Hello Family: I would like to touch on a very sensitive subject, but one I feel is of great importance. For those who have been reading me for some time, most will probably know that I work with children (mostly teens, but I have worked with elementary school children as well). Five years ago I was in an child study team (I began my career in education working for a CST) meeting for a young man who was having behavioral problems. This young man's legal guardian was his great-grandmother. During the meeting the great-grandmother mentioned that she was "tired" of taking care of all these children. In her own words, "It was getting to be too much, and she'd like to rest". Her daughter left the children she had, for this woman to raise. Her granddaughters (and sons) did the same when they had children. The great grandmother in this case was relatively young (62 years old, if memory serves correct), and her great grandson was 11. I could see this young man having a child in 5-7 years, and also leaving that child for their great-great grandmother to raise. Hopefully that wouldn't happen, but it very well could. This was clearly a pattern established within this family. Around the same time I worked for a child study team, I also taught black history for an after school program. I'll never forget one particular lesson, and one particular little girl. I was teaching about the seperation of families during slavery, since I was working with elementary school children, I intended to give a sanitized version. However I did want to give the kids a sense of how horrible it was to be separated from ones parents, so I asked them to imagine how they would feel if they were separated from their mother (I purposefully excluded their father, because I knew many of them didn't have a father in the home). When I asked that question, one girl looked at me and said, "I don't live with my mother". Undaunted I asked, well how would you feel if you were separated from your grandparents? This little girl again looked at me and said, "I don't live with my grandparents either". At this point I stated, "well being separated from ones parents and grandparents is very hard for most people", then moved on with my lesson. I didn't probe further into this girl's situation, she could have been an orphan. I honestly do not know in this particular case. However, I do know that I've met/seen a considerable number of children who don't have their mothers involved in their upbringing, and the reason is not because the mother has passed on. When one thinks of child abandonment, the father is immediately thought of. Not for a good reason, because typically when a child is abandoned, it is usually by the father. However there has been an increasing number of mothers in the black community who also are not raising their children. A considerable number of children in our community are being raised by their grandparents, by their aunts, or by other relatives (while in many cases the mother is running the streets or on drugs). As I've have worked with older children, and visited homes (talked to guardians). I have personally seen a large number of black youth who don't have their mothers in their life. I've visited grandmothers...aunts...uncles...cousins, and in many of these cases the mother is no where to be seen. Many of these homes have several families (cousins) living with their grandmother. Needless to say, in the overwhelmingly majority of these cases, the children has "issues"! On another thread started by Destee (Eminem disrespecting his mother), I mentioned this same pattern, and got agreement from young brother Deepvoice...who has noticed this being an issue with his generation. His generation happens to be the same generation I'm talking about. I find this (mothers leaving their children for grandparents and distant relatives) to be an alarming trend if continued. The breakdown of the traditional family in the black community has already been identified as a major corrolation with increased violence & destructive behavior in today's youth. When we have young men and women being abandoned (not orphaned) by both their mother and father...there is a serious problem. As much as most of us love our grandparents (Big Momma, Pop-Pop, whatever you call them), they do not substitute for our parents. Indeed I wonder if abandonment of children is a final reaction in the breakdown of the traditional black family: First the father leaves, then the mother leaves? This trend needs to be explored, examined, then eliminated. Again I'm not saying this happens in most cases. However it is happening, and it is increasing! I would like my attention to be brought to this before it spins out of control (like the absentee father).