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Can Black Women Raise Black Boys to Be Strong Men

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  • Can Black Women Raise Black Boys to Be Strong Men

    I know there are many, many single mothers and single fathers out here. The truth about single parenting is that it never really gets easier. You just become more knowledgeable and better able to handle the needs of your children.

    The video below talks briefly about Black single mothers raising boys alone. While the video touches the surface of the topic, I think it is a good topic to think about and discuss. With the increase in the percentages of households led by single parents (both men and women), it is important for us to delve into the topic of single parenthood.


    So, family I have a question, actually two questions... Can Black women raise Black boys to be strong men? And if so, how do we accomplish this?

    I've read so much commentary on the issue and the truth of the matter is most people who are talking aren't really saying much. I'm tired of hearing people play the blame game. I'm tired of hearing people use the single parent issue as an excuse to bash Black men or women. And I'm tired of hearing people regurgitate the same nonsense they hear on television. Single parents are tired of hearing this. We did not end up in our situation because we wanted to. Many of us are single parents due to differing situations. And for the most undisciplined single parent out there, their situation does not preclude them from receiving solid advice. If we are talking about Black unity, is this not apart of the unification process? Seeking ways to heal, mend, and restore what's broken within our communities. And our family structure has indeed been broken.

    So, family I need to know what you think. Can Black women raise Black boys to be strong men? How do we go about doing this? I'm a single Black woman raising a boy. I've been pondering this question ever since my son was born. I've been blessed to have a few friends give some advice, but mostly members of the Black community stuck their nose up at me. And these same people wonder why the broken family issue is still prevalent within our community. As the sista said in the video, no one is talking.

    Family, can we talk about this?

  • #2
    In my humble opinion, NO.....

    Greetings Sis

    I think the meaning that has to be discussed is how are they supposed to reach "manhood" without a "man" to direct them ??

    What I have found in my 35 years raising and teaching children that they do need their fathers. IMHO, Its not gender specific, but as the topic focus on young black male babies, Lets focus on that. There is only so much that I can teach once the hormones start raging through their veins. There is a visible disconnect with our sons and society at large. Why ?? Because most are taught that the black man is NOT necessary.

    But Who would be a better teacher than our own men?

    I cannot tell my son what it is like to be a black man in this society or how to face life as a black man. in society. I cannot relate to what he may be feeling, I can only empathize with him. His father can relate, and has been there, done that. If he is not there, then we need other "successful" black men as mentors for them. But, as more of our black men in the community get railroaded by society at large, where else do we turn? Where are there Uncles.. Grandfathers, etc ?? Male elders have always played a vital role in our communities.

    When my son was young there were many times I had to take a long walk and allow his father to give him tough . His father had to teach him what to do, how to protect himself. How to tuck the emotions to the side and not to react to them. He had to learn how to walk as a black man. Especially in this society !!!

    Could I have ?? Hmmmm

    As a woman I think as a woman, I act as a women and I have that natural feminine make-up. I can multi-task naturally. How can I think, act , behave or even have the emotional make-up or stern mind-set as a black man ??

    We have to know how OUR men contribute AS men to society to realize whats missing with our young boys raised solely by women and women alone. This trend has been more popular in the last 50 years. So lets take a look at the end results.......

    I think that is the question that truly needs to be addressed...... Is can we implement male roles and how our men con contribute as positive role models to all.

    Deepest respect and heartfelt to sooooo many black women that are raising our children alone. Not an easy task. When most don't have no choice, Most do what they have too. A women parent is far better then none.

    However, IMHO, we have to go backwards to make forward strides. WE NEED OUR MEN. What we are producing without them are an entire breed of more feminized men.

    How many times to we walk the exact same road and expect different results before we realize to change the program. Both genders are vital to create life and both are vital to give any child the tools needed to be the best that they can be. I hope to change the negative cycle as our future depends on just that.

    Excellent topic , Sis

    Love and peace to you

    Comment


    • #3
      It's good to see you again Blkbutterfly!

      Yes, I get what you are saying. This thread isn't denying the important role fathers play in the lives of their children. I am attempting to try and get brothas and sistas to think about how we can go about implementing programs and community initiatives to provide male role models to young Black boys who don't have any role models to look up to.

      No one is denying the role of the father. Many single mothers and single fathers understand that they can only do but so much.

      How many times to we walk the exact same road and expect different results before we realize to change the program.
      Exactly. So, single parents are wondering when will the community at large stop the blame game, ridicule, labeling, and stereotyping and help us in our effort to change things. Most of us don't want to continue this cycle nor do we want our children to. But we need help in doing this.

      And sister, I am so glad your son have his father to help him. That is such a blessing. But the reality of it is that many, many of us simply don't have that option... at all. I am one of those women.


      I cannot tell my son what it is like to be a black man in this society or how to face life as a black man. in society. I cannot relate to what he may be feeling, I can only empathize with him. His father can relate, and has been there, done that. If he is not there, then we need other "successful" black men as mentors for them. But, as more of our black men in the community get railroaded by society at large, where else do we turn? Where are there Uncles.. Grandfathers, etc ?? Male elders have always played a vital role in our communities.
      Yes, I get this too... But does this mean we stop searching for answers and developing ways to rebuild community ties and alliances?

      This is one of the problems our people have, in my opinion... If the answer isn't written for us in black and white, then we stop trying to solve the problem. I've seen the statistics on the high unemployment rates for Black men. I've seen the single parenthood statistics and the statistics on Black marriage... it all looks very bleak, doesn't it sis? But if we continue to regurgitate the same stuff we constantly see, we will get nowhere.

      This one organization I am working with... Sistas came up with the idea of hosting a workshop for unemployed Black men in the area... We are getting brothas and sistas who have already established careers to come in and conduct mock interviews, resume building clinics, and job search strategy workshops. All free of charge with lunch included. This was spearheaded after sistas saw the percentages of Black men unemployed nationwide... Most of us were either single mothers or grew up in a single parent household headed by a woman. We just wanted to help because we did not see our men as society labeled them, we saw them as so much more.

      If a Black father abandons his role, then of course other men in the community are needed. But how can they be a mentor when the community at large is not equipping them to do so. This also applies for the Black mother who abandons her children, how can the community expect for other women to play a role when we haven't even embraced the importance of collective action.

      The organization I spoke of above also came up with an innovative idea that I rarely hear organizations implement.... they host relationship healing workshops. The number of single Black parents will continue to increase if we don't hear from married couples and other couples who have viable, healthy relationships. We have to break the communication barrier to get anywhere with this.

      I hear you sis and I get what you are saying. But as I said earlier in my post, we need to really start forming think tank groups that will address some of these issues. Each community has to start... even if it's only a group of 3-4 people in a small city who mentors young teen men and women, that's a start. But the problem is no one is willing to start anything. Mostly, we sit back and criticize and that is getting us nowhere... we have the media doing that for us.

      I know you have some good ideas sis, let me know what you're thinking.

      Much to you!



      Last edited by Saartje; 09-27-2011, 07:50 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Sister for such a warm welcome.

        I also that your a sister that put actions behind her words. I don't have all the answers but I can say that we should use every effort to re-build black families on a psychological level. If your program is working that's great. I wonder during an hard economy how can we keep our people working especially where there is no unity or loyalty amongst US within our community ??

        IMHO, Every role must be generally defined. ( Without minimizing the other ) A higher moral standard should be implemented and taught as well. That's just the basics.

        Strong black families make strong communities thus we will start the ball rolling in a more positive direction.

        For example : How many couples YOU know that stayed together longer then 20 years ?? ( Using that number because it takes about that long to raise a child together, where both parents are actively involved in every stage of life for a child to adulthood ) Currently I can only think of 4 and that's including myself. . For most that number is low.

        So how can we teach our children about healthy commitments, , sacrifices and relationships when they don't SEE any couples that implement just that ??

        So hopefully you see my point ....

        Can black mothers raise our sons ?? Sure, sister, when most don't have much choice , Yes. But Its not as healthy for the CHILD for this to be trendy.

        I believe WE can stop this detrimental cycle. All our men should get involved. When children SEE healthy relationships, when they have a clear cut picture of what marriage is and how beautiful it can be.....When they can identify what role they play as a man or women..... If we lead BY That example , they WILL grow up and mature and this warped system more likely won't take them from us.

        Sis , You are such a pleasure. I sincerely, Thank you. Incorporating OUR ideas is what allows us to learn and grow beyond.

        Love and peace to you , as always

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you sister for your response!!!

          I wonder during an hard economy how can we keep our people working especially where there is no unity or loyalty amongst US within our community ??
          Great question, sister. But still, I find it unfulfilling as the end all and be all to the situation. If there is no unity, then we must work on it. Take this site as an example... This is a site created by Afrakans, ran by Afrakans, and is for us and only us... Yet, where is our people? We're at Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook. Why sis? I don't know. I'm not sure why because we can socialize on here.... All donations raised on the site goes directly to the community, and we even have access to many features you wont find on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace (ie. chat room) for free. I'm not getting it. Something this small and we can't pull together. But I cannot and will not absorb the actions of other people... I will not stop signing on, participating and contributing. I hear so many people call for unity throughout the threads on the forum, but yet something as small as the site... they aren't displaying it here. So, can the rest of us take those people seriously?

          If you look at the broader picture... If these same Afrakans are calling for unity within their own communities, yet don't support Black businesses, don't volunteer at schools, shelter, or churches, why would they expect for other non-conscious Blacks to take them seriously. It's all about the walk sis. And there aren't enough conscious Blacks walking the talk.

          As far as finding jobs, yes the economy is hard. But I've found there are several issues (that we can fix on our end):

          - Many of us can't write, type, or develop our on resumes --- That's fixable
          - Many us don't know where to begin looking for jobs--- That's fixable
          - Those of us who own our businesses should be looking to better serve our own communities and come back to teach--- That's fixable

          One of the most important things I've learned in college was that statistics lie. I've seen Black people use the economy as an excuse to not go out and find anything or open their own businesses. Some of these numbers are even used to discourage us from doing such. (This includes the constant bleak news on Black relationships.)

          I'm not saying there aren't external factors. I'm saying that those external factors shouldn't be an excuse for us to give in and fold.


          So how can we teach our children about healthy commitments, , sacrifices and relationships when they don't SEE any couples that implement just that ??
          I am surrounded by married couples whose marriages has lasted from 5 yrs to over 50 yrs. (I understand this is not the case for everyone.)The question, I must ask myself is do I really want my marriage to look like theirs. And that is where teaching and research come in. We have to go back and understand our roots and this is where information on this site even comes into play.

          Sis, I completely get what you are saying and agree with you 100% but we have to push ourselves to seek answers and develop solutions or our children will suffer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Saartje View Post
            Thank you sister for your response!!!



            Great question, sister. But still, I find it unfulfilling as the end all and be all to the situation. If there is no unity, then we must work on it. Take this site as an example... This is a site created by Afrakans, ran by Afrakans, and is for us and only us... Yet, where is our people? .


            Sis, It is what it is.

            We are more diverse then ever. Our history has been distorted beyond recognition. ( And we fight over personal perception and interpretation , Looking for "one" right and don't get that there are multiple rights ) We all come from many different backgrounds. Our environment is just as diverse, Our value system, beliefs, Cultural practices etc comes from many different parts of the globe. Respect most don't have a clue what it entails. And we all have our own prejudices and it taints our overall perspective.

            I can't speak for all or even the majority, But we have to LEARN how to feed ourselves and others in a healthier way. Which should enhance an healthier state of mind.

            From where I am sitting what I see with most is this: Most try to use eurocentric tactics and practices and merge THAT into ancient Africa's culture. IMHO , it will never work. That method will never allow US to close the gap and unify. Not my words but history says so.

            Lets look at our educational system for instance.

            The United States continues to become increasingly more diverse, blending a “melting pot” of several different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. However, its primary educational system at all levels seems to remain one focused on ignoring the cultures of its minority population while promoting its current eurocentric ideals and viewpoints. African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, as well as other minority populations in America deserve to have their history and culture taught along with the traditional eurocentric educational model as part of an institutional required curriculum


            Implementing such ideals as one of the Afrocentric viewpoint into the traditional educational system would be ideal. Because of the way our educational system currently is..... how detrimental is it to our beautiful black babies ?? They don't actually see greatness that looks like them. Is this not dictatorial to their current mental state of mind ?? Why ?? Do WE adopt this same warped trend ??

            Freedom. Give freedom to your brothers, sisters, mothers, sons daughters. Freedom is a God ( by any name ) given right to all. You shouldn't have to earn it, buy it, or loan it. Have you ever heard or censorship in words in ancient Africa ?? ( In behaviror yes, Words , No . Strickly an eurocentric tactic . They killed people that dared to think out the box and share )

            We have to be careful Sis that we don't become just like THEM. We must value our differences. TRUE Freedom we must give to each other , Anything else has the Blueprint for dictatorship.

            One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution: One makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.

            In short: Where can we socialize , be ourselves , Express ourselves, Love ourselves , Share and Support each other openly and honestly ?? Facebook, Twitter, Myspace. I've never seen them delete a post because they don't like or agree with what was shared or written. ( As I can only hope that this post remains )

            Change comes but acknowledgement and making an conscious effort TO CHANGE. Its not enough to just learn about history, but we must use the blueprints that our ancestors left for us to live , breath and by.
            I agrre with you wjholeheartedly :
            Sis, I completely get what you are saying and agree with you 100% but we have to push ourselves to seek answers and develop solutions or our children will suffer.
            I hope that we learn to grow and go beyond, because we have the vital tools at our finger tips. Real Men teach our man/ child how to be men. Women raising boys alone, Really just produce feminized men. The end results says so. Not I.

            As always You're a pleasure. Love and Peace

            Comment


            • #7
              [I] I thank you sincerely. WE need more sisters like you that actually do the REAL work. There is no such thing as a bad idea. These are desperate times for most. And we have a lot of work to do.

              I never believed that its just One way. It always start with REBUILDING BLACK FAMILIES !!! "African" is a state of mind. May we all mature , grow and tap into that source of light that lies dormant in us all.

              Much and strength to you. Deepest respect !!!!


              [/I]

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you, my sister.

                I thank you for your input and you also have my deepest respect!

                Comment


                • #9
                  First off, I'M happy to see this category finally added to the site, because Our hope and Our future is (literally) in the cradle but ready or not, WE must guide it's growth just as any diligent Parent.

                  But not all of it.

                  WE have a rich history of Freedom Fighters of whom have brought US to (this) precipice of understanding and the ability to ultimately (even) free Ourselves from the psychological incarceration that has been inflicted upon US by a tyrant determined to keep his foot on Our necks.

                  But WE have to want it.

                  (and) If WE'RE honest with Ourselves, WE will accept and understand the fact that it is Our Ancestors knowledge and will ---that has afforded US the benefit of any knowledge what-so-ever (even yes, moreover, Our very existence) and it is to THEM and THEM alone that WE owe any allegiance, diligence, or trust in the stewardship in the needs of Our Children. (thereby the charge of Our own freedom.)

                  That said, it is good to read the wisdom of Our Sistas (as witnessed above---) tempered with the kind of Love that could only come from THEM over the concern of Our Yunguns. I'VE learned to listen and listen closely to Our Sistas in matters such as these and I can honestly report, that I have learned more from the that (even) 'accidentally' pours from Their hearts, than I ever did in all the years of study in eurocentric 'centers of education'.

                  As to the video above, all I can say is Dr. West echoed all of MY very sentiments.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by roarin1 View Post
                    First off, I'M happy to see this category finally added to the site, because Our hope and Our future is (literally) in the cradle but ready or not, WE must guide it's growth just as any diligent Parent.

                    But not all of it.

                    WE have a rich history of Freedom Fighters of whom have brought US to (this) precipice of understanding and the ability to ultimately (even) free Ourselves from the psychological incarceration that has been inflicted upon US by a tyrant determined to keep his foot on Our necks.

                    But WE have to want it.

                    (and) If WE'RE honest with Ourselves, WE will accept and understand the fact that it is Our Ancestors knowledge and will ---that has afforded US the benefit of any knowledge what-so-ever (even yes, moreover, Our very existence) and it is to THEM and THEM alone that WE owe any allegiance, diligence, or trust in the stewardship in the needs of Our Children. (thereby the charge of Our own freedom.)

                    That said, it is good to read the wisdom of Our Sistas (as witnessed above---) tempered with the kind of Love that could only come from THEM over the concern of Our Yunguns. I'VE learned to listen and listen closely to Our Sistas in matters such as these and I can honestly report, that I have learned more from the that (even) 'accidentally' pours from Their hearts, than I ever did in all the years of study in eurocentric 'centers of education'.

                    As to the video above, all I can say is Dr. West echoed all of MY very sentiments.

                    Hey Big Bro, Its always great to read your input Thanks. ( I missed ya as well )

                    I must ask , Is it... that we all have to want it ?? For most what choice do we have when we are missing our own definition of family and have no clue what the roles of each gender actually are ?? If adults don't know, How and what are they actually teaching the children ??

                    For example: We have a young girls group as well for young ladies. Just a group of young girls from ages 12 to 17. The mentors are male and female. And yes, I listen. What blew me away is the notion that in order for them to be submissive to a man that it leads them to believe that men are better, can control, and belittling TO THEM simple because they are female.

                    Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms
                    that are considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time. There are differences of opinion as to whether observed gender differences in behavior and personality characteristics are, at least in part, due to cultural or social factors, and therefore, the product of socialization experiences, or to what extent gender differences are due to biological and physiological difference. Because we adopted and only know THERE definition and culture, seems to be the biggest part of the problem.

                    One may think that being submission to a man is belittling, degrading etc. to the woman. But as we study our own culture. That is the farthest from the truth. In our culture, there was no need for woman's lib. Because we was already liberated. I've never heard of "Orphans" because if a child was left fatherless usually because of an un-timely death - The brother , uncle or another male family member stepped up. In ancient Kemet men treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. They believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.

                    So In short, Would it be more feasible to just instill old values, definitions, higher moral standards and stronger structure of family with our children ?? The problem seems to be rooted in the negative notation that follows the black man in an Eurocentric culture base. We can live within this culture , without adhering to it. Truly , What do you think. I look forward to your response. ( But I welcome anybody to tap into this discussion )

                    Again, Its always great to see ya. Much Big bro

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to say this as well.

                      I don't want to blame neither gender, because the bulk of the blame belongs to us all currently. Welfare rewards women for a man not being in the house. With the added stipulation for the money to feed your kids , You MUST put the father on child support. This does give women a check but what about the most valuable tools needed to raise children ?? Time, time, and more time, instruction, lessons, discipline and tough but plenty of ?? Can you put a price on that ?? And I am going there....... Its too easy for males to walk away. I said males because they surly are not MEN. Ladies with all the birth control that's available,, Learn how to choose better stature of black men who welcome the role of Father. Accidental pregnancies, should be the lowest numbers , now. What seems to be trendy seems to be the most detriment to us. Commitment, accountability, and Self Sacrifice is what real PARENTS do. Ok, I said it. Love and Peace

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hotep Sis BB41!

                        It's always wonderful to read YOU!

                        (and as usual YOUV'E begun by draining what little grey-matter juices that I may possess! but no matter! I'LL carry on...!)

                        Gender roles refer to the set of social and behavioral norms that are considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex in the context of a specific culture, which differ widely between cultures and over time. There are differences of opinion as to whether observed gender differences in behavior and personality characteristics are, at least in part, due to cultural or social factors, and therefore, the product of socialization experiences, or to what extent gender differences are due to biological and physiological difference. Because we adopted and only know THERE definition and culture, seems to be the biggest part of the problem.
                        This precisely why I stated that 'WE have to want it'.

                        WE have to want the benefits of returning to what nature had already ensured would provide health, spiritual strength, disposing of the empty euro-centric assertions that 'theirs' is the best way'... and (this time,) embracing the inseparable Family structures that just like a chain of impenetrable Afrakan Society, cannot be broken.

                        Because eurocentric social structure is distorted, Sankofa is Our only viable response.

                        (and)

                        One may think that being submission to a man is belittling, degrading etc. to the woman. But as we study our own culture. That is the farthest from the truth. In our culture, there was no need for woman's lib. Because we was already liberated. I've never heard of "Orphans" because if a child was left fatherless usually because of an un-timely death - The brother , uncle or another male family member stepped up. In ancient Kemet men treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. They believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.
                        I could not agree more, period.

                        (Oh that all of Our Sistas wouldn't think this way! It would only be a shame that I couldn't marry'm all!! O.k. ok. I know....I don't mind leavin something for MY Bruthas!! lol)

                        The problem seems to be rooted in the negative notation that follows the black man in an Eurocentric culture base.
                        It absolutely is.

                        We can live within this culture , without adhering to it.
                        Which is the 'condition' that I seek....every day.

                        What do you think.
                        I think exactly the way that YOU do on the matter...exactly.

                        Sis, suffice it to say.....I'VE missed YOU too.....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Blkbutterfly41 View Post
                          I have to say this as well.

                          I don't want to blame neither gender, because the bulk of the blame belongs to us all currently. Welfare rewards women for a man not being in the house. With the added stipulation for the money to feed your kids , You MUST put the father on child support. This does give women a check but what about the most valuable tools needed to raise children ?? Time, time, and more time, instruction, lessons, discipline and tough but plenty of ?? Can you put a price on that ?? And I am going there....... Its too easy for males to walk away. I said males because they surly are not MEN. Ladies with all the birth control that's available,, Learn how to choose better stature of black men who welcome the role of Father. Accidental pregnancies, should be the lowest numbers , now. What seems to be trendy seems to be the most detriment to us. Commitment, accountability, and Self Sacrifice is what real PARENTS do. Ok, I said it. Love and Peace

                          Sis, it will take strength ----and for US to do Our due diligence, but if WE respect and Ourselves enough and value Our Brethren and the opportunity to positively and productively commune within and strengthen Our Own (already defined) Culture, WE can break the demented stereotypes in--and the iron grip of--the empty european lies concerning the wealth of power and progressiveness found within Our Community.

                          MY 2 cents.

                          YOURS

                          Mwinyee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by roarin1 View Post
                            Sis, it will take strength ----and for US to do Our due diligence, but if WE respect and Ourselves enough and value Our Brethren and the opportunity to positively and productively commune within and strengthen Our Own (already defined) Culture, WE can break the demented stereotypes in--and the iron grip of--the empty european lies concerning the wealth of power and progressiveness found within Our Community.

                            MY 2 cents.

                            YOURS

                            Mwinyee

                            Your 2 cents is making me rich !!!! Thank you !!!

                            Men have always rule the world but it's the women that have always set the pace.

                            I said that to say this: It might be just me. But we have sooo many community program working on young black men. But Have you seen our young sisters lately ??

                            Removing the black men out of the black home only gives us the illusion of superficial growth. But at whose expense ??

                            My lion, Its always great to have exchanges with you. We can do it, We will do it, with one child at a time !! Thanks for your dedication and deep of family.

                            Comment

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