The African American
who we were | who we are | who we shall become
Whosoever recognizes and honors the gifts of God, recognizes and honors God himself. Brandy I honor God as I honor you, my true gift. This world is abound with ingenuous and ungiving people. God has blessed me with you, a precious gift of genuine and giving divine sustenance.
I ask God how do I remain worthy of such a gift. Through prayer, I find the answer is to devote my being to maintaining and remaining steadfast to being your answer, being your encourager, being your strong and solid rock of love and support from this day forward.
REPUBLISHED FOR MY NEW HOMIES AT L.B. JORDAN HIGH MALE ACADEMY, GIVING BACK THE LOVE
As children we live in the freedom of wonder. All we do is a first for us. Taste, feel cold and hot. We learn. Our parents are our Universe, we shall be so lucky that they show us a broad universe of books, colors, shapes, science and adventure. We soon leave that behind to experience life out from under their wing. We step with false boldness in that we seek to cling to new found friends for comfort.
The freshman contract- As we begin to live for our new hormones our parents voices quickly fade as we replace them with voices of peers who accept us and give us a new sense of belonging and understanding. We sign a freshman contract that may tell us that purple hair, tattoos and Lil Wayne are cool. Talking about the blind leading the blind. This is the process of finding one’s self. A lot is riding on what contract we sign. Read more
Okay, let’s say that we are totally over the nuclear family. No longer do we value mommy and daddy loving and sharing under one roof with one thought of raising healthy balanced leaders of tomorrow. We are now content with the idea that shit happens. She acts so surprised when the pregnancy test is positive, or he cheated on her. But yet and still we move forward with the separation. She’ll go on dating while the kids are with their daddy’s mother, while he is on a date of his own during his weekend.
Parents have a responsibility of time and resources to their offspring. If you live together as a cohesive unit, there will be more time and resources going towards common goals. Apart, there are two households to support, two dating lifestyles to support. Both of which create a sacrifice on behalf of the children. Junior has to compete with Uncle Ray for mom’s attention. Little Jennifer has to go without if mom spent an extra $200 on lingerie for Ray’s satisfaction. Lord help us if Uncle Ray thinks Jennifer is pretty. Read more
Jermaine Harris, I just listened to you on the radio. Divorce In The Black Family was a very interesting subject tonight. It hit home so much that I’m having a hard time calming down to rest. See, I’m a single divorced woman. My immediate family is filled with twice divorced women. I’ve often felt that I was cursed by this vicious cycle, being the baby girl born to a mother and four older sisters, all married and divorced, married and divorced. I think my only saving grace was that my mother and father were able to be friends and were able to amicably co-parent me throughout my adolescence.
I agreed with your comment on the radio show that girls need their fathers. My father took great care of me, but my mother was the stronghold. My mother was the aggressor of the two. She maintained the control in every aspect of our family. As the baby girl, born 10 years after my youngest sibling, I often felt like an only child with the exception of the occasional interaction of my nieces, nephews and cousins who were closely the same age as I. My perception of “men” was greatly influenced by my mother and sisters, in their post-divorce state of mind. Read more
An oxyMORON is an 18 year old who lives with his/her parents but thinks they are grown. Just kidding, but that is an example. The exact example is often the sense of entitlements that young people feel they are due from their parents, and their desire to be independent. The entitlement is based on truth that ceased to exist on the 18th birthday. Yet as parents, we feel that if you are entitled to my food and shelter, then you are dependent. That means “my rules, my way”.
So there is a natural transition period from entitled dependent to independent adult that often causes conflict between the generations. Kids act on their feelings of how they think it should go, which is totally bias, selfish and not fully thought through. They often times have not mastered the self-discipline, focus and sustainability that is required for independence. Parents use their judgment founded on a long history of often right, and sometimes wrong experience.
But the biochemical truth of the matter is that the kid’s frontal lobe is the part of the brain that is considered ones emotional control center and the home to our personality. The frontal lobe is involved in our judgment, motor skills, problem solving, memory, impulse control, initiation and social and sexual behavior. The problem is that the frontal lobe is not fully developed until at least 20 years of age. Read more
Originally published 12/12/2008. Due to the passing of my mother on Novermber 30, 2009 I am republishing this article to remind us all that time is limited. We must live and love now.
First and foremost…Happy birthday to you. Secondly, thank you for all that you’ve done for me. You gave me life and you raised me with sacrifice and love. For you I will always be grateful. Yet I send this letter to express my true feelings as no card of Hallmark could be so true and honest.
I apologize for not being the son that you would like for me to be. I’ve tried to balance your wants with my needs and there is too much conflict to settle both ends amicably. Please do not disregard my true apology due to the fact that it is not accompanied by regret. I don’t regret, yet I accept the way life is for us both together or separate. If you can live with your demons, and I can not assist you in resolving them, I am under an obligation to embrace all sides of you. As I battle to banish my own demons, I hope that you can accept me despite. Ideally we would present a united front against the demons that pose a threat to our family, yet we have been opposed to one another for a long while. Our ability to share a goal and push towards a common outcome has been tarnished. Read more
I recently learned that my father and mother met a week after Christmas. This means about January 1988. I was born premature on August 31, 1988. I have a gut feeling that I was conceived on a first date romp. My mother and father were never married. My mother married when I was 8 years old. My stepfather and I never got along. I hated him from day one for no apparent reason, he just seemed like a bad guy. I always talked back to him and he would tell my mother to punish me. When she would listen to him and punish me I’d get mad at him. When she refused, they’d be upset with each other. I wished that if he’d stay out of it and not question my moms parenting ability, we’d be better off. I know that my mom and I would have had a much better relationship without him around.
Even though my real father and my mom never really were in a committed relationship, he and I always had a great relationship. I was a bit of a daddy’s girl. My dad was a rolling stone like the song and he stayed in the streets. Even though I knew at a young age my father really wasn’t good for the family life, he was still my father. Given our undying love and my hatred of my stepfather, I wanted my mother and father to be together. But that was not going to happen.
Well after years of tensed moments my stepfather, one night I was asleep and my mother was out with her friends on a ladies night. He came into my room, woke me ranting about my cleanliness and made me clean my room. After that he said I was dirty and pushed me in the bathroom and made me take a shower. He did not leave the room, he just stood there and watched me the entire time. The way he looked at me was like I was his wife. It was disgusting and I cried the entire time from embarrassment. At the time of the shower I didn’t think he would take it any further but he did. He took it all the way and of course at the age of 13 he stole my virginity from me. Read more
Mr. Harris I’m sure you’ve heard my story told over and over by African American Women. The naive girl believes that one day the bad boy, alcoholic, womanizer, abuser (mentally & physically) will change if she continues to be patient, pray and make changes to her appearance and or character. Thus the honeymoon period begins, the gifts and the apologizes, the promises, the brain washing if only you would have… you make me do this to you… I do it because I love you and can’t stand another man to look at you. And the ever famous, I don’t want another man to raise my children. I have allowed two really good men to slip through my grasp due to not ending the last relationship in my mind and heart. Here I am twenty plus years and three children later throwing out the rubbish, unloading my bags, and cleaning up my house for when that guest shows up.
Mr. Harris indeed the issues you bring up need to be addressed in our community. I, like most African Americans, come from a dysfunctional home Read more