The Position – The Nigger Marriage
We breed two nigger males with two nigger females. Then we take the nigger males away from them and keep them moving and working. Say one nigger female bears a nigger female and the other bears a nigger male. Both nigger females being without influence of the nigger male image, frozen with an independent psychology, will raise their offspring into reverse positions. The one with the female offspring will teach her to be like herself, independent and negotiable (we negotiate with her, through her, by her, we negotiate her at will). The one with the nigger male offspring, she being frozen with a subconscious fear for his life, will raise him to be mentally dependent and weak, but physically strong, in other words, body over mind. Now in a few years when these two offspring’s become fertile for early reproduction we will mate and breed them and continue the cycle. That is good, sound, and long range comprehensive planning.
The Plight – Papa was a rolling stone
African-American males are most often criticized as being deadbeat dads and absentee fathers. There is no excuse for this behavior but there is a cause to examine where it originated. Once again, we need not look any further than the mental manipulation of slavery to find when it became socially acceptable for men to produce children while having virtually no sense of accountability to that child or to the female parent.
I think back to the days of the male slaves being allowed to procreate with a woman and then having to leave her and live on a different plantation. I imagine how they must have longed to be together and feel certain that he wanted to play a role in the life of his child but was not able to do so. Instead, he found himself in a new surrounding, with a new woman and the ability to procreate once more before being moved to a different area. I wonder how many times this could have happened in the life of the male slave. How many families did he potentially have and be forced to leave behind? How many young children saw their fathers stripped away from their family dynamic while countless more did not know anything of their father except the stories possibly told by a mother through the lens of heartbreak and disappointment.
In Part 4 of this series, we discussed the development of the Independent Black Woman who believes that she does not need a man because she has proven for generations that she is able to care for her child, with or without the help of a man. Although these women are doing a good job, we should examine the cost of this condition within our culture. As a single mother of an African-American male, I did not immediately realize the cost of my decision. I thought that my son would be fine as long as he had a mother who was caring and willing to provide for his needs. However, there are still days that no matter what I do for my son or do with him; he still longs for that father figure. As the daughter of a single parent, I grew up much like my African-American counterparts seeing my mother do it all and began thinking that I could do it all, with or without a man. This attitude manifests negatively in relationships when I begin treating a man like an accessory in my life and not a necessity. What impact is single parenting having on other children in our culture?
We see young men fathering offspring before they graduate from high school. Many of them have half a dozen children by various women before they reach the age of thirty and rarely is an eyebrow raised. These young men like the generations before them are spreading their seeds and in their eyes creating a legacy; however, the richness of the legacy is diminished when they are not able to properly invest time and resources into their gardens. The mothers of the offspring are often left to care for the children with occasional assistance from the father and other relatives but can this occasional assistance replace the benefits of two full time parents?
A woman no matter how hard she tries cannot be a father to her children. This leaves many young women with “daddy issues” seeking a man to fill the void left by her absentee father while many young men grow up without a sense of what it means to be a man and often taking on female characteristics in their relationships and/or being comfortable with a woman taking care of him. Without strong relationship role models, how likely is it for these young people to develop healthy relationship habits that will lead to a productive marriage?
The Possibility – Is Marriage for White People?
The slave owners practiced the economics of marriage within their own family while destroying it within their slave community. It was rarely considered prudent for the white male or female to remain single past their twenties because it was socially unacceptable to have children out of wedlock at that time. So why, we ask, were the opposite tactics encouraged within the African community?
The economics of marriage within a community is not limited to the increase in financial resources for that group but also includes the promotion of a culture’s value system. Imagine the difference in conditioning between children raised by single parents and those within a healthy two parent household. Many people want to discount the effects that these different dynamics have in the life of a child but I challenge you to look at the situation objectively and consider why many young adults now view marriage as optional. Could it be because many of them lack successful relationship role models that show the benefits of two people loving one another and working toward a common cause?
According to Ralph Richard Banks, author of “Is Marriage for White People? How the African-American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone”; black women are not only the most unmarried group in American society (seven out of ten are single) but also the one that least intermarries with other races. He further states that the crisis in the black relationship market begins with a man shortage due to about one in ten black men in their early thirties being in prison while two black women graduate from college for every black man. Banks also contents that a problem in the community is the attitude of those few black men who are considered good catches because they often stay unmarried because they have too many options.
Looking at the dueling dynamics presented by Banks, we have to ask ourselves, what is the future of marriage within the African-American culture?
How does a culture continue to prosper if marriage is no longer a cornerstone of the value system?
Based upon my observations of African-American relationships, there is a real fear among many African-American women that they will not get married. Although many of us grew up with the fairy tale of finding our Prince Charming, the reality has proven to be quite different. The shortage of eligible men who are seeking committed and monogamous relationships makes it difficult to plan a future around the concept of marriage Much like Banks suggested, most of the eligible African-American males that I know realize that they are a good catch and prefer to play the field while “searching” for the perfect woman. In the meantime, children are born outside of stable relationships, promises are made and broken causing an increase in distrust and the parental model is evolving.
Up 4 Discussion…
1) Is marriage for white people?
2) How do you see the parental model evolving from the traditional version of a mother and father living together raising their children in one house?
3) Do you see a connection between the methods of containment used during slavery to deter relationships and the current state of African –American relationships?