Let’s Talk About It


What Happened To The BLACK FAMILY?

I wrote an article some time ago asking a difficult, yet profound question that needs an answer.  I would hope to get your thoughts and views on the topic. There was a time when our family structure was the envy of all other cultures. If we are to survive, we need to recognize that the family is the foundation of building a nation. So I asked the question what are the reasons that lead to “The Breakdown of the African American Family.”

During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the concept of the black family was tight-knit, strongly woven, and the envy of most cultures. The African American family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty years or so that the African American family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think for some twisted reason we do not feel whole because, in many cases, we allow others define us.

If the proper behavior is not modeled for our young people and the proper education gained. Our future as a race will have great difficulty fulfilling any expectations and will change the conditioning and evolve in order to save future generations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to continue in our community.

I’ve have listed some of the key points/reasons in my view. My intent is to create some dialog within our consciousness as to why the black family, our community, and black people are the least likely to work together as a solid unit to the benefit of each other as other ethnic groups do. I say it starts with the family. What say you???

These are 12 key factors I think impacted and/or caused detriment to our family structure and thereby our future survival:

  1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hard working black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell-shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from the war in Vietnam and the current Bush wars because the government abandoned them.

  2. COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but ensured that anyone speaking out against the government’s wrongdoings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust and removing many of our leaders, coupled with long prison sentences as a result of the war on drug robbed the community of potential future leaders.

  3. The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in a popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. In addition to what white folk call black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered in large numbers by other black youth.

  4. The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to be fully granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.

  5. Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.

  6. Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of the propaganda machine, the gay agenda, and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80’s was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.

  7. Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. Also, our leaders and academics have failed the black communities as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Before this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. The great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be filled by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.

  8. Communication: This speaks to an education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values – parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions, and value systems. We’re like POW’s locked in concentration camps, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our personas, egos, insecurities, isms, etc.

  9. The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so with great wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and the promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as a faith which was necessary to survive our struggles. I can’t leave out the pimps in the pulpit who have sold their souls for those pieces of silver.

  10. Urbanization – now called gentrification, they have moved blacks out of positive communities, leaving us to struggle in crime-ridden areas, and the concept of work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families, and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key” kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.

  11. Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine, during the early 50’s, welfare was a midwestern farmer hook-up, and back then you had to be a complete family to apply. So the laws for welfare changed black people, while many in the farmlands of Mid-America started to change in culture to fit the application for welfare. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not by enlarge benefited the mobility of the black families.

  12. Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family bases causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their “failure”.

I don’t know if the question has an answer but I can say the conclusion does not have a good outcome. In order for black people to survive, we must join in unity and correct the wrongs imposed by others. I would suggest that all black people have a common enemy and one mission; dismantling white supremacy. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

We need solutions so let’s talk about it. What Say You?


About Thought Provoking Perspectives

Welcome to Thought Provoking Perspectives a blog designed to be a potent source of empowering knowledge to broaden the information base with those who share my passion for the written word and the empowerment of thought. View all posts by Thought Provoking Perspectives

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