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Black|in America|Part I: A Positive Review

From what I saw on the program, they did go over some  positive aspects of Black America. I wouldn’t say the entire show was aimed towards this, but all the same there were very positive aspects. Can we ignore the bad in search of something good? Were we expecting an entire show dedicated to the positive aspects of black America when half of black America is, indeed struggling?

Since most have already pointed out the negatives of the program, I’ll point out the positives that I saw:

The black family with both parents and 5 children, all of which they successfully sent to college, except one because she/he was not of age yet and the parents have their own family business.

They covered a child who successfully made it out the “hood” and went to Julliard for dance and we all know Eric Dyson’s success story.

I remember them talking about the rapid increase of black business (up 45%, I believe) in the last decade which often the media ignores.

I remember them covering a large family who annually held family reunions, strongly stuck together and helped each other, and knew their family history tenfold.

They talked about the large number of black sisters who hold a degree. They talked about the many intelligent, financially well off sisters who are doing  very well for themselves.

They covered the 2 year experimental program in NY for less fortunate children which actually pays children to go to school and is designed to help motivate young black children in learning and give them a more promising future that would probably otherwise be bleak. So far , it has proven to be a successful motivation tool for learning.

I’d give the program a chance to play itself out before I denounce it. I’ll be tuning in tonight @ 8pm central time for the Black Men segment.

Besides this, I was watching it with some family members (cousins, aunts)—some of whom fall into the category of single parent mothers and they were very pleased to have an open dialogue about these issues and it opened their minds to many other things mentioned on the program. I think overall, it was more helpful than harmful.

Following|in Her Footsteps|and in His Shadow

Approximately 70% (66% to be more precise) of single black women are raising children. A disheartening 50% of these single black mothers live in poverty, and if one lives in poverty it is very likely that they will stay in poverty. This is increasingly becoming more of the rule than it is the exception. Soledad O’Brien’s Black in America  Part 1  on CNN only confirmed what I have always known and that is that the children of single parent households generally  follow in their parents’ footsteps, or shadows  when it comes to the absent father.

Black children who grow up in single parent households are more likely to:

  • Go to jail (mostly males): It’s no secret that many young, black men are incarcerated.
  • Get pregnant at an early age/Become “Baby Mommas”: With no father figure around, a lot of them go looking for a father figure and the love of a father that they never really had. Despite some women’s best efforts for their daughter not to make the same mistake she made, this seems to be the trend, especially for young girls whose mother had them at an early age.
  • Become “Baby Daddies”:  Considering this is, more or less, what his father did to his mother, this is the example his father set for his son by default.
  • Drop out of school: Nearly 50% of black students drop out of school and never graduate.
  • Join a gang (mostly males): 80% of black males who join gangs are those who have no father figure in the household. A lot of them look up to “OGs” or Original Gangsters as father figures. The OG is merely his name’s sake, and only cares about increasing his money through drugs and elimination of his competition through murder—-enter the young black troubled mind looking for a fatherly figure.
  • Get caught up in drugs: A lot of the black men in jail are there because of drug-related crimes. Murder, rape, and theft are also reasons.

The other side of this is some children know the mistakes their parents made and want to avoid them at all cost so that they can have a better life and future for themselves and family, however, statistics show that these are a small minority.

I am reminded of my two small cousins, one is 1 ½ and the other is 2 ½ —both are girls. Of course, I only want the best for both of them but I fear for them that they may very well following their mother’s footsteps or linger in their father’s shadow. God knows I pray that they are a part of that small minority and that the minority one day becomes the majority.

Now…why were/are some people mad at Barack and Cosby again?

Tyra Banks|Black Women|State of|the Union

There is an increasing number of educated and/or independent, black women…we’ll call them “EIBW”and a decreasing amount of these women who are actually getting married. Why is this? I have perused this situation.

These newly breed EIBW typically recant the same, old “gender roles” their parents probably assumed. The normal “duties” such as: cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children for a woman are becoming more uniform being that both parties are leading very busy and ambitious lives. There really aren’t too many professions that a man is in that you won’t at least see one woman.

Black males from broken homes as well as homes where their fathers were present, typically saw their mothers and grandmothers assume the role of caretaker, provider, cleaning, and cooking while their fathers either not around at all, doing his own thing, or those who were around just as providers, and fixing things around the house for the most part. Sometimes male egos are objected to the idea of actually having to take care of a child, let alone provide for the child financially, because often it is seen as something “feminine” to rock a child to sleep, give a child a bottle, bath, or change a diaper. At most, they would play with the child when it’s happy or take the child to daycare but no real caretaker position is usually assumed. You may hear things like “it’s a woman’s job” or “I don’t know how to do this or that”. It’s called learning, lest one forgets no female is born knowing how do take care of a child in any way; she had to learn too. Therefore, it’s safe to say that these statements are merely excuses for not wanting to take part in these responsibilities. Further proof of this is in the increasing number of black males who are fathering children but not married to the woman/women who mother their children who throw their child(ren) off on their (the male’s) mothers and grandmothers to take care of the child when it’s their (the male’s) “ turn” to take care of and spend time with their (the male’s) child(ren).

Of course, none of this applies to everyone meeting this demography, but a lot of it has to do with their (black males and females) upbringing and the “roles” that their mothers, grandmothers, and fathers played or didn’t play. For some black females, there is resentment, so to speak, from being inured—in the fact that their mothers and grandmothers were seemingly overwhelmed by daily housework, children, cooking, and cleaning— almost single handedlyand all the while working (as someone’s employee) just as hard and pulling just as many hours as their father. It typically wasn’t so much, for the woman of that time, ambition as it was trying to make “ends meet”. Some of these females even had to assume responsibility at a very early age to help their mother with these things and to raise younger siblings.

         There is hardly the “stay at home” mom mentality, especially with EIBW. A lot of black men are intimated by EIBW and their mentality. Maybe this kind of black male’s need to control and call all the shots in an evolving society were women are just as ambitious and hard working as men causes conflict. Perhaps they (the males) are confused of their role as the “male” in such cases. Sometimes egos are bruised at the idea of a woman making more money than a man and many of these EIBW are making close to, if not right at six figures. As Tyra mentioned, 73% of interracial marriages involve black men. One audience member, on Tyra’s show,  made the statement that if things keep going they way they are, black women (In America) will be extinct.  A black man’s “trophy wife” (marrying a woman based on looks or ethnicity alone) doesn’t have to be white, although typically whites are the ultimate prize, being erudite usually doesn’t matter. They could be mixed (black and other), Latino, Brazilian, Pilipino, etc. Trophy wives for black males are any other than that of black or the closest from black.

 It is rare that you find an EIBM (man) with an EIBW; there seems to be a conflict of interest. You may hear things like: “Black women have attitudes and are irascible” “A good black woman is hard to find”. This is an indication that the black male finds “otherseasier to “manage”; it indicates that they (others) don’t speak their minds as much and are more submissive and reticent (typically these are gold-diggers or those who depend on a man for their very livelihood).  I don’t believe speaking your mind and being honest with yourself and those around you makes one intransigent. The words “good woman” is subject to ones own interpretation. Of course, none of this applies to everyone meeting this demography but this is the current trend.