When I look back on it I realize that my nana was awesome and was ahead of her time. She went to college in the segregated south, married several times, was a business woman, was taken care of, full of love and was always dressed to the nines. She owned apartment buildings, several businesses and was one of the first Black women to purchase a home in a White community. She had friends of all races and backgrounds, could cook some mean hoe cake and rock diamonds and a fur coat. She was the consummate lady. Not only that, she would tip her mail carriers, garbage men and others every Christmas. A trait I picked up. She would serve food to the homeless and was very active in her church. The one thing she did that her fellow Black women didn’t do was that she always put herself first. She told my sister and I to do the same. She treated us like princesses while she acted like a queen. My 4’11 nana was a bad woman and the ultimate bougie Black woman.

grandma big


Many Black women are stuck in certain situations that they can’t get out of. We are so caught up in the new, now and next that we ignore the wisdom of our elders. My nana was an awesome lady who was full of common sense. I’ve decided to give y’all some of the realist advice she gave me. You may not like it because of gender roles, conditioning, etc. but she was right.

  1. Before you get married own your own land.
  2. The people on TV are rich and where they want to be and you are not. Turn the TV off and work on you.
  3. Own your own business. If you can work eight hours a day for someone else, you can make more working eight hours a day working for yourself.
  4. Never kiss someone’s ass.
  5. Don’t chase a man.
  6. Stay away from a man who runs the street.
  7. Watch how a man treats his mother. If he values her he will value you.
  8. Don’t buy a man anything unless you are married. (She even cautioned about buying major gifts.)
  9. Let a man know you are marriage material from the start. You are not a girlfriend but a wife. (I did this and it works.)
  10. Don’t mess with a cheap ass man. If he is cheap during courtship he will be cheap during the marriage.
  11. Don’t mess with a broke man.
  12. Never fight over or for a man.
  13. If a man hits you leave because he will hit you again.
  14. If a man is chasing or lying up with a woman she should never ever be broke or go hungry.
  15. Get your education, travel, then get married and have kids.
  16. Don’t have men around your kids. (She thought it was inappropriate for girls of any age to be alone in the house with a man that wasn’t the father and she was right.)
  17. Put the house in your name. If you can’t, make sure both of your names are on the deed. I don’t care if he is paying the note. If he breaks up with you he can kick you out of your home and you won’t have any recourse until the courts hear your case.
  18. Every time your husband/boyfriend gives you money save it and don’t spend it. Don’t let him know you have it. I do not care if is an emergency.
  19. Have a secret bank account or safe. If he has access to your money he can take it during  the divorce. (My grandmother kept her secret stash under her bed. When she died we found over $10k in an orange plastic bag underneath her bed.)
  20. If a man buys you things let him because you should expect it. Don’t tell him he shouldn’t have done it or fake modesty because he may not next time.
  21. Make sure your hair and makeup is done even if you are going to the supermarket because you never know who you will see.
  22. Even if your house is spotless always apologize to company and tell them to excuse the house. It shows that you have high standards. (I do this all the time and it works.)
  23. Never choose a man over your children and best friends.
  24. Men leave but sisters (girlfriends) are forever.
  25. Always tip.
  26. Always use your manners.
  27. Expect the best
  28. Don’t embarrass me.
  29. Treat yourself.
  30. Take care of yourself.

What advice did someone give you? Share this post with your networks especially to young women. Thanks for reading.