Black Women : Black Women Raising Black Boys--Alone

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by Riada, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I continue to hear that black women must do a better job raising black boys, but this only puts more pressure on black women to harden themselves do something that most are unequipped and unable to do, generally speaking.

    There are always exceptions. Also, in SOME cases, a black mother’s efforts to keep her son on the right track will pay off due to her individual makeup AND due to a peculiar set of circumstances that shape up in her particular situation to help her, but generally speaking young males are going to imitate the males in their environment.

    This is simply the pattern of human socialization throughout the world. If a black mother is giving her son a set of messages that are contradicted, either in word or by the attitudes and behavior of the males in the environment, upon reaching adolescence, the typical boy—in most cases—will imitate the behavior of those males because MOST boys do not want to be thought less of or ostracized by other males. Boys seek approval primarily from other males. Girls do too, but in different ways. This is because the patriarchial system is the dominant system in the world. Females are still thought by most cultures in the world--including many in this society--to exist primarily to assist males, support them and keep them happy. So, the male ‘stamp of approval’ is very important to a boy because males rule the world, and it is evident why most males don’t want the “effeminate” label attached to them.

    Presented with these limited options, some black boys make a decision at an early age to become a loner rather than be destroyed by a negative peer group or the negativity in the environment. This has it’s advantages and disadvantages. I often have to counsel these boys who have made this decision to pull away because many of them suffer from depression and some don't learn the social skills needed to succeed in other areas of life.

    The main point I’m trying to make is that as long as so many black boys see so many older black males not achieving, being lesser participants in the home or in social settings, or engaging in destructive, anti-home and counter-societal behaviors, most of the boys are going to emulate those males.

    SOLUTION: Unfortunately, too many black single women who are raising children live in predominantly large or urban areas or locales where anti-home and counter-societal attitudes and behaviors are the norm. The absolute one BEST thing that a black single mother can do if she’s determined to prevent her son from becoming a replica of the loser black males in such an environment is to physically move away from that environment because people are mostly a product of their environment. Surround your son with males who ARE doing what males are supposed to do. You may think that you can save him from a negative environment if you stay where you are and do this or that, but I would bet my house that the environment will win in most cases. However, you may not know that you have lost until your son is in his upper teens or grown.
     
  2. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Partly True

    It is more likely than not that a young male will imitate the males in his environment, but that is only as a result of the messeges he recieves. In most cases parents (fathers and mothers) are not proactive in shaping the thought patterns and beliefs of our children. I was a child of a single black mother, in an environment where the males were NOT doing anything positive. The single most profound message my mother gave me was to BE DIFFERENT. She hammered it home at least once a day every day that I can remember until she witnessed me being different. The allure of the drug dealer, gangster, hustler, womanizer, and the "cool" kid in the street was that they had a certain amount of respect because of the money (which I know now was chump change) and the freedom that they seemed to have. The lessons children learn from the T.V. and from the street are that the measure of a man is the clothes he has on, the things he can buy, and the people he can get to like him. My mother emphasized that these are not the TRUE measures of GREAT men. Then she proceeded to have me READ Malcolm X, the souls of black folks, up from slavery and other things that clearly gave different lessons than the ones taught in the street. While all of my friends were trying to be what they saw in the hood, I was working my hardest to be the opposite. Not because I saw great men on a daily basis and wanted to imitate them, but because I had poor examples of GOOD men and knew that both my mother and I wanted more for me.

    We become the lessons that we learn, and many times the messages we recieve from the street are NEVER counter-acted by positive messages in the home (at least not as consistent or persistent as the one's outside the house). I was fortunate enough to have a mother that realized this and took an active role in changing my thoughts and behaviors even though she didn't have the means to change my environment.
     
  3. Khasm13

    Khasm13 STAFF STAFF

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    i hear what u are saying riada and once again u've nailed down the problem pretty good...where things start to get a little hazy is in ur solution. if most black women with sons had the means to move out of these neighborhoods i believe they would. a prime example of this is the series 'good times'. florida evans tried her best to move them out of the ghetto, and in hollywood where most things are an illusion, unfortunately this fact is not. i agree with the point a007 made in regard to the positive reinforcements his mother gave him on the daily. this is something every black woman can do with their child...it's just not feasible to think that we can just change our enviroment like that...this is a problem that we are going to have to face one day(our dysfunctionality)...head on...

    one love
    khasm
     
  4. MenNefer

    MenNefer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I was thinking along these lines as well regarding oprah's vision for the young girls in South Afrika. It seems lopsided to cultivate the women (although they have been preyed upon agressively) and leave the males to be informal examples within the community for the subsequent male offspring. In regards to your solution, I'm wondering where that hypothetical mom would move to where there is an abundance of Black male role models who are primarily operating as extensions of a communal psyche? Would that mother have the insight to seek a community that would serve as a psuedo "Rites of Passage" for her son or will she succumb to the prefabricated example of success given by the prototypical MALE (white male) and seek out an environment where those values are prevalent? :getout:
     
  5. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm certainly happy that your mother had this impact on you, but I would consider her an exception, just like Dr. Ben Carson's mother, and the mothers of a few other Black men who "survived" that type of environment and wrote books about the role their mother or a special teacher or the man who owned the corner store played in their survival. There are always exceptions to every rule. Your mother had a different vision than other people in the community. I hear what you're saying about the mothers dishing out that positive message, but if there were a body of people in the community with your mother's vision and her makeup, the community would not have been the type it was in the first place.

    I would say that many of the young mothers in the community have never heard of books like those and many would not be interested in reading them if you gave them to them. So you were an "advantaged" child in that community because your mother was an exception.
     
  6. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Re the mothers leaving the community, the main problem I see is that many of them don't want to leave the community--even if they could. They wouldn't see any reason to do so.

    Insofar as positive reinforcements, once again you're talking about a woman who's functioning at a much higher level than a typical young mother. A typical young mother doesn't have anywhere near the vision that the mother of a007 had. A 26-year old mother who has a 10 or 11 year old child, which is a very typical situation, is not someone who's going to have much awareness about anything that's talked about on here.

    You probably don't have any idea what many of these young women go through emotionally on a day to day basis. If you get inside their heads, you'll find out that it's a major emotional struggle to get from one day to the next. They may look cute and look like they're all together on the outside, but they not together on the inside. Many of them regard their children as their "friends" because it's their children who keep them company and comforts them when they're sad or lonely or scared.
     
  7. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I applaud Oprah on what she's doing for the girls. As a girl, Oprah was raped just like many of those young girls in South Africa, so by doing what she's doing, she probably feels she is helping them to escape.

    A rich and powerful Black male or a group of them could go there and set up something for the boys.

    I admit I don't understand this, but I don't understand why it is that so many Black males seem to want Black women to do more and more and more. I guess I can't see it the way y'all are looking at it. I don't understand why Black males don't put a lot more pressure on the other males to do things. It just seems that Black males tend to completely ignore each other and continue to try to get the females to do more and more.
     
  8. mrron

    mrron Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The dilemma of the black male is more perplexing than sociologist are capable of dealing with. There are all kinds of theories about why they do what they do. Environment is a big factor in everyones life, but comradery is another thing all together. I lost my son to suicide at age twenty six, eleven years ago. He was brought up middle class, and never needed anything he didn't get. Was an A student through high school and graduated from college with honors. But for some reason, he always wanted to hang out with the boys from the hood, he always felt that he belonged with them. He listened to Rap music and got used to calling women ho's and *******. I had to correct him and teach him that our women were all queens and nothing less. He never got into any serious trouble with the law, but he was once caught stealing from a store with his buddies, he was banned from the store, the police were never contacted. Seems that he had to find a way to fit into this subculture of young black males. We are seeing more of it in middle class, two parent homes these day. He got to the point that he couldn't keep a job, and started hanging out on the corner. He talked about racism like it was in his face all the time, but he didn't really experience it, he just talked about it from literary references.

    The lure of the black subculture is very strong, even encroaching into the white comminuty now, through rap music.

    My mother raised six boys alone, and stayed drunk most of the time, because, as she said "everytime I looked up and saw six boys to raise I was looking for a way out.". With all the competition for their attention, I think it's a very difficult task to undertake for a single black female to be trying to raise even one black male child.
     
  9. PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    I'm sorry to hear about the lost of your son mrron.:heart:

    Yes indeed, it is a difficult job to raise our children inside/outside of the influences that plague our communities. We are losing our children to an idea planted in their subconscious. It does'nt really matter what class you rank when it comes down to it.

    Many poor single mother's have done the best they knew how to keep their childrens mind grounded. They have spent their last dimes trying to provide their needs and materials that would keep them from coveting others.

    While we do need more stand-up men in the communities like we have here on the forum, I still wonder if that will be enough to steer the majority of our children in a direction that will empower them.

    Not only are the fathers absent in the home, but also the whole story of our people. All we see and hear about when it pertains to us, is how disturbingly dysfunctional we are. How we do nothing but complain and blame our shortcomings on non-Black people. We are still lacking in self-discovery. That beautiful history of where we began.

    Where is our stories and I don't mean his-story? We as a people are needing to connect to a culture that defines us fully. Not no waterdowned story that constantly and consistingly reflects us as a hopeless people. But one that our children can relate and feel most proud about. One that will redirect that pinned-up energy they tend to put in superficial things.

    No matter how much I want to see more Black People taking their rightful place in the home and community, and more Black Men holding our sons closer, will that be enough if they don't have the knowledge of who we really are and how we really lived?
     
  10. EL PAPI LEANDO

    EL PAPI LEANDO Banned MEMBER

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    Sister Riada, I've got a better idea: Don't have children unless you've got a ring on your finger, and he's got one on his, and you're reasonably assured the man wants to raise his own children.

    Sister Riada, African American women deliver 70% of our children into a world where there will be no man to help them rear the child. WHY?

    WHy does this happen over and over again? Why do sisters get angry when this happens, when they know it is likely going to happen unless they've gotten reasonable assurance from the man(a marriage certificate)that he will be there when the baby is born?

    Actually, the environment about which you speak is perpetuated by having 70% of our children out of wedlock. Yeah, I do mean WEDLOCK - which does not simply a wedding, a reception, and I'm gone by the time honeymoon is ovah. Wedlock means the man takes the relationship a little bit more serious than the cat who wants to sleep with you, and bounce once he's dropped his load. The load gets dropped on sisters, so I assume sisters want to handle that load all by themselves since it happens so often?

    And yes, sister, that underclass millieu, that ghetto atmosphere, is perpetuated by poor young, uneducated, single mothers raising babies all by themselves. Most of these youngsters aren't even properly reared themselves, and now they're raising 2 or 3 or 4 or 6...head of children alone, and trying to work, and trying to come home and cook, and trying to help the children with the homework...and there is no one around to help them do all of this...and there comes a total breakdown in discipline...and no one punishes the breakdown in discipline, while showing love in the process... and then the police come along, and that is the end of all mercy.

    There should not another Black Baby be born until Black men and women make it our custom and tradition to Marry, and commit to rearing our children together.
     
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