Black People : The mentality of child abandonment

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by panafrica, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The absence of fathers in the African American community have been discussed numerous times on this website, and countless others. However, I can't help but wonder if we are not exploring all the factors which contribute to this trend. On the superficial level the explanation is simple: That of irresponsible men, who care nothing of their children or community. Deeper examinations of this problem point out that many of these men grew up without fathers themselves, and this void contributes to the behavior of "dead beat" dads. Another observation has been poor dating/mating choices made by black females, as well as a lack of birth control usage in the African American community, both of which contributes to unwanted child births (and increases the probability of male-flight).

    I believe that all of these behaviors and occurances contributes to the extremely high number of fatherless homes in the African American community. However I think the issue of black men abandoning their children has to be explored more on a psychological level. This exploration can not just concentrate on the man, or woman, but the community as a whole. One thing I've noticed that few others have mentioned, is that when a black man leaves his child. That child is not only abandoned by the father, he/she is ignored by the father's entire family (including the paternal grandparents). It is one thing for a irresponsible man to ignore his child, but when the grandmother & grandfather (as well as the rest of the father's family) does not recognize the child either...this suggest a communal problem.

    In addition to the recognition that black children are not just being abandoned by their fathers, but by their entire paternal family. I have also noticed that many single mothers of boys do not encourage their sons to take care of their children. Indeed I have personally witnessed on several occasions single mothers attack women who come after their sons for child support, instead of identifying with them (and encouraging their son to do the right thing). This has always puzzled me, and to this day, I still can't figure it out. My only explanation is that these patterns within our community is the manifestation of a deep psychological illness. One which threatens to destroy us from within, unless we change (and quickly)!
     
  2. PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    Outstanding post Brother Pan!

    This is definately a thought provoker! I don't understand it either and hadn't thought about until you presented it in such a way.

    I hope someone here can bring more clarity on the subject!
     
  3. sweetbrownsugar

    sweetbrownsugar Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have 2 little men that I am raising. Their father (my husband) has not abandoned them but then again he has. His thing is providing for them(us) financially and physically living with them -That makes him the ideal father. He wants to be larger than life to them sometimes...if other siblings from his previous marriage come visit...cause he's painting a picture for his mom, (my mother in law) and his friends and his other kids to see. But at the end of the day, he never really spends anytime with our two. He has never thrown them a football. I'm the one who gets on the floor and be wrestling with them stepping into their little worlds. They are at that age now to be playing recreational ball he won't even sign them up for stuff like that. Won't read them a book. Only started getting involved with the PTA meeting out of guilt because I was leaving from work going straight there! I am the one who teaches them to read before they get to Kindergarten and stuff like that. Helping them with homework. He relies on the school to be the first teacher. I teach them little life lessons that he should be teaching them. He only takes them around if his boys have their sons with them or if there's a family gathering and other kids are there then he will have them around...like trophys or something! They never really go to him for anything or rely on him for anything. 24/7 in my house all you hear is MOMMY, MOMMY? One of them be drawing pictures in school depicting family all you see in them is me and my 4 year old. I think his own father fathered in this manner...Man of the house. present and providing...and that's enough. What he's doing is so, old school! And it pisses me off. In the back of my mind I'm thinking (now that's sorry). We both work and he is the busiest(school) but I tell him that's no excuse cause I sometimes will work part time also and still find the time! And this is another form of ABANDONMENT in a sense. And yes! my mother in law is hot cause little girls are coming from every direction after her other son's for child support(dead beat dads) when she should be encouraging these bums to get a vasectomy! and pay up so these little kids don't have to suffer. It's sad. even in a case like this. I've heard of something called generational curses....(father was a drunk so his son's are likely to be drunks) and I read somewhere on here in one of the forums, A father's sins will visit the sons. I try to do everything in my motherly power to prevent them from growing up being the same type of father. Especially having had a father myself who abandoned my mom and brother. Now my own brother is completing the circle! Very Sad!
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think family/communal acceptance of this type of behavior plays a bigger role than we realize. This does indeed start in the home. Speaking personally I don't have any children outside of marriage, because that was not accepted in the home I was raised in. The same goes for my two older brothers, who also managed not to have any children outside of marriage. I know if I did have a child outside of marriage, I couldn't turn my back on him/her because my parents wouldn't allow it. Indeed they would be on my behind everyday to do the right thing (be the man my father was), and support my child. I also know that anything I didn't do, my parents would make up for.

    The presence of a child's paternal grandparents in the absence of the fathers means a lot for the mother & the child. I have a friend (a Dominican woman) who's child is being neglected by her father. However, the father's parents are embarrased by their son's behavior. The clothes that the father doesn't buy, the paternal grandparents do instead. The paternal grandparents also help pay for daycare, and buy food. Although my friend remains angry at her child's father...the hurt & abandonment she feels is softened by the assistence of the child's paternal grandparents. This little girl can also grow up with the comfort that while her father may not love her as he should...at least members of her father's family love her (which will go a long way towards developing a positive self-esteem).

    Again that we are having an extremely high number of children (according to some estimates 70%) cut off not only from their fathers, but their entire paternal side of the family. This suggest communal acceptance of this type of behavior. I'm sure I don't have to offer a detailed analysis for why this isn't healthy. This certainly is not the practice of our African ancestors...it is almost unique to African Americans. It is also of the utmost importance for us to figure out how a pattern so detrimental to our community's prosperity, has become so common.
     
  5. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brotha Pan,

    You've outlined a symptom to a disease that black people don't seem to find a way to address. Not every brotha makes a good husband, much less a good father.

    THe solution to healing the black family cannot rest solely on the shoulders of one Gender. Sistahs really need to take a longer and more in depth look at who they are giving their bodies to. Mothers need to be honest with their children, male and female. Using the same standard for boys and girls.


    What can be said about fathers that hasn't already been saidI've said before not every father is a man. Manhood has to be cultivated. So nothing we say or do can make a father into a man over night. He has to want to be one. This process must start when the male is a little boy, he must be taught how to keep his word and be virtuous. By this I mean doing what you suppose to do even if it makes you uncomfortable.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    We have always agreed the fatherhood must be cultivated in boys when they are little Brother Sekhemu. However, I don't think you fully understood my major point in this post. I am not looking at resting blame on either the shoulders of the black man or woman. Instead, I am looking at the communal acceptance of child abandonment in the African American community. This acceptance is manifested in african american children being abandoned not just by the father, but his entire family. I truly believe that exploring the reasons for why this occurs, might very well lead to a cure for this "disease".
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    But that very "communal acceptance" is born of the attitudes of Black men and women which hamper/destroy the Black family unit.

    There is responsibility on both sides to, as much as possible, prevent pregnancies but to be responsible when they do occur.

    When the individual mindsets/attitudes of Black men and women are changed, then the "community's" viewpoint will change.

    A "community" is our "village;" but we can't have a "village" if it's comprised of generation-after-generation of "baby mamas" and "baby daddies" and motherless and fatherless children.

    We have to work on changing the psychology of Black women.

    If the father of her FIRST child is non-supportive and absent from her child's life, then the question begs, "Why do you continue to have unprotected with the same man, AGAIN and again, producing MULTIPLE children by him? OR "Why do you have unprotected sex with MULTIPLE men producing children you nor they can adequately provide for?"

    We have to work on changing the psychology of Black men.

    If he is not willing or even able to be an emotionally and financially supportive father to a child, then the question begs, "Why do you continue to have unprotected sex with the same woman or with MULTIPLE women producing children you do not want?"
     
  8. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    just ask, who benefits?

    we all live under a global system of white supremacy. after direct physical violence a major weapon of the system is brainwashing.

    brainwashing makes people act against their own self interests.

    when examining a trend in the black community that appears to be self destructive we have to keep in mind that blacks have been programmed to be self destructive.

    you have to ask, who benefits from self destructive behaviour in the black community? do black people benefit? do white people benefit?

    you will find that self destructive behavior in the black community effectively prevents black people from challenging the white power structure.

    ask yourself if this situation is a coincidence, a lucky accident?

    i think not.
     
  9. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Yes, but once we recognize that, THEN WHAT?

    It is still incumbent upon us to do something about it. OUR children are getting killed everyday. OUR men and women are strung out on drugs or in prisons. OUR families are torn and dysfunctional.

    The blind can not lead the blind. So, it is a cyclical destruction of boys having no one to model manhood and girls having no one to model womanhood to them.

    Yes, some people are intrinsically motivated to survive and surpass their environments and exposures, but most often, people do/repeat/mimic what they experienced in their own formative years.
     
  10. Moorfius

    Moorfius Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Chain Reaction*

    MA`AT HOTEP

    Life is a conglomeration of chain reactions that took place in our collective past. Just as we did not come here of our own collective free will...we did not expatriate to this place called...Amerikkka but were bought and spoiled to the condition we now suffer.

    There is no wonder that this is still our collective "Fate" until we realize...that to change the future or the present...it is impossible with out knowledge of the "Past"! This can not be done under the present or any other system of white supremacy. It is the same as trying to become clean by taking a bath in dirty / filthy water.

    The same conditions will always be with us because we don't understand why we are in this pity-full experience that we did not create but is created for us to suffer in by the oppressors who have a investment in your staying ware you are forever...if it is up to them!

    This is the reason...that no matter what we do...how much we protest or what ever movement we start..."We all ways end up in the Same place"!!!
    But you are paid to deal with this flustrating problem that never seems to go away by the ones who created it in the first place for you to be in.

    We must reach back to a time before this time of ignorance and there we will find the answers to our lost unity, harmony, success, dignity, culture and Spirituality. It is impossible to find any solution to anything out side of the Spiritual and then think it is somehow going to work?!!

    We are like a dog barking up the wrong tree for his master. The answers are not with the oppressors but it is only found in knowing who you are and why you are here and for what purpose. We must re-define our own reality by knowing ware we came from and ware we are going in this life...with out this.........Good Luck?! And even with luck...we have to know that we make our own luck for our selves.

    We by nature...Love our selves, our family, our community, our children, our culture, the Ancestors, the Earth, creation, the Creator...we love our Spirituality / Selves by our very "Nature"! What has happened to us in the last...500 years ware we have become...insane and crazy towards our own selves? Understanding this first...will give us the solutions to solving our collective issues / problems...we must do it on our own. No one else can or will help us do this...except to leave us alone so we can return to our natural selves.

    Ase`
     
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