[In my Kanye West voice] Black women hold the blame for the break down and break up of black families.
There. I said it. I’m sure many of you will automatically disagree with me. You will call me all kinds of names except a child of God. I respect your position, but I ask that you hear me out.
First, I want you to know that I subscribe to and live by the philosophy that you can’t control anyone except yourself. I believe before you point fingers of blame you have to hold yourself accountable. Once you do that, you won’t have a reason to point fingers because no one can do to you what you don’t allow them to do. Period. Point blank. With that said, I am holding myself (and other black women) accountable for the perpetuation of a cultural standard that I believe is keeping us single and our families broken. What is that?
The need, desire and active participation in the Miss Independent Movement.
Translation: You don’t know how to play your position. You want to be treated like a woman, but you act like a man.
I know you have heard this before. Black men say it all the time. NO, I don’t think you should own everything someone says, but I do think you should take a minute to understand where they are coming from. To that end, I have spent numerous hours talking to black men from all walks of life about why they choose women of other races. They all say the same thing:
- Black women are too hard.
- Black women are don’t know how to treat a man.
- Black women are just too rough around the edges.
I hear the grumblings of many of you right now. Along with the grumbling comes the comments about that being a cop out. I can hear you saying black men don’t know how to treat a woman. They don’t know what it means to be a good man. They are intimated by the success of black women.
I’m a woman, a black woman … so, I will give you some of that. I won’t fully buy into that because I believe that black women are too hard. I believe we don’t know how to play our position and we try too hard to be independent. This is a learned behavior though. In my opinion, it’s a cultural teaching that has been passed down through generations. I believe it started right about the time that black men decided it was cool to make babies and not take care of them. The result was women who had to be independent. Women who had to learn how to nurture and provide. They in turn raised women who learned through action how to be independent … but were also told not to rely on man. You have to be able to take care of yourself. Show no weakness. You can do bad by yourself. You don’t need a man for anything. While I do believe that every woman should be educated (in the way that works for her) and should be able to care for herself, I don’t think that she should not allow a man to do that. She shouldn’t allow the role that God gave her as a nurturer, supporter and caregiver to fall from first place in her life.
I went to a predominately white university. The white girls I went to school with were there to be educated, but their primary goal was to leave with the promise of a MRS. Their BA, BS or whatever was icing on the cake. We don’t teach our girls that. We don’t teach them the little things that it takes to get and keep a man. Domestic duties aren’t at the top of our priority list when it comes to raising our daughters. Things like a man should never eat off paper plates or drink out of plastic cups are not on the list of things to make sure your daughter knows … but they should be.
Through women’s liberation and life events we have created a culture where black women are afraid to be vulnerable. They are afraid to let black men be themselves. In all their glory and dismay we have to let them be men. They will mess up. We have to be there to support and encourage them … and to pick up the pieces without pointing fingers and making them feel less than men.