24 July 2008

Being Black in America

this entire post brought to you by Nas new album NIGGER (I'm calling it what he wanted to call it)

Hopefully everyone saw the Being Black in American series on CNN or at least read about it somewhere. I was talking to my co-worker about it and he said he didn't like that they separated the series into 2 segments 1. The black woman and family and 2. the black man. How can you talk about the have the family without the man? that's automatically separating the black man from the black family. Granted that's just the way of life for most children in America but your reinforcing that ideal by separating the topics. I didn't think about it till he said something but he is right. They should have either done 3 topics (women, men, family) or 1 addressing black people as a whole. Don't bundle women and family together. You can't have a family without a man in there somewhere.

While we on the topic what is considered a single mom? like can my baby momma be considered a single mom? They do stats based on wheather the parents are married not how involved the parents are in the child's life. So 70% of babies are born out of wedlock but it's not like my daughter is being raised by 1 parent. We just don't share a house. Technically she counts in that 70% but her life is going to be much different that that child born to a teenage mom who's boyfriend left and never looked back. So when they give those statistics it doesn't paint a real picture.

Even when then they showed successful people it seemed like they had issues. One family living in a upper class suburb, doing well who's son just happened to get arrested on a battery charge. They showed successful black men who just happened to be married to white women. Granted I didn't catch the whole thing but I didn't see one dude like me or family like mine on there. Everyone seemed to be one extreme or another. I guess normal is not so interesting.

Over all I think it was an odd thing to watch. Half way thru I started to think who this was marketed to? blacks in america or the rest of america. I mean talking around my office I think we all agreed that we knew most the stuff they were talking about. We live being black in america. Hell even the white guys in our office said they knew all that stuff. So maybe it's marketed to the rest of america. Middle america who never see's black people , maybe they learned something. Maybe one of them billionaires were watching and decided to but thier money to good use and start an organization to help. Or maybe it was ment to show black people that we need to be doing better. A teenage girl came to my house a couple weeks ago selling magazine subscriptions. She was from Dallas and was shocked to see a suburb full of black people. So maybe it was for kids like her to see that there is a way out and black and successful are not mutally exclusive things.

your thoughts?


UnKnownDiva said...

i didn't watch it but i've read many many comments on it and i think that many black people didn't agree with the way it was presented.
my thing is are they going to do a being chinese in america, being hispanic in america and so on and what was the purpose behind this whole idea and why would they do black people first knowing our struggle in this country and how we have yet to overcome what THEY did to our people???
also, i agree that they should have incorporated the black man into the family or did 3 parts (men, women, & children).

Big O said...

I see where you come from with single parent aspect. Your a single parent, that shares the responsibility of raising your daughter, just in separate homes. And takin care of your daughter..great thing, thats something you should be doing.

The media...no matter whats the subject, tends to miss out on the truth when its the minority..single dads do exist and need to be recognized.

Man in the family doesn't always consist of living in the home. For me, my dad wasn't around..but i had uncles, coaches and other men in my life. So when you say that you cant have a family without a man in there...i disagree to a point...but def extended family, yes.

RealHustla said...

I'm a single mom. My son sees his father all the time but I my responsibilities as a mother don't depend on his father's parenting style. I try to include his father on all significant aspects of his life like report cards, school choices, etc. but this is just a courtesy. I'd like for us to raise our son together but in a couple, often times the woman is expected to submit to the man's decision because he's the head of the household. I never submit to his wishes if they disagree with mine. He's not my head of household, and I'm not his wife. In my world my responsibilities are myself and my children. I have to be prepared at any time to continue raising my children with or without he help of the other parent. If Dad pulls out of the scene there will be no need to readjust. We will continue to function like a well oiled machine. I can not be expected to seek comfort from the other parent in times of stress, nor am I expected to comfort them.

Opinionated Diva said...

I'm probably going to be in the minority here, but I understand why there was that separation.

The reality is that MOST Black children are being fully raised by their mother, or an Aunt, or a grandmother...single women.

While there are plenty of Black men (like you Dave) who split the responsibility...you seem to be the exception to the rule these days.

I was just talking to a friend today about a friend of hers who JUST had a baby. I think the baby is two weeks old. Baby daddy has come up with a ridiculous excuse about the mom putting her friends first...she's so inconsiderate...blah blah blah...and just like that dude moved out. He claims, he will TRY to be there for the child, but only time will tell.

THAT...has become the norm.

Ms. Behaving said...

I couldn't agree with opinionated diva's comment MORE.

I mean...while it's wrong that they broke up the series into two segments [clearly separating the man from the family], opinionated diva is right in pointing out the sad reality which is A LOT of black women ARE raising their child(ren) without any form of support from their fathers which to me, constitutes being a "single parent".

Young woman on a journey said...

you already know how i kinda feel. lol. actually, i even wrote more. but anyway, i agree with the other ladies before me. my mom was married (so i had 2 dads) and still kinda basically raised me by herself. its the sad reality of most black women in america. and unfortunately, most black families. but i do see the point that they should have just had one show rather than these two particular segments.

Liz said...

well i totally agree! i have a plethora of black men in my family who have not ever been to jail, who are successful without having identity issues, who take care of their children and most are with their baby mommas.

i just don't think the "black experience" was portrayed... not my or any of my experience anyway.

Ieisha said...

The reasons you brought up are exactly the reasons why I didn't watch it. I listened to an interview of Soledad O'Brien about a month before the documentary was aired and she explained why she did the two segments the way she did. It was at that point, I knew I wasn't going to watch it.

She said it was because more black men are incarcerated than any other group in our country and was going to show the aspect of their lives in that manner. That's true, more black men are incarcerated but who doesn't know that already? Why keep perpetuating the stereotype?

Which brings us to point #2. I consider myself to be extremely educated and knew the special wasn't going to provide me with any new information. I read CNN.com everyday and can tell who the "news" is marketed to. That show was their way of keeping their special interest stories "diverse."

I'm not buying it.

Young woman on a journey said...


That sounds about right. the way this whole thing was done seemed more like she was trying to justify her and her mother/father (which ever one intermarried)'s decision to marry white people and live the white american dream. i don't knock them for that. but don't bash other people of color who haven't chosen to do so just to justify your point of view.

And really, i am starting to question these statistics on incarceration of black men. maybe its cause i live in "chocolate city" and i see a hell of a lot of losers and men who fair well and a lot of them black. And it ain't that many black people in america really...so, i don't get it.

Super Dave Van Buren said...


Soledad O'Brien is black? get the fu*k outta here.. let me google this shyt

*asking my good friend google*

OMG she is half cuban. I never would have known.

Young woman on a journey said...

Despite her partial Latina heritage, O'Brien doesn't speak Spanish fluently. That has resulted in some awkward exchanges with people who assume she does, including former vice-president Al Gore.

Young woman on a journey said...

sorry, lets put that in context. that was the funniest part of the wiki description on her. lol.