Posts Tagged ‘Black single woman’

“The Conversation”

     I recently read Hill Harper’s “The Conversation”.   Although I would have appreciated more of an in-depth analysis of the problems and more insightful solutions I really appreciated the overall premise.  I too think that many of our social, economic and spiritual ills can be addressed by talking openly and honestly to each other and thus encourage that approach to eradicating the prejudices, the negative stereotypes and the chasm that exists between Black men and Black women.  However, I believe that the best way to get someone to listen is to appeal to issues most sensitive to them and reading the book I did not quite understand who he was targeting, Black men, Black women or both.  I kept trying to read it from a Black man’s point of view, thinking that he was trying to reach them but could not help but internalize his points from a Black woman’s perspective.   Not to say that he could not be speaking to both, I was just hoping he was not jumping on that “let me speak to you desperate Black women, ready to pull out all stops to get your Black man” bandwagon!  I mean if you surf the web, turn on the television or strike up a conversation at the hair salon everyone is talking about the plight of single Black women.  I think it’s imperative, that Black men reach out to Black men.  Black women can harmoniously sing the “we need our Black men to step up and commit to us” song, but obviously they are hearing us. 

     Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Black women don’t have a responsibility in getting Black men to hear us and move in the direction of healing, restoring and reclaiming our families and relationships.  On the contrary, I think Black women should accept some of the blame in the discord that currently exists between us.  But I think our problems are, although part and parcel of the larger issues, are somewhat distinct and therefore should be dealt with differently.  The common denominator is our lack of trust, respect, appreciation and candor for each other, but our reasoning or rationale diverges.  So although we can confront our common issues, concomitantly, we don’t necessarily have to use the same strategy.  So I appreciate the Hill Harpers trying to reach the masses, but I believe in tailoring the solutions based on the interests of the target, not the “one size fits all” approach.  Hill was very insightful, he has a plethora of female friends and some good natured dudes in his circle who were all instrumental in his getting the message across, but I would have loved to if he had narrowed the focus. 

     Overall, it is clear that we need to start this conversation.  We need to be able to communicate openly and honestly about our respective insecurities, fears, doubts, etc. and begin to work toward healing.  I mean we desperately need to open our hearts, open our minds and talk TO each other and not AT each other.  I must admit, my head was spinning with all the platforms from which we can spring board  these conversations but we must take baby steps.

Black Single Mother Household Worth Millions to Advertisers

     Last night the 2010 Superbowl aired and it made tv history by having the most viewers ever!  There were several tv ads, many of them were Frito-Lays where they advertised Doritos.  One of the Doritos commercials, which was actually rated as one of the favorites by Superbowl viewers, was very controversial to many of us!  Yes, it was the one where there was a Black single mother whose son slapped her Black male date for checking out his mother as she walked across the room.   These depictions have been proliferating in the media, in musical lyrics, movie scripts, television scenes, etc. and now television commericals.   And this was not just any Doritos commercial, but a Superbowl ad that Frito-Lays paid millions to air with several million viewers watching.   This is what these marketers are subconsciously engraining in society’s psyche, that Black single mothers is the “norm”. 

     We all know that data and statistics indicate that only 1 out of every 3 Black children born, as 2002, are born to married couples, the other 2 of 3 are born to single mothers, allegedly more than double that of White children.  However, the reality is that there are more White single mothers than Black single mothers, the difference is that many of those White single mothers are divorced whereas many of the Black single mothers were never married.  Furthermore, Black boys raised by single mothers  are more inclined to go to prison, drop out of school, live in poverty and become dependent on drugs/alcohol as opposed to White boys raised by their single mothers.  The Black single mothers have a much tougher time rearing their sons because of their limited resources and limited support system, non-preferential treatment by state/local governments, sex discrimination by employers and negative societal expectations whereas their White counterparts do not have half of these obstacles to deal with.  This only goes to support my stance that our children need both parents, whether it be in the home or as an active parent in their lives. We are going to perpetuate the destruction of our children’s lives, and therefore the future of our community, if we allow this image to become so acceptable and so mainstream that it’s replete in music. television and movies.  We all have a duty to end it NOW!