Or, "The Gospel According to Black Mothers":

1. A hard head makes a soft bottom.

2. You can't do what the boys do and still be a lady.

3. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink will draw roaches.

4. The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice.

5. Don't wear raggedy underwear because you may get hit by a car and have to go to the hosital and then you'd be embarrassed.

6. Going out in the winter without enough vaseline on your legs will lead to "ash" -- nearly fatal condition.

7. Don't eat just anybody's chittlins.

8. Pierce your ears and you'll never wear glasses.

9. Swim without putting your head under water (so your hair wouldn't go back).

10. Eat bread crusts and your hair will be curly.

11. Fishnet stockings are for dancers and whores.

12. Don't let the sun hit you in the back when you're coming in from a night on the town.

13. Don't laugh at the old ladies who get the spirit in church.

14. Don't settle for hotdogs when you can get steak.

15. Get a good government job and you'll be set for life.

16. Always say "sir" and "ma'am" when talking to your elders.

17. No matter what white folks do, they're still God's children, and besides, they mean well.

18. All split lips ain't a grin.

19. Give somebody an inch, they'll take a mile.

20. Mother is always right. CAPTION: Illustrations 1 through 3, no caption, O. Soglow; Copyright (c) 1932, 1960 The New Yorker Magazine, Inc.