Guest Blog

Nathaniel Alexander: Black History Legend

Luvvie’s Note: As you all know, Black History Month is more than half over. And I haven’t done my share of educating the masses about the history of us colored folks. Helping me out today is Scholar in Ratchetness, Brokey McPoverty. She’s the goofy behind the “Little Known Black History Facts” Tumblr. I asked Professor Brokey to bless my eCrib with some of her learnedness. And she did.

Nathaniel Alexander, born in Lynchburg, Virgina in 1911, invented and patented the folding chair. According to the history books, Mr. Alexander invented and patented the chair for use in churches and school and group gatherings, including a pocket/holder on the back for people to store their hymnals, school books, etc. This is what history tells us–but here’s the real story.

Nathaniel AlexanderNathaniel Alexander had bad nerves. Everybody in Lynchburg knew better than to get on that man’s bad side, resigning themselves to say nothing more than “good morning,” “good day,” and “good night” to him. Speak anything else, and you’d usually get smacked in the face with his favorite phrase: “man, sitcho black ass down!” The phrase soon caught on and fast became a black colloquialism throughout the nation–whenever someone is “doing too much” as we say these days, we often tell them to “sit the hell down” in an effort to get them to chill out a bit. But Nathaniel Alexander meant it, literally.

He was so serious about his request, in fact, that he invented the first ever folding chair. He was walking around Lynchburg with his creation strapped to his back on a spring day in 1925 when his neighbor, Bo Rangland, stopped him in the town square.

“Nice day we havin’ aint it?” Rangland said happily.

“Man shut the hell up!” Alexander snapped. “Does my face look like it wants to talk to you? Sitcho black ass down!” Here, Alexander stopped, unstrapped his chair, slammed it on its legs before him and unfolded it. “Right here. Sitcho black ass down right here!”

And that was its intended purpose. The storage compartment on the back of the chair? That was where he kept copies of his self written and published pamphlet “How to Shut the Hell Up and Sit the Hell Down,” which he gave to people to read as they sat in his chair.

Nathaniel Alexander: black history legend.

Brokey’s a GOOD mess, I say. But yeah, Nathaniel DID invent the folding chair for real. See HERE?

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  1. whit
    February 18, 2011 at 8:58 am


    • February 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      It’s Brokey’s fault! lol

      • isiah
        February 13, 2012 at 11:57 am


  2. MissMaryMack
    February 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

    “Right here. Sitcho black ass down right here!”

    LMAO *ded… D-E-D, I said*

    • February 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm


  3. February 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    As if you’re not ratchet enuf on your own…

    • February 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      I mean… Brokey came thoo w/ the Ratchetness Assist

  4. February 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Lmao. When I read about him and folding chair last week, the ONLY thing I could think of is how the only thing Black Twittuh shouts with a unified voice is “SADDOWN!”

    Lmfao. Of course a black man had to invent the folding chair… couldn’t have been any other way. What else was we gon use at card parties? Hmph. Not my good chairs…

    • February 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      YES LAWD! It fits, don’t it?

  5. asetdevine
    February 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I could barely get through this post I was laughing so hard…LMAO!!!! ya’ll are a mess!

  6. embraceurcrazy
    February 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    LMAO I cannot I’m going to use your site as a source on my son’s black history project.

    • February 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      YESSS!!! That’ll be the first time someone ever put me in their bibliography. I don made it!

  7. MissJM
    January 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Wow, Nathaniel must have been one brilliant infant if he was born in 1911 AND patented that chair in 1911. I’m just saying… hehehe

  8. 8
    January 2, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    maaan,,i copied and paste this on my step project,,,and got kicked out wen i presented… a 0

    • L.H| KHS
      February 14, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Shouldnt have

  9. February 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm


  10. L.H| KHS
    February 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Reasonable LOOOOLL To Funny.

  11. nATTY
    February 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm


  12. January 22, 2015 at 7:48 am

    The picture for Nathaniel Alexander belong to Lewis Latimer, also a black inventor. get your info. straight