00:22:03] Not a fan of Martin. I try. I want to I want to be there with people. But I just didn’t like it. I thought he was mean. 

Panama Jackson [00:22:13] He was. 

Bassey Ikpi [00:22:14] I didn’t like how he treated Pam. I didn’t like how he treated Gina. 

Panama Jackson [00:22:17] I think Martin probably lives more fondly in the consciousness than when people go back and watch. I hear a lot more people say this. They’re like, You know, I don’t think I like Martin as much as I thought I used to play. I still love it, but I don’t watch it the way that I used to. But I remember all the stuff about Martin so it sits very high in like Black consciousness, Black pop, pop, cultural consciousness. But I’ve heard more people say that then than you think. 

Bassey Ikpi [00:22:42] I get all the references, like like it’s such a part of the zeitgeist in such a part of like popular culture, Black popular culture that I can sit here and talk about it like I’ve seen every single episode multiple times. But yeah, whenever people get nostalgic for it, I’m like. 

Panama Jackson [00:23:02] I’m going back and rewatching it. Martin was a mean little dude. Martin was definitely was Napoleon complex out heavy. Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, that’s not that bad. You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that. I’ve heard several people make that comment publicly, even publicly. Okay. So I think you’re okay. I think you’re on good ground. 

Matthew Allen [00:23:20] My Blackfession Panama is that I believe that there are two, quote unquote Black movies that I think are overhyped and overrated. And those movies are the Five Heartbeats and Harlem Nights. I don’t think that they’re bad movies. I actually think that they’re good movies. I just don’t think they’re as good as the public makes them out to be. 

Panama Jackson [00:23:41] So right now, I’ve never wanted to hang up on somebody so bad in my life. So The Five Heartbeats  is one of my favorite movies of all time of ever. I probably watched that movie for a couple of years almost every day. We had the VHS tape in my house and I watched it over and over again. I now I’m on the Michael Jackson side of this conversation with this one. That is an insane take to me because the Five Heartbeats is so good. Harlem nights. Like I’ve heard people say that I don’t even understand how people don’t love Harlem Nights, the way that like, I feel like Harlem Nights doesn’t get enough overrating. Like I feel like people need to talk about lights even more. When did you come to these realizations were like like in a brief in why why do you feel this way? Exactly. 

Matthew Allen [00:24:22] I just think that having conversations with people over the years about the movie and yes, Harlem Nights is a very quotable movie, not quite as quotable like the Nutty Professor or Coming to America, but still quotable to a certain degree. But I just feel like it just it didn’t really live up to its greatest potential in terms of utilizing Eddie Murphy, Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor together on screen. Like Eddie himself said that the best part of that movie is the part that nobody got to see, which was when he said Cut. And then all these guys started cracking on each other and telling jokes and things of that nature. That’s all I needed to hear. You know, when that writer and the director says that, Oh, you missed the best part. 

Panama Jackson [00:25:07] Which is amazing. Because it’s such a good movie to me. Like genuinely, I genuinely enjoy those movies just for what they are. But okay. Thank you for the Blackfession. You got a real quick Five Heartbeats thing cause that’s my favorite movie. 

Matthew Allen [00:25:22] Five Heartbeats is great. It’s good. You know, it’s it’s the last of the three Robert and Keenan collaborations. Right. But I don’t know, I just it just didn’t hit me the way that it hit everybody else. Just from a visceral, emotional standpoint. It was almost like I was just seeing everything through, like, okay, I see what he was trying to do there or okay, I see what he was trying to do there. I see the thing he tries to make, but I will say this it has one of my favorite parts in any movie or Black movie of all time is when they get booed on stage in the beginning and then dude goes, “Oh,” and then they all come together and Robert kicks the piano player off. That part. That’s beautiful moviemaking right there. But just in terms of the whole story, it didn’t it didn’t quite hit me the way that people say that it hit them. So I just think that it’s just it’s just a little bit overhyped to me. 

Panama Jackson [00:26:23] Dara What about you? 

Dara [00:26:26] So my favorite film genre is actually musicals. So my favorite film is Singin’ in the Rain, featuring Gene Kelly. 

Singin’ in the Rain [00:26:40] I’m singin’ in the rain. Yes. Singin’ in the rain. 

Dara [00:26:44] So. Yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:26:47] Interesting. Okay. All right. I grew up watching Annie nonstop. For some reason in my household, Annie was a movie we watched every single day. I grew up a military brat, so we were living in Germany, and we didn’t really we didn’t have much channels. So all we did was watch VHS tapes. So for years, Annie might have been my favorite movie just because that’s all I had to watch. And I know all the songs by heart. 

Tahira [00:27:11] I enjoy the white singer songwriters of the seventies. My emo state right now is all of the sing songy Carly Simon, Simon and Garfunkel. Really, really white songwriters. And I have a Black ass good time at home in my room and don’t let anyone know what I’m listening to. 

Panama Jackson [00:27:34] Interesting. Blackfession. I will blast that stuff in my car in southeast D.C.. Very loud. Especially Bobby Caldwell, who I’m always amazed that people find out who are still discovering that he is actually white and not Black. From music to dance moves. Just because we’re Black doesn’t mean we all kill it on a dance floor. Which is something my guests, who are both pop culture enthusiasts, Van Lathan and Naima Cochran Proved. 

Van Lathan [00:27:59] I got one. 

Panama Jackson [00:28:01] All right. What you got? 

Van Lathan [00:28:03] So I’m a good dancer, right? Okay. I’m a good dancer. Fat boy can go. 

Panama Jackson [00:28:09] Uh Oh. 

Van Lathan [00:28:12] But, I’ve never really been able to figure out the Electric Slide, man. 

Panama Jackson [00:28:15] I knew you were about to say that as soon as you said dancing. 

Van Lathan [00:28:19] Shout out to my man Gino. So my man, Gino. Walte, Gino McLaughlin down there in Baton Rouge. That’s my man, Gino. We will be doing the Electric Slide, right? We’re doing the Electric Slide is like and Gino would be to help me do the Electric Slide, Gino would be pointing in the way, would be like, you know what I mean. Because I get confused. Right. Like I get is like, you go forward, you go back, then you you fake like you’re going to do it and then boom, boom, boom. I’m one of those guys that doesn’t a couple times and goes and then goes to sit down. And all of the dances that were offshoots of the Electric Slide, the Cupid Shuffle, like all. 

Panama Jackson [00:29:05] All have directions. 

Van Lathan [00:29:07] They all have directions. And for some reason I don’t know if is my dyslexia or whatever it is, I just never I’m not a confident intellectual slider. I’m just not. 

Panama Jackson [00:29:19] You know, it makes sense, though, because for one, the songs that people do, the electric, like you people do, it’s a cami. I mean, to Candy, right? Like the Electric Slide has a song, but everybody does the candy, but people be out there trying to get cute with it, too. They’d be adding their own little spin of swag on it. So if you if you are already struggling with the timing, that can throw you completely off. 

Van Lathan [00:29:38] In Louisiana girls, they they twerk with it. 

Panama Jackson [00:29:44] They drop it low. 

Van Lathan [00:29:46]  I appreciate the ass but like I’m trying to get my shit together. 

Panama Jackson [00:29:50] Right, my count is off. 

[00:29:52] I think that also to be real with you, I punted on it early on I didn’t really put the time in. Because I’m so intimidated by it I don’t really do it as much. There’s other dancers that I know. All the dancers from down home, I can do them, but like Electric Slide I’m off with that one. 

Panama Jackson [00:30:11] You can get the Josephine Johnny on, but the Electric Slide. 

Van Lathan [00:30:14] Lord, have mercy, got the whole. All of that stuff I’m good with.

Panama Jackson [00:30:20] Do you have a Blackfession for us? 

Naima Cochrane [00:30:22] Yeah, I have two, actually. The first one is something I don’t do. The second one is something I do, I cannot jump double dutch. Which for a Black girl in her forties in New York is actually possibly yeah it’s actually possibly a criminal offense. I can turn I got me term I mean turn, but can’t jump and I was just about to take lessons there is actually a school for adults who are trying to get the double dutch game up. And I was about to look into lessons right before the pandemic, so I need to pick that up. So my second one is something that I do that people were really surprised about is a is a hobby I picked back up. During shutdown I fell off, I need to get back on it but I’m into miniatures. Dollhouses, miniature furniture. There was like a whole miniature explosion during the pandemic. Okay. Not the dolls, but to create things that exist in real life, in miniature is fun. And also, you know, you can kind of splurge a little bit, but like on a 1/12 scale. So like little picture, a little KitchenAid mixers, little Gucci bags, you know, custom furniture, all of that. I was doing it for a while and I was documenting it. I was restoring a dollhouse and documenting it on IG and I got a lot of I didn’t know, like Black women, Black people did this. So it’s not really a Black space. But that’s one reason I wanted to do. I want to create Black things. Like I have little itty bitty church fans, you know, that type of thing. 

Panama Jackson [00:32:01] Interesting because on The Wire, Lester Freeman that’s what he did. He was all into that. And I remember that being like, this is such an interesting, like random thing to give for him as a hobby in this show. And but I loved. 

Naima Cochrane [00:32:14] It’s a great hobby. 

Panama Jackson [00:32:16] Okay. 

Naima Cochrane [00:32:18] It’s meditative. 

Panama Jackson [00:32:19] You make them yourself? 

Naima Cochrane [00:32:20] Yeah, well, that’s the thing. You can buy a bunch of this, right? But for me, the joy is in and it’s expensive. It’s not as cheap hobby, but if you want quality stuff. But for me, the joy is in can I recreate things that exist? Like can I make a ceramic bottle because I can’t find one, you know, like I made, you know, made low versus a vinyl. I made a little peach crown royal one for the azaleas and the from the versus with the eyes leads the earth whenever I like. I made a little peach crown royal that felt appropriate. So it’s like, you know, it’s just, you know, I want to make, like, a little hot comb and a deck, a can of decks, square grease, you know, like those type of things that you can’t really find. The joy for me is and can I make them and can I can I recreate them as in the craftsmanship?  

Panama Jackson [00:33:09] That’s pretty cool. I like that. That’s a very interesting it’s a very interesting hobby. And that’s the beauty of Blackfessions. Learning just how broad the love and interest are of Black people everywhere. We love to say that Black people are not a monolith. Well, Blackfessions tends to prove it. I hope you enjoyed this. Look back at all of the guests we had on Dear Culture in 2022. 2022 was a very Black year for Dear Culture. And here’s to making 2023 even Blacker. See ya next year. Have a Black one. 

Maiysha Kai [00:33:53] Don’t forget, you can listen to theGrio’s Writing Black Podcast hosted by me, Maiysha Kai. This isn’t your typical writing podcast. We interview any and everybody that has anything to do with writing. From comics to poets to authors to journalists, to politicians and more. Remember, that’s Writing Black every Sunday, right here on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network. Download theGrio’s app to listen to Writing Black wherever you are.