All of my posts on this blog since its inception yesterday have been pretty great trivial, but there are many topics and causes which I believe are integral points of interest for our age bracket and beyond. I have not had much time to write anything serious as of late due to my employment operation so I figured I give bless you with a classic from the vault…
Throughout my life I have lived in many settings. Whether the proletariat urban “ghetto? or the lower bourgeoisie middle class, the struggle continues for African-Americans in our society. Having a viewpoint from both opposing side, qualifies me to question the system and its motives. The ghettos, hoods, slums and streets of every city are heaving with African-American men and women who are besieged with the everyday fetters and tribulations of life. In this we see a repeating trend or cycle, which is tearing urban African-Americans, as a community, to shreds. Herein lies the premise for this grievance.
When looking at the nuclear family unit, there is a standard means that it follows. It is usually comprised of a father, mother, and children. The cycle has an influence on every part of this unit. In the “ghetto? nuclear family it seems to be missing a vital link, the father. In the Bible and many traditional cultures, the male or paternal figure is the head of the family. He is present to exhibit love, impart knowledge, give advice, and administer punishment when needed. Today in the urban African-American household, the father is scarcely present and this leads to many lasting affects. This is a product of the cycle. The mother, as an affect, is left to play the role of mother and father, which sometimes is accomplished, but mostly fruitless. This causes the mother to have to nurture doubly. Most of the mother get two jobs, work overtime or even break the law to provide for her children. In most cases, she ultimately cannot spend enough time with the kids, so they are at the mercy of themselves and their surroundings. Living in the ghetto without counsel, they are, in due course, forced to conform to the evils, which they are presented with.
For outside perspectives, understanding the cycle takes an open mind and liberal eye. In a system seemingly geared toward the detriment of African-Americans, it is hard not to shun our oppressors for this cycle. Explaining the cycle is rudimentary and full of common sense. Think of an African-American boy, in today’s society, who starts fourth grade. He lives in the universal urban ghetto. To create a mental picture, we’ll name him Antoine Johnson. He lives with his mother and two sisters. He has no father or positive paternal roles due the same cycle he is about to enter. In many instances, he faces institutionalized racism, and in some causes direct racism while in school. He is subliminally taught to believe that his people are only good for entertainment, such as: comedians and athletes. He realizes that he himself does not encompass these qualities, so he then feels inadequate. During late adolescent years, he applies for a job. His name has a connotation, which puts him at the bottom of the pile or disqualified all together. He gets a job with menial takes. He cannot make enough money to help his single mother or to have the things he wants. The only people he sees prospering are selling drugs. Not seeing the fissures in this life, he begins a life of crime. As time progresses, he starts a family and supports them with illegal funds. This life is futile. It usually leads to death or jail. Which, at the end of the day, leaves his children a product of the cycle, and probable future therein. Antoine’s sisters, as a result, look for paternal love at a young age and become pregnant. Their babies’ fathers are not there, due to the cycle, which perpetuates this revolving door.
It’s elementary to see that this cycle is inexorable and will not cease without stanch resistance. There is no specific solution for this ailing problem. I propose a simple action, in an effort to “cut the head off of this snake?, that we start with African-American youths. This will start the urban kids on a good foot. Being that children are very impressionable, implicate African-American history into urban schools at a young age. They teach the students that, though great in there own rights, rap and basketball isn’t the only outlet for African-Americans. By doing so, the kids will have great African-Americans as role models. When looking at these great people and momentous accomplishments, they will see the same skin and features, which in turn allows them to see someone that they can identify will. Resulting in hope and self-confidence. This they will implant mental seeds that will reap great harvests. Though history is great, present day African-Americans in the forefront of society and in the limelight should aspire to become role models for the children from whom they are admired by. Though we cannot change the perceptions of or adversaries, unified as intelligent African-Americans, we can cause a fierce opposition that cannot be circumvented.
The cycle is an immense dilemma in our cities and slums. To combat this colossal problem will take unification and perseverance. Though oppression has been the story of many of our lives as well as our ancestor, we can and will emerge victorious. In retrospect, we can only do so through education, and as stated earlier, starting with youths is the only easy yet plausible solution. Though sounding cliché, the children are our future, and through them the cycle can be ended.