To the Believers of the Urban Legend, “if you step on a crack you’ll break your moms back”; Hello. My name is Jamaur, I’m here to acknowledge your worries. There are tons of supposedly origins of which this phrase came from. However, the two that I will be sharing and analyzing with you are the most popular and the most racially biased ones. Many of us have heard the funny bits of this but what if I told you that It wasn’t so funny 100 years ago.
As we may know, In the late 19th century and early 20th century; Racism was a huge affair. It was shown through actions, verbal communication, etc. When it came to words, the deplorable superstitions were created. These included “if you step on a crack, your mother’s black”, and “step on a crack and your mother’s baby will be black”. I haven’t heard anything like this before because, of course this was when racism was pervasive in society. Whereas, today there are consequences in place if something like such happens. You could be charged with disorderly conduct, which is classified as a misdemeanor in the state of Illinois.
Now that we know where this urban legend came from, it’s time to get logical. I don’t want to ruin your free thought, but this phrase is absurd and irrational. I’m not just saying that it is because of the history of it, but I’m not sure how your mom’s back is gonna break when you take a step on a crack in the concrete. Those are two different locations. It’s not like a piece of concrete was thrown at her. Although I am pretty certain about my beliefs on this, I decided to go outside and jump on some cracks in the concrete. When I came back in the house my mom’s back was fine, just like I thought it would be.
When a person says this, I expect that person to be in the age range of 2-6. Younger kids tend to just start to develop logical thinking around those ages. Meanwhile, I can assure you that this urban legend will continue to be an urban legend.
Jamaur Houston- The Chicago Academy for the Arts- DMSF