Respecting elders has roots in African cultures pre-slavery. We value family. But there's another tradition: Black parents raising their children to follow orders and bite their tongues. And that's tied to "racial etiquette" during Jim Crow.
Starting with the word "lie."
Many of our parents were raised and raised us never to say the word "lie" as children, especially not to elders. Alternatives like "telling a story" or "fib" were household staples instead.
And that was a key way to practice surviving in Jim Crow, using these etiquette rules.
Don't curse at white people. Don't imply you're smarter than white people. Don't eat with white people. Don't show PDA in front of white people. Don't forget to call white people Sir, Ma'am, Mister, or Miss.
And under no circumstances were you to call a white person a liar, or even imply that they were.
We need to understand the history and purpose behind the traditions we carry on today. Because in our liberated future, Black parents teach their children respect without having to fear anti-Black violence.
Think back. How do you think your childhood would have been different?