If your family is anything like mine that means that they are extremely diverse. I grew up with two families. My maternal family and my paternal family who are extreme opposites. Either way there was a lot of love and classic oldies in my ear when I was growing up so I could always count on the good Motown classics to be playing on any occasion.
I remember when I was a kid, my pop pop would bring out his electric guitar and his amp and sit it in the middle of the living room and just play some bluesy strings while my cousins and I pretended to be his back up singers. Of course he would be tipsy off that Seagram’s which made for a very entertaining holiday at the Jones residence. There was always lots of food and loads of cousins. Even now as an adult when I go to my grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner those memories still ring loud and clear, never to be forgotten. Then we would always sit around watching Westerns or Karate movies while my older cousins sat around the living room table fighting over a good game of Spades. Of course I wasn’t old enough to sit at the table. Spades was a rites of passage in my family.
Having two families, I was always excited when I got to go to my other grandparent’s house or my Aunt’s house. Now this is my side of the family with no filter. I could always count on my other pop-pop to be cussing somebody out by the end of the night. Now this is my family where I had a lot of aunts and some uncles. This is my family that always reminded me of Good Times. We would sit around the tv watching blaxploitation films. I learned about Coffee and this was Pam Grier in her prime! Blacula, Superfly, Car Wash, etc. I loved these movies and I’ve always loved my aunt’s Mac and Cheese even to this day and her affinity for Rick James.
Even though my families are two different ones, there is a common bond in the black family household during the holidays and that’s the music. I thought I would find some classics with a new spin on them for us dancing kings and queens and for when that whiskey hits the system.
Thanksgiving has become almost synonymous to Christmas for me. As a kid when you wake up on Christmas the first thing you want to do run for the tree and see what you got and open everything up. When I wake up on Thanksgiving the first thing I want to do is EAT, but of course, we don’t have dinner until around 3pm which gives us enough time to make our rounds before we’re comatose. What time will you be eating dinner?
MOVE OVER GRAMS, THE KITCHEN’S GOT A NEW CREW!!!