Tag Archives: family

A Repost: When We Were Negro

There was a time, not too long ago, before the early 1960s there were all kinds of terms to describe people of African descent; most were derogatory words. The most accepted and commonly use was Negro. However, they call these people today other terms like African American, Black, Afro-American and these are the polite ones. Frankly, those terms were unheard of in the consciousness of the people called Negro. I am one who thinks the Negro was hoodwinked by the shame they called integration because we were never integrated into the broader society. But then that is what white folk do!

I remember a distinct conversation with a friend where we discussed descriptive terms for ourselves before the mid-sixties. To be clear, all of the terms before and now were assigned by other people to define and demean people of color as a way to say; these people are less than and not true citizens. The mere fact that most black people carry the name of the family of their ancestor’s white slave owners proves this to be true.

The term “black” was just coming into vogue when I was a young man, and most people of color didn’t like it a bit. In fact, they were so happy being called Negro that being called black was an insult and fighting words. Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lowercase “n”) has almost become pejorative and today most people of color feel insulted when they are referred to as such. It tells you how demeaning it was then and how times has changed.

“When we were Negroes,” there were several things that were distinctly different concerning black life. First, there was a higher level of respect for our humanness and one another because it was a necessity to need each other because of segregation. It was in a perverted way a sense of unity among us. In my view integration robbed us of that unity.

So it got me to thinking. When we were Negroes in the 1950s, “only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent,” according to “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies” by Kay Hymowitz. “Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, “only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married.”

Now that we’re so called African Americans, according to Hymowitz, the odds of living with both parents has “dwindled to a mere 6 percent” by the mid-1980s and today the statistics are worse and much lower. For example, he says in Bibb County (GEORGIA); more than 70 percent of the births in the African American community are to single mothers.

When we were Negroes and still fighting in many parts of the country for the right to vote, we couldn’t wait for the polls to open. We knew our friends, family, and acquaintances died getting us the ballot. Can you remember Selma or when dogs and fire hoses were used to keep us away from the polls, but now that we’re African Americans, before President Obama, most didn’t bother to show up at the polls at all. Then as a result of over criminalizing the African American population, in many cases, the vote has been taken away completely.

During the era of being identified as Negro, black people had names like John, Joshua, Aaron, Paul, Esther, Melba, Cynthia, and Ida. Now that we are African Americans, our names are bastardized versions of alcohol from Chivas to Tequila to Chardonnay, and chances are the names of this era have more unusual spellings.

When we were Negroes, according to the Trust For America’s Health “F as in Fat,” report, “only four states had diabetes rates above 6 percent. … The hypertension rates in 37 states about 20 years ago were more than 20 percent.” Now that we’re African Americans that report shows, “every state has a hypertension rate of more than 20 percent, with nine more than 30 percent. Forty-three states have diabetes rates of more than 7 percent, and 32 have rates above 8 percent. Adult obesity rates for blacks topped 40 percent in 15 states, 35 percent in 35 states and 30 percent in 42 states and Washington, D.C. [These are the most recent I could find, which may be higher]

When we were Negroes, the one-room church was the community center that all black people used. Now that we’re African Americans, our churches have to be lavish, and in many cases all the preacher want is your money, compared to back-in-the-day churches, community centers usually sit empty because the last thing the new church wants to do is invite in the community. Further, if you attend such a place the first thing you will see, more often than not, is an ATM in the lobby. In the churches of today, there is a very good chance the leader of the flock, almost assured has a criminal record. It is also a good chance that this leader prays on the congregation sexually or partakes in some sort of financial exploitation.

Back when we were Negroes, we didn’t have to be convinced that education was the key that opened the lock of success, but now that we’re African Americans, more than 50 percent of our children fail to graduate high school. The dropout rate is higher than during the time when schools were segregated.

Back when we were Negroes, the last thing a young woman wanted to look like was a harlot and a young man a thug, but now that we’re African Americans, many of our young girls dress like hoochie mamas and our young boys imitate penitentiary customs wearing their pants below the butt line. The incarceration rate of African American people has skyrocketed in comparison to the days of segregation. It has been said that there are currently more black males in prisons than there were in slavery.

Police brutality has always existed in the African American community. However, today laws have been passed to turn the other community into vigilantes through laws such as “Stop and Frisk” and “Stand your Ground”. These laws essentially say SHOOT TO KILL black men and young boys. These Nazi like tactics routinely occur with the police. Today, drugs have become an epidemic used to destroy black people and gang warfare further that effort.

Pride and strength were the foundations of these people called Negro; fortitude and courage made the race strong. Black people must recapture the pride and greatness of those whose shoulders we stand and relearn that the fights of others are not our battles. If I could reverse all of the above by trading the term “African American” for “Negro”, today I might choose Negro. Although, personally I prefer Black! Here’s a thought – let’s make Black the New Black to make our communities great by being concerned about black issues and yes, Black Lives Matter! So act like it does!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

 


Saluting Women For Their Amazing Greatness

th (11)I am proud to salute and pay homage to all of the women of the women of the world who are given a monumental task in life and, therefore, during Women’s History Month, I want to share my GREAT appreciation for those who are the givers of life. Further, let me give special honor all of the beautiful Black Women who, as we know, were the first soul to give life to this little rock called earth.

History tells us, and His-story agrees that the oldest known human remains discovered was that of a black woman, whose name was “Lucy,” found in African over 4 million years ago. It is also a fact, although we are lead to believe differently, Africa is the cradle of mankind, and that is believed to be the first place to produce the first human life, which means a black woman gave birth to mankind in a place called Pangaea.

These amazing creatures proud, strong, bear the distinction of creating and continuing the species of human life, caring for family, and they carry the world on her shoulders. A woman gives life, maintains life, and determines the help of her child or death by her nurturing – an awesome responsibility. She is God’s greatest creation. So it is fitting that we give praise and a special honor to these amazing women. This post is not meant to exclude any woman regardless of ethnicity or hue because you are also of distinction. It is meant to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the wonders and wonderful mothers of the earth – Black Women.

Some may say that today’s black woman, particularly the young women, have lost their way. This is a subjective statement, which may be true to some degree, but I believe each woman have the power to change that perception by guiding these young girls into womanhood. Each woman, deep down, knows the nurturer in her soul and a real woman understands her strength and uses that power positively as a gift to mankind. I’ll say, the mantra so often used – a “Strong Black Woman” is misguided because your strength is in unity, and I will leave that there as my perspective.

We can remember, I hope, Big Mama, who was the backbone of our families for generations in the mists of mind boggling adversity. She was the strength of the black race, supporting her man, teaching and caring for her children. She is the kind of woman, the model, that I dedicate this article, and pay homage to her and those like her, for being the family’s greatest gift; a proud woman with wisdom, pride, and dedication with one purpose “family”. It is a role that nearly every woman will be granted someday.

If I may say, unlike, at any time in our history, you have a perfect role model for you, First Lady Michelle Obama, our crowned queen as an example for which to follow. She portrays for the world to see what a black woman is – proud, graceful, supporting, dignified and charming.

Personally, my greatest heroine was Harriet Tubman because of her bravery and courage. It has been more than a century since her death, and I continue to be haunted by a powerful statement she made shortly before that fateful day. She was asked by a reporter if she knew how many slave she saved while conducting the Underground Railroad? She said, without hesitation, “I could have freed a lot more if they had only known they were slaves?” POWERFUL!!!

I respect and honor her because she risked her life for the benefit of others traveling back to rescue many captive souls, dozens of times after she escaped herself during a time that we cannot imagine today. Ladies, she demonstrated the amazement that is you, deep in your soul. Let me be clear, today some of you want to be men and have forsaken your black man. Also, I know there are good and bad women, God knows I know because the person who delivered me was such, but there were other women who pulled me through.

These are just a few exceptional women that I am particularly proud of because of their integrity, pride, dignity, and fortitude, but there are so many more worthy of praise. So for those that came before you or walk amongst you; like Phyllis Wheatley, May Jemison, Mya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Madam CJ Walker, Sojourner Truth, the Queen of Sheba, Nefertiti, Big Mama, Isis, and you! Therefore, I salute you “woman” and not to be left out the millions of heroines that the world has been blessed to share with us, know that we need you and that you are loved.

This post was inspired by a black woman, who shared her emotions that I hope all women feel showing the strength within her soul – PLEASE READ! If you are an amazing woman or know someone who is – add her to this list to be honored for she is the queen of life!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

JUST A SEASON


Black By Popular Demand

I’ve received many emails recently telling me that I have begun to get too political and that I should continue to empower the consciousness of those who have no real connection or understand of the greatest story ever told, which is the African American Diaspora. I received one particular email from a young lady who could not remember when we were Negroes. As a result of this surprising revelation I promised that I would re-post my Black History Month Series “The Twenty-Eight Days of Us.”

Therefore, as I promised this proud Black Woman thirsting for knowledge of self that I would provide her and you with the knowledge she seeks. But I can’t resist talking about that insanity of this political season because it is important to understand that we have, but one choice which is to not to elect the Trumpeter as our president.

What struck me by this request was a comment she made. She said, “make it plain my brother.” This was something that Brother Malcolm used to say, and I was an honor to have been connected to such a powerful statement. So I will do just that and “Make It Plain” starting with this post called “What Happened to the Black Family”!

I have seen a lot of life and at one point in a past life, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. From time to time I go back and look through some of those old term papers from that class to which I become enthralled by the content. The assignment given to each student was to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family.” As I read through some of the thirty or so papers, I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you.

During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the concept of 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.

I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economical and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women’s reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.

Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.

If the proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.

These are 12 conditions expressed that continue to cause irreparable harm to black people:

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 war 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 insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust, and removing many of our leaders as well as 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 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 black on black crime and staying silent while black youth are murdered 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 fully be 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 there 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 propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles 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. In addition our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet 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 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 the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our persona’s, 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 much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and a promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.

10. Urbanization – 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 in the inner-city while many in the farm lands 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 family.

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”.

It is these elements that continue to affect all black people and lastly, let us not forget slavery and the Willie Lynch Theory! So when you look in the mirror or just look at the picture I have inserted; I hope you will think about and understand that it is a designed plan, as it has been from the beginning to enslave a whole race of people. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!


Let’s Talk About It

2

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?

PLEASE SHARE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!


A Message For The Black Woman

Image1.I want to say from the outset that this message is not intended to discredit black women because I LOVE black women – my mother, sister, grandma, aunts, and most of the women in my family are black women. God gave you to the world for a divine and important purpose, which is why you are the original mother and the first woman.

These words are intended as an observation of my experiences with black women and what white supremacy has done to corrupt their thinking. First, the system of supremacy has corrupted your thinking – in other words, brainwashed many of you. I say this because you, most, believe and love their white Jesus more than you love your man!

The God you worship so vehemently created the black man for you. He is the strongest man in the universe and also divine. You are the foundation of the family, which means to support him, bare and raise his children; which is the sole reason we were created to continue the species.

There are too many black women who have adopted the white woman’s liberation movement, and the concept of feminism, which is toxic to successful black families and life. Those issues are not the black woman’s issues. Your issues are the same as that of the black man, which is to be united and fight the forces and the system of oppression imposed upon you and I as black people.

I decided to write this post because there are clear representations of your views in survey after survey. Rich or poor, educated or not, black women sometimes feel as though the imposed myths are stalking them like shadows, their lives are reduced to a string of labels. Such as the angry black woman; the strong black woman; the unfeeling black woman; and true or not the manless black woman. Sophia Nelson Author of “Black Woman Redefined” was quoted in the article saying “Black women haven’t really defined themselves.”

Frankly, you are defined by your actions and white people. I know you think white people and his white Jesus loves you – they don’t. In fact, most black women love Jesus so much that they out Pope the Pope. The Jesus they have you worshiping, if he lived at all, was a black man. Yes, he looks like your man – the black who white folk taught you to hate. Now I know you did not hear this in the church today. Frankly, the church only wants your money, and the “pimp in the pulpit” did nothing for you today other than make you feel good for an hour. Then return to doing the same thing you were doing all week.

There was a nationwide survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation some time ago. From it emerged a complex portrait of black women who feel confident but vulnerable, who have high self-esteem and see physical beauty as most important, and who find career success more vital to them than marriage. The survey represents the most extensive exploration of the lives and views of black women in decades.

Of course, they hit on the usual topics such as Religion being essential to most black women’s lives adding that being in a romantic relationship is not all that important. The survey showed nearly three-quarters of black women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills. Half of black women surveyed call racism a “big problem” in the country; nearly half worry about being discriminated against. Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people.

According to the stereotype, “black women even educated women are b—— and wh—-, and they run men out of their lives because they are so mean, and they don’t want a man and blah, blah,” says Palmer an Atlanta lawyer who helped lead protests of rapper Nelly’s controversial “Tip Drill” video when she was a student at Spelman College. “My law firm has no African American female partners. It has to do with how we are seen. And our value is based on what the media shows the world we are.”

Black women were once described as the “mules of the world” by Zora Neale Hurston, whose biting literature made her one of the most influential black writers of the early 20th century. Her reference to mules — the workhorses of the American South — pointed to the backbreaking manual labor that black women were expected to perform, and the limits placed on their vocations. Throughout history, black women have been over-represented in the workforce compared with other women and have come to embrace work as an enduring part of their sense of self, says Constance C.R. White.

It is a fact that the black woman is the mother of all mankind. Having said that black women know there is an institutional system in place that is designed to lower your standard and perception. This is as old as the nation or dare I say the world, which is needed to maintain this misguided principle.

It’s time to change the narrative, unless and until you put family first we cannot and will never build a nation or make any positive move forward toward freedom for your children. So, I say hold your head up, keep looking up, and don’t allow others to define you. Many will have you think differently but know that we love you, your community needs and appreciates you. And that’s my Thought provoking perspective…

The Apology

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY “Just a Season


What Happened To The BLACK FAMILY?

2I wrote this article sometime ago and since there is so much discussion about black people these days. I decided to share it once again. I was wondering what is your view on the topic. In a past life, one of many I’ve enjoyed, I taught a college course called the Psychology of the Black Family. There was one assignment given to the class to write a term paper on “The Breakdown of the African American Family”.

As I read through some of the thirty or so papers, I found several very significant points and a common theme throughout the papers. I decided to capture some of the key points from those research papers to share with you. My intent is to, maybe, 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.

During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the concept of family in our community 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.

I can recall a powerful statement made by one of the students who expressed that she thinks the different social pressures on black men and women have contributed to the weak traditional family structure. Black women have been able to achieve more economic and educational success than black men, leading to them being higher wage earners. This inequality has eroded black women’s reliance on men and their willingness to compromise on their needs or expectations, which in turn has led to resentment and disappointment on both sides.

Black women raise children, too often alone, and the bitterness that difficult task creates causes some women to make derogatory complaints against men in general, tainting their daughters and shaming their sons. Also, it seems that black women do not often hold their sons to as high a standard as their daughters, making them further vulnerable.

If proper behavior is not modeled for young people, they have difficulty fulfilling those expectations. This creates the perfect ingredients for the dismal situations to occur in our community. She went on to say that a lot of that has to do with our values, and the lack of knowing the importance of loving our communities, our families, and ourselves.

These are 12 key factors expressed from my student’s outstanding research papers:

1. The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hardworking 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 war 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 insured that anyone speaking out against the governments wrong doings would receive either long prison sentences or bullets. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust and removing many of our leaders, as well as 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 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 black on black crime and staying silent while, black youth are murdered 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 fully be 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 there 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 propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Life Styles 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. In addition, our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet 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 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 the same building for 20 years, 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 much 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 faith which was necessary to survive our struggles.

10. Urbanization – 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 in the inner-city while many in the farm lands 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 family.

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”.

The next time you look in the mirror think about want happened. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!


The Insanity Of WAR

11I can recall not too long ago, there was a tiny little place in Southeast Asia called Vietnam. When I was there we called it the land of the little people. They were not much more than poor rice farmers, not a mighty army or even a strong political force to any degree. Yet, they were able to defeat the mightiest nation on the planet. America told the American people we need to go there to support then to save democracy, because we had to fight Communism! Well, history tells us how well that worked out.

Millions of people died and were maimed; trillions of dollars were spent in this effort constructed on false pretences. They said this little nation attacked an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, which never happened but it was used to get America involved. This war lasted for more than a decade and left with no accolades. In fact, it was not a victory! We saw a similar action in the fifties in a little place called Korea!

Let’s look at today’s industrial military projects. Bush and company took put American in two wars about a decade or so. They told American people it was necessary to defend the “homeland” against terrorism. The Bush wars were also sold based on false pretenses, some say a downright lie. Wars have traditionally been fought for religion reasons in the name of God and of course land has been a reason. It is hard to determine if either of these reasons were the cause of these current wars. Yes, religion is part of it – land, not so much but this war is about what’s in the ground. So I suppose, it is not too far from the script.

In Vietnam, when American left; the enemy took over the entire country in about a week. In Iraq, about 800 ISIS forces took nearly half the country in a week. Not only that but these same 800 men caused 30,000 Iraqis troops to surrender and run away. Does this sound similar?

What is lost, however, is that the Politicians have yet to learn two things: [1] you cannot impose freedom upon people who don’t want it or know what it is and [2] they have not learned to mind their own business and stay out of the affairs of others. Particularly, when American has more than its share of problems here at home!

During the Vietnam War there was a draft, where you were force to go off to your death. This time we have what’s called an all volunteer army, which mean they convince men and women to volunteer to go off to be maimed and die. In Vietnam, most of the soldiers were black and poor. In this war, they are still poor, by and large, however, they are mostly white. Vietnam was about money and so is this war.

Bottom line is this: war is about money and has nothing to do with freedom! If you ask, what is war good for; the answer is nothing – absolutely nothing! What I think we can conclude is that these people who involve America in such conflicts cannot walk a chew gum at the same time because history has shown their way has not worked because not one war has been won in a half a century. Now, they got rich.

It is also important to note that most often these men who start wars have never been to war, which makes it easy to start one. Also, their loved ones and children never fight or die. Maybe a fair draft system might cause the war hawks to think more carefully if the new their children might suffer as a result. This is just a short reflection into the realm of sanity, or at least common sense. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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