All Articles Tagged "black children"
We love watching fights. Whether it be Tami Roman on “Basketball Wives” or someone fighting on World Star Hip Hop, our culture thrives on viewing a beat down. Sometimes these fights get too graphic, even for our numbed out minds, and petitions are drawn up and a channel like CNN reports on it. But sooner or later, we are right back to where we started, supporting the violence; using something so alarming as a form of entertainment.
Most who use these television shows and viral videos for escapism will admit that they are having profound negative effects on our youth. It’s common knowledge that high school and middle school students are notorious for filming schoolyard and neighborhood fights just for a little cyber fame. But a few weeks back, I realized just how dark this new found culture has gotten. Flipping through news channels, I stopped to watch a news reporter on Headline News where they discussed a YouTube video of a young mother cheering on the physical altercation of two toddlers. My heart sank for about five minutes as I watched the news segment in disbelief.
It was reported that the mother filming the ordeal is from St. Louis. She can be heard in the background egging on the inappropriate behavior with exclamations such as, “Y’all better ball up some fists!” A friend of the mother reported the video to their local television station, and Social Services got involved. As I shook myself out of my state of shock, my mind began to race with thoughts of how much we have embraced barbaric physical acts as a norm. We fight over comments on social media, celebrities fight over the women they’re sleeping with, and every reality show gains viewers by allowing cast members to haul off and slap the crap out of one another. The culture of fighting is being embraced on these shows, and it’s not only making young men and women think that getting violent to solve disputes is cool, but it’s painting us all in a horrible light. It’s bad enough we have Erica scrapping in a parking lot with her man Lil Scrappy, but to have a real-time video of a black mother urging two babies to fight? What is the world coming to when your thirst for entertainment and fame allows you to go so far?
I know that reality shows with violence aren’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. Petitions will be drawn up, people will protest, but these programs will be here to stay as long as there is an audience that desires them. What I am concerned about is how much of these shows we have internalized. This video of the two babies fighting screams that our appetite for violence and using it as a way to settle issues is bigger and more complex than we ever imagined. I can say, with a heavy heart, that common sense, tact and maturity for many has flown completely out the window, and the more we say this ratchet behavior is just “entertainment,” the more we can expect scenarios like this to happen again. We’ve become too desensitized to the violence, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is not a good thing.
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By Rachel Garlinghouse
I’m an adoptive parent. I’m white. My two daughters, ages three and one, are both black. It’s glaringly obvious that my kids and I don’t “match” and that they are adopted.
We have been asked a slew of questions. “Are you girls REAL sisters?” “Did you hear that Katherine Heigl adopted another baby?” “Are your kids full or mixed?” “Why didn’t their birth parents keep them?” “Why couldn’t you have your own kids?”
One question that I found incredibly interesting, and one that the media is asking more than ever is, “Why didn’t you adopt one of your own kind?” (Yes, this is exactly how the question was asked.) It has been implied that there are plenty of white babies who need good homes, so why would we, as whites, pluck a black child out of the mix of available kids? (This is actually not true. Many adoption agencies have a tremendous need for families to be open to adopting black children, including sibling groups and kids with special needs, as many white parents only want to adopt healthy white infants.)
The media and the public are asking these questions of transracial adoptive parents: Are you trying to capitalize on some sort of trend? Why are you stealing a black baby away from her racial culture? Are you trying to make your child white? How in the world can a white family raise a black child properly?
The increase in media attention on celebrity adoptive parents, particularly transracial adoptive celebrity families like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Katherine Heigl, has brought transracial adoption to the forefront of pop culture. I have read, much to my dismay, article after article that begins by prompting the public to question the integrity and intent of such parents.
I have to admit, I don’t necessarily blame people for their assumptions and skepticism regarding transracial adoption, particularly white parents who are raising black kids. Whites have a long history of treating blacks and other races in degrading, dehumanizing manners. There is a seemingly natural and underlying distrust between whites and all other races. Despite people claiming to be “colorblind” and spouting that “the world is a melting pot” which is magically full of harmony and unity, I know otherwise.
You might question if parents are adopting minority children because it’s the trendy thing to do. Here are some truths, from my experience, regarding transracial adoption:
1. Transracial adoptive families are double-minorities, facing endless discrimination.
Until we adopted our first daughter, I was, unknowingly, enjoying white Privilege. No one ever looked twice at me in a shopping mall or restaurant, no one questioned my motives, no one asked how authentic my family was, if we were a “real” family or not.
But when my husband and I brought our first daughter home, we were quickly inducted into the life of a minority. We have been asked by an airline to provide our youngest child’s birth certificate to prove that she is actually our daughter prior to us boarding a plane. When we went to obtain a social security card for her, the attendant gave us several glares, making it clear she didn’t approve of our transracial adoption. She then asked, quite judgmentally, a question that had nothing to do with the application for the social security card: “Do they [our daughters] have the same parents?” I’ve been asked about the girls’ “real” mom, as if I am the fake mom. A cashier at a local store asked why the hell my girls’ birth parents would “give them away” because after all, the girls were “so pretty.” My family deals with, on a daily basis, discrimination related to adoption and race.
2. Transracial adoption is a path to parenthood.
Individuals and couples adopt because they want to be parents. Maybe they couldn’t have biological kids, couldn’t have more biological kids, had always wanted to adopt, didn’t want to wait for a partner to have children, or chose to adopt to avoid passing a genetic condition on to any biological children. The reasons are many.
When I was twenty-four years old, I was diagnosed with an incurable disease: type I diabetes. I am dependent on insulin for life; without it, I will die. Type I diabetes can be accompanied by a slew of dangerous side effects, all of which can impact the life of the diabetic’s unborn baby. My husband and I chose not to have biological children because we felt the risks outweighed the benefits. So we filled out paperwork to adopt, marked “open to a child of any race,” and waited. We were chosen, twice, to adopt black children. Without adoption, we wouldn’t be parents. We wanted to be parents. So we adopted. It’s really that simple.
Being the son of the wealthiest hip-hop head in the world has its perks if you didn’t know. No need to do cheesy promotional photos when you can just be the face of the boy’s line of clothing for your father’s uber-popular clothing company. Christian Combs, Diddy’s first child with Kim Porter, had the awesome challenge of doing so to help promote the Spring/Summer collection, and he aced it as far as I can tell. The 14-year-old looks exactly likes his pops, and seems to have a very similar personality as the shiny suit man as well. Cute kid indeed, and let’s hope he’s inherited his dad’s business savvy! Check out a few more images from the shoot below and tell us if Christian is a spitting image of the D, the I, the D, the D…and the Y.
And in jet-setting cuteness, Jennifer Hudson and her little man, David Otunga Jr., were seen earlier in the week going through LAX. The funky-fresh dressed kid was looking adorable in his Knicks hat and big ‘ol spectacles as they prepared to fly the friendly skies. Check out more of the cute kid and his animal-print loving mom below!
Photos of Christian courtesy of concreteloop.com.
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We’ve all criticized BET for their less than stellar programming and decisions; but when they get it right, we have to give props. And yesterday BET did a great thing by transforming their hit show, “106 & Park” into an hour long special with Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin and Trayvon’s younger brother, Jahvaris Fulton.
Being that “106 & Park” speaks directly to young people– it was actually a favorite of Trayvon’s– it’s only appropriate that his parents speak to their son’s peer group. They sat down with BET’s newest talent, T.J. Holmes, to offer advice to the young audience members, share memories of their son and their hopes for the upcoming trial.
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The way people grossly underestimate children never ceases to amaze me. Children are people, with brains that develop at a much faster rate than ours. Sure every once in a while they may say things that will catch us off guard but we should never underestimate what they are and are not able to comprehend.
We re-learned this lesson in the clips from CNN’s upcoming special, “Kids On Race: The Hidden Picture.” In this video psychologists and even some of the CNN journalists, including Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brein, spoke with a diverse group of children and even their parents to discuss the issue of race in their schools, in their friendships and in their homes.
Check the video clip below:
The video found that while both children recognize differences in race, black children are more likely to be open and optimistic when it comes to interracial friendships.
Are you surprised about the results from this video?
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All the little ones want to experiment with color it seems. Zahara, daughter to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was recently spotted out and about with her blue box braids.
No shade seriously, but I have to know did anyone else notice that this is the same shade of blue Lil Mo rocked in her Superwoman video?
Check out more pictures of Zahara’s new hair extensions at StyleBlazer.com.
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African-American children make up 30 percent of the 500,000 children currently in the American foster care system, despite being only 14 percent of the U.S. population. On top of being over-represented, these youths are less frequently selected for adoption compared to other kids.
Could the skin tone of black children play a role in whether they are chosen — especially if the family considering them is black? Mardie Caldwell, founder and CEO of the Lifetime Adoption agency, says this is true — and that this bias is exclusive to African-Americans.
“We’ve found that many African-American families have definite preferences for the type of children they want, whether it’s newborns [or older children], and also in terms of their physical appearance,” Caldwell told theGrio. The author of seven books on the adoption process, including her latest, Called to Adoption, suggested that the finicky tastes of black families made private agencies reluctant to work with them.
“A lot of organizations and other adoption professionals have actually stopped doing African-American adoptions. We’re one of the few centers, Lifetime Adoptions, that does African-American and biracial adoptions, and we’re one of the largest in the United States,” she explained. “When families come to us they will actually give us preferences and say ‘we want to stick with a child that looks like us, and we’re lighter-skinned or we’re darker-skinned.’ It does make it difficult at times.”
By contrast, “if we have families that may be biracial — one partner is Caucasian and the other is African-American — we can come to them with any black child, and they’re more open,” Caldwell said. “The same is true with Caucasian families, which is why you’re seeing more Caucasians adopting children of color, because they really don’t care about the shade.”
Read the rest of the story at theGrio.com.
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Just days after Lucky Mulumba gave birth to her first child Carol, she learned her baby had sickle cell anemia.
“Doctors said she had the most severe type and they told me she would have a hard life. Some doctors told me she would not live past ten years,” said Lucky Mulumba.
Two years later she learned she was pregnant with her second child Mark. Her doctor suggested she bank his umbilical cord blood in the event one day it might be used to help Carol.
Cord Blood Registry, based in San Bruno, California, paid for Mark’s cord blood to be stored and saved as part of a free program called “Newborn Possibilities.” Meanwhile Carol, now 10 years old, struggled through daily pain as her condition worsened.
Find out Mark’s umbilical cord saved his sister’s life at theGrio.com.
Parents out there, did you save your child’s umbilical cord? Do you think this procedure will become more and more common in the future?
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Remember that controversial billboard that ran earlier this year, the one paid for by a Texas-based pro-life organization? It read: “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is the Womb.” Some, including the mother of the child featured on the billboard, agreed that the message was delivered in bad taste; however, the New York City Health Department found that of all the abortions given in NYC in 2009, between 40 and 50 percent were given to African American women.
What started out as a “New York” issue eventually became a national cause for conservative activists. Now, the Republicans are jumping on this “anti black abortion” band wagon.
According to an opinion piece at the Washington Post, Arizona Rep., Trent Franks, a Republican, believes that the issue of black abortion is “the civil rights struggle that will define our generation.” So, he composed a bill, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011, that would address this issue.
Among other things the bill proposes that persons or organizations that perform a race or gender-selection abortion can lose government funding or can be prosecuted by the woman herself or her family members and the government can legally prevent this person or organization from performing further abortions.
Hmmm, on the surface this bill sounds admirable. No woman should be coerced into having an abortion based on the race or sex of her unborn child. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the Republican party, who places such strong emphasis on personal responsibility, has another motive behind this bill.
While the number of black abortions is far too high at 40-50 percent, I would argue that many of these abortions have little to do with the race of the fetus and more to do with the mother’s choice not to give birth to her child. I wholeheartedly believe that our high abortion rates has more to do with lack of education, pressure, real or imagined, to have unprotected sex and a lack of resources. This bill seems more like a ploy to remove government funding from Planned Parenthood than it is concern for African American children. I can’t say I blindly support Planned Parenthood, considering their suspect conversations and prevalence in urban neighborhoods but I also don’t believe that they’re completely to blame for our high abortion rates.
Either way this is an all around bad situation.
When you get a chance, read the bill and let us know what you think. Do conservative groups and Republicans really care about black abortion or are they playing the race card to prosecute organizations like Planned Parenthood?
Naming your child is an important task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is the name people will call your little bundle for the rest of his or her life…Unless it’s so terrible that they have to change it– like in the case of 9 year old New Zealand girl named Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. (Don’t worry the court ordered that she become a ward of the state until she could legally change it.)
Most people, black people included, take the power to determine what a child will be called very seriously. Black people, always known for setting trends, have a legacy of naming their children something unique (if not the word “Unique” itself). There’s history behind the tradition though. In the 1960s, black parents were deciding to do away with the traditional, European names in favor of celebrating African tradition or creating and blending their own new sounds.
So while we know the history behind such “interesting” names, there are still some that just give us pause. Check out this list of names that just do way too much and not enough at the same time.