All Articles Tagged "black family"
There is an interesting theory behind what caused the most recent East Coast earthquake, which is that when people, mostly black, first heard the rumor that Will and Jada Smith had separated, the energy and vibration from the collective groaning caused the earth’s fault planes to shift. Of course, this is only a joke but judging by the near apocalyptic reaction some folks were having to the rumored split, I am willing to give this joke some attention.
As a society we have this weird thing of relating to celebrities and their triumphs, mistakes and pain more easily than to our own friends and neighbors. I took notice of this occurrence again on Sunday night when Beyonce announced her pregnancy live on the VMA’s red carpet. I wasn’t watching the program; I was doing dishes and mopping up water, which leaked from the ceiling during Hurricane Irene. However, my Facebook page lit up with stories about the announcement, along with congratulatory well-wishes, questions about the due date and long threads about what they should name the baby. One person in my network even reported that she had shed tears upon hearing the news. My own reaction to the news was much more simplistic, “Oh that’s nice. I hope her baby is healthy.” Then I went back to mopping the floor.
Immediately after Beyonce and Jigga Man tied the knot, there was constant speculation about when we might expect a bun in the oven. “When?! When?! When are they going to have a baby??!” Seriously, people were asking the question before Beyonce and Jay even had a chance to consummate their marriage. And when Beyonce finally addressed the speculation in an interview that a baby wouldn’t be in her cards – not in the near future anyway – folks responded with outrage and made charges that she was being selfish for denying herself, and more importantly, the world an off-spring. Like, why else would anyone get married if it’s not to procreate, right?
The tide has obviously turned for them. Many of the same folks, who once chastised Beyonce for waiting for motherhood, are rushing to sing the praises of how the couple, but more specifically Beyonce, “did it the right way.” You know, the correct order of things: dating, marriage and then the kid. Never mind that her better half is a 41 year old man, who still grabs his crotch out in public and wears his hat turned backwards. But more to the point, this whole “look at the positive role Bey is setting for young women” conversation, which is now happening around the blogosphere, reeks of Slore-shaming.
Beneath the celebratory “she did it the right way” discussion is an underlining message, which seeks to shame and stigmatize women, who for whatever reason, go in on motherhood alone. Some bloggers see Beyonce’s pregnancy as some sort of triumph over single women, who have gotten pregnant before or outside of marriage. And as such, Beyonce’s baby bump and wedding ring have now become kindling to further flame the existence of these unwed women, who by virtue of their singledom, are obviously failures at motherhood and are incapable of rearing a child with morals and values worthy of society.
Whether you had a harmonious childhood or a long term contentious relationship with the woman who created you, chances are you’ll find that relating to her as an adult may come with a new set of challenges. It should be no surprise the woman who carried you in her womb for nine months, changed your pee-soaked diapers and may have even fed you from her breast may have a hard time seeing you as an adult and you may also find it hard to break your ‘mommy’s little girl’ habits as well. Here are a few tips for having a grown-up relationship with the woman who made you.
Anytime you put several people in the same room together for any extended period of time, drama is bound to ensue. While you might think coming from the same blood line would alleviate some of the drama it can actually enhance it. No one knows how to push your buttons like your family members. But at the end of the day, they’re your family and for better or worse you love them. If you have a reunion or gathering of some type coming up in the near future here are some coping mechanisms so your reunion doesn’t end up looking like a boxing match.
In the latest conservative fumble, Politico reports that an Iowa based group is now retracting a line in its marriage vow which suggested that black children born into slavery had a better family life than black children born today.
The marriage vow, created by Family Leader, came out last week and was signed by Michelle Bachmann. The original preamble read “slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”
The group’s officials said that “after careful consideration and wise insight and input from valued colleagues,” they decided to remove the offensive language from their preamble. They still maintain that all must work to strengthen marriages between one man and one woman.
Bachmann’s spokeswoman said that she signed the candidate vow, which made no reference to slavery, and relayed the congresswoman’s belief that “slavery was horrible.” It’s unclear whether or not Bachmann actually read the preamble.
Of course, as with any other outrageously offensive comment, the group claims it wasn’t meant to be racist, “just a fact that back in the days of slavery there was usually a husband and a wife.”
(Washington Post) — A socially conservative group has apologized for including a passage about slavery in a pledge it asked the Republican candidates to sign as a prerequisite for the group’s endorsement in the presidential race. Rep. Michele Bachmann had been the first GOP hopeful to sign “The Marriage Vow,” which included in the introduction a section that lamented that “the Institution of Marriage in America is in great crisis.” One piece of evidence it offered was the claim that a black person born into slavery “was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American president.”
If people still celebrate Black History Month like they used to, schools should be covered in pictures of black geniuses: inventors, athletes, entertainers and more–it’s only right. The accomplishments and contributions of our people deserve it. But one gentleman, a columnist for The Washington Post by the name of Colbert I. King, an African-American journalist, thinks we need to quit focusing so much on the past every February and take responsibility for a muddled future.
In an article entitled “Celebrating black history as the black family disintegrates,” published this past weekend, King makes the point that we’re ignoring the major issues we need to be dealing with while we exalt those from the past. The main problem being that the black family is falling apart as we speak. According to the Census bureau, King says the percentage of two-parent families is now only 38 percent. Not much to celebrate. Because of these things, young men and women are having their own families, but not seeing them through. Young mothers are exiting school at a rapid rate to have their children, and men would rather hold guns than babies, according to his studies and the work of the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. An increase in the dependance on food stamps, cash assistance and medical coverage from the government is a sad response the writer believes we’re settling with, making it less of a phobia to have kids at a young age. How many young parents do you see walking around with babies like the new “it” accessory? He also says this is causing less responsibility to be taken by the youth and their parents:
“A 16-year-old mother who reads at a sixth-grade level drops out of school? Blame the teacher. Knock the city for underserving girls during their second and third pregnancies. Blast social workers for not doing enough to help children with developmental disabilities or kids in foster care. Carp at the counselors responsible for troubled youth in detention.”
It all sounds like we might not have too much to celebrate, but then again why shouldn’t we celebrating? Is King trying to say that in a month where we display black pride we need to really be re-evaluating if we’ve come far at all? Does he think we don’t have much to be proud of? A friend of mine poignantly pointed out that African-Americans are not the only group of people having trouble with teen pregnancy and single family homes, we just get put on blast for it a lot more. So why knock our love for finding strength and inspiration in the people that have come before to help us mentally make it in “the calamity in our midst” as King would say? Yet the writer also makes some interesting points. So, the question still remains, are we going goo-goo eyed over the past in an attempt to take attention away from the problems awaiting us in the future? What do we really need to be doing this month and the other 11 months of the year?
What do you think?
Read the article here.
In a recent article in The Washington Post, Colbert I. King ponders the idea of celebrating Black History Month at a time when we’re continuing to witness the disintegration of the Black family. “When Black History Month was celebrated in 1950, according to State University of New York research, 77.7 percent of black families had two parents,” he wrote. “As of January 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the share of two-parent families among African Americans had fallen to 38 percent.”
Although the number of two-parent households has fallen across the board since changes in the work force and the economy have made it more feasible for households to rely on one income, the image of the single black mother stands out as a common reality as compared to other ethnicities. In a way, it has become the norm and what is expected.
King uses data from the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, to illustrate the connection between the short and long-term effect of single parent families on offspring.
To read more, continue on to The Washington Post
The Christmas holiday season is one of the most beautiful times of year. It is the pocket of the year when people put aside personal agendas to spend time with family and friends. However, along with delicious dinners, catching up and memorable roundtable discussions, there is usually a little (or a lot) of drama.
Every family has their tokens, like the pretentious aunt or cousin who strips. Varying life experiences, choices and opinions tend to breed conflict. Why? Someone always crosses the blurred line separating inquisitive from insulting, asking rhetorical questions rooted in judgment. Sometimes, for the sake of the aura, it is best to keep conversations P.C. (or politically correct). Christmas is one of those times.
So, even though you think (and don’t understand why) your brother is a disappointment, stay tight-lipped. There are better times, aside from Christmas, to have these arguments:
(theLoop21) –It’s not often that a rapper emerges as a voice for conservative thought, but this week Grammy nominee T.I. may have unwittingly done just that. In an emotionally raw letter penned in his prison cell he expressed his desire to make sure that his own children never end up where he is. His solution for insuring this: being an involved father. He writes:
“A lot of folks had fathers or father figures in the house to raise them into manhood. I’m not trying to make any excuses for my situation but my father was a hustler that lived in New York … My mother and grandparents did the best they could but I found my manhood in the trap and in prison systems. But I found it.”
Despite the fact that the percentage of children born to single mothers has skyrocketed from 5 percent to 41 percent over the last 50 years, and has increased to over 70 percent among black Americans, T.I. is not alone in fearing that this trend is having a detrimental impact on children, and society at large.
Black relationships have been under study and research for the past 35 years. Many African-American studies at university and colleges study the evolution of the relationships among Black families in comparison to other cultures. There are differences between races and much of it has to do with the cultural behaviors of each group. However, there have been effects to the Black familial dynamics with the emerging trend caused by special interest groups and other macro causes in America. These effects have been caused by Women’s Rights groups and the increase of the economic power of the Black group. The effects not only affect the woman, it also affects the man and children. How?
With the perceived economic independence to women came a laundry list of problems. First, let’s determine economic independence. For one, economic independence is not simply getting income. Economic independence is sustainability through philosophical beliefs and financial intelligence. Women getting jobs developed an apathetic attitude in Black women towards Black men, causing many relationship break-ups. “I don’t need a man” has become a new and popular slogan among “independent women.” Their independence is seen as having their own income. Quite frankly, getting additional income into the home is a great emergence in our families, but not clearly understanding what income should be used for, not allowing it to affect the intrinsic relationship with family and not realizing that income isn’t wealth is where the danger lies. Income is basically the opportunity to create wealth. Not knowing the difference and using wealth to spend, instead of using it to build, then using our “wealth positions” to determine how we spend is dividing the family.
However, the affects of women involved in economic activity has also misled some Black men. Men don’t work as hard to build wealth and keep marital and dating relationships in tact since they know a woman can fend for herself. Recreation has become more attractive to the man and he too has developed a sense of apathy.
My plea isn’t to remove women from the workplace it is to get us to see beyond the surface of simply getting income. We should really maintain our focus on keeping true to strong family principles that are not tethered by a woman’s income; keep in mind, determining one’s net worth, has nothing to do with income. We are finding more latchkey children leaving their homes in the morning and returning to the homes after school with no adult supervision. We find there are an exponentially increasing number of child support payments instead of live-in dads. We are finding that more men are carelessly impregnating women, knowing women can survive without their intimate assistance.
How do we reverse the “Black Fallout?” We must get the message across that income is only a vessel to a destination. It is only a means to an ends. It is temporary, sporadic and inconsistent. Tying our family legacies to what incomes exist and at what levels, diminish our overall community’s worth, our progress and the future mindset of our Black children; which, by the way, sends a message of disaster if we continue to proceed staying the course!
Devin Robinson is an economics professor in Atlanta, GA and author of Blacks: From the Plantation to the Prison and Rebuilding the Black Infrastructure: Making America a Colorless Nation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.