State of the Black Family

Posted: July 26, 2012 in Race, Sexuality & Relationships, Social Issues, Vincent G. Hardy, Jr

Do you really want to know? I mean really want to know what the status of the average black family in America is? If you do, I’m not 100% sure I can give you the answer. What I can do is offer you my hypotheses. I’m not a certified expert appointed by a bunch of intellects, who have sprawling curriculum vitas and impressive framed parchments emblazoned with shiny stickers and big signatures. No, I’m just a young professional who lives in a black family, who has friends in black families, and witnesses the struggle on a daily. Hopefully that will be enough background to make my observations minutely credible. You on board? You are? Cool, let us begin!

The problem that I’m seeing with the black family is often times just a lack there of… What happened to the nuclear family that we learned about in elementary school? You know the one; with a loving couple (typically married) and their children. Am I the only one who faintly remembers this lesson? Maybe that’s the issue! Having a strong sense of family in the traditional sense (2 parents living together raising their children) is a fleeting concept, not only in black homes but in homes everywhere. There has been a steady decline in the number of people doing what Grandpa and Grandma did. Meet, courtship, engagement, marriage, co-habitation, then children. Now think about the steps most of our peers take to get to the children part… The differences are so drastically different it’s not even worth trying to loosely list them.

I really do believe that this is the disconnect. We’re so wrapped up in instant gratification that our generation really struggles with the concept of patience, including myself. Taking the time to learn who this person is that you want to be with, for the sake of looking for a formidable mate, rather than just a good time is the key. There are way too many innocent children walking around (potentially including myself and a good number of my peers) that are products of a good time. I’m going to plant this seed in your thought box real quick: When one learns that they are with child, if that pregnancy was not the goal of their relationship, the initial reaction is pretty far from joyous. When they get the news the first thing they think about is: “What are/am we/I going to do?”….

What I’m getting at is that unplanned pregnancies have to be warmed up to, and learned to be loved by the parents, versus loving this blessing before it’s a reality. There is the “Oh shit” phase, hopefully VERY quickly followed by celebrations! Let’s do our best to make better decisions when a life is potentially hanging in the balance. Children don’t ask to be here, so let’s make sure when they get here it’s because you wanted them to come. They deserve that at the very least.

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