The Deconstruction of Black America

***In this post I will be addressing issues within the black community that many would rather sweep under the rug and not discuss in public forums in fear of “airing our dirt laundry”. The next post or two I will be addressing some solutions that I feel could alleviate some of these problems.***

***I also realize that this post may also be preaching to the choir but hopefully if you read this all the way through you can take something from it [and the subsequent posts] and help someone who needs to hear this message.***

Often times I witness a young man on the train with his jeans hanging half way down his thighs or a young woman no older than fifteen years of age pushing a stroller and I ponder: “How did black America get to the point these conditions became acceptable?” In fact in some circles such behavior is even celebrated. Before I go on let me say that this isn’t an attack on young[er] people. In my opinion Generation Z is lost but it was Generation X and in some cases Generation Y who raised and paved the way for them. So they aren’t entirely to blame.

I don’t need to list the statistics here but its pretty common knowledge black males are more likely to go to jail than go to college. Blacks have a lower life expectancy than their white counterparts. There are serious health disparities leaning towards blacks in almost every inflictive or deadly disease. A black child is more likely to be born out of wedlock than any other race. We know the stats but how did we get to this point?

Black Americans have endured second-class citizenship that called for amendments to the US Constitution to make them full citizens and protect their rights under the law. Even then, a culture of segregation and intimidation, from cross burnings to lynching, gave rise to laws that forced black Americans to live as lower class. They attended separate and inferior schools, ate separately and often lived in fear and submission to the power of white racial domination.

Yes our history in this country isn’t one that was ideal. Honestly, how long are we going to blame a time period in which most people who are reading this post weren’t alive for? True today there still exists legalized segregation, racism and classist laws which prevent a lot of black people from achieving the same dreams as whites (which I will cover later). What bothers me is the woe is me mentality I see a lot of people take. Who is going to help you if you don’t want to do better for yourself? Even God helps those who help themselves. Something else that bothers me are our so called leaders (including activists and heads of churches) who try to fight issues that undermine black America with the same rhetoric or they just ignore them all together (more on this as well).

Education. I understand that higher education isn’t for everyone. What I get tired of is that fact that people use this as an excuse for mediocrity. Not having an a higher education is not an excuse to not know how to speak proper English. Have some pride in how to communicate with the world. It seems nowadays being smart is something that is shunned. The nerd/geek look is apparently back in style but being an actual nerd/geek? Not so much. I guess appearances are really everything.

Education isn’t just about learning things that are in books. Being educated opens up so many doors and avenues that can help you  in many areas of your life. I would have been just as intelligent without attending school but I know the quality of my life would have been severely diminished without my education.

Role Models. This is a very touchy subject  because no one wants to accept blame. Parents, teachers, entertainers, friends of the family, etc. Anyone who had a chance to positively impact a young person’s life and didn’t has dropped the ball. Parents let their children watch whatever they want on television and listen to whatever music they like. Now they wonder why their daughter wants to be a barbie like Nicki Minaj or look to Jay-Z and Beyonce as the gold standard of relationships. Or they don’t understand how their son is a misogynist referring to women as bitches and hoes or how he can only be attracted to “exotic women” when her mother is black.

Allowing children to internalize certain behaviors such as those portrayed in a lot of pop culture is a defeatist attitude. Do you wonder why Barack Obama doesn’t allow his daughters to watch to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians? That mindless dribble is not something that is conducive to a mind that is still very impressionable.

I think I’ll stop here. The next post will cover some more problems and I’ll get into some of the solutions I think could help the black community. Share your thoughts. Commentary. Do you agree? Disagree?


50 thoughts on “The Deconstruction of Black America

  1. Lioness Rising

    The education part is really getting on my nerves. Lately there has been talk of entrepreneurship since people like Steve Jobs didn’t go to college. Steve Jobs and the other millionaires who didn’t go to college were still college material. Why are people who barely finished HS so confident they can run a business? Even if not every child will go to college, you need to raise children to be college oriented i.e. Intellectually oriented.

    I think mentality is one thing that hold many Black Americans back. Many thoughts on that…

    1. mizzcam

      “Why are people who barely finished HS so confident they can run a business?”

      THIS! People have no idea how ridiculously difficult it is to start your own business, let alone a successful one! And Steve Jobs was a genius. They act like the man just rolled out of bed one day like, “I think I’ll build a technology empire.” Geesh.

    2. madscientist7 Post author

      “Why are people who barely finished HS so confident they can run a business?”

      see the thing is people are disillusioned about what it takes to be successful. people would rather sit around and talk all day about what they could be or what they could have done instead of actually doing it.

      jobs dropped out of school but still snuck onto stanford’s campus to “steal” an education.

      1. Lioness Rising

        I was just talking to one chick yesterday ( may or may not be related to me :/). She said she wants to have her own business and have her own clothing line. She can’t sew and never got the motivation to go to design school, but she has sketches. I told her she should do internships for designers and take a business class. She said she did an internship and realized their useless you just need to get famous people to wear your clothes and your good 0_0. I died laughing inside. 20 with a 5 month old and you think you know business over everyone else?
        I could think of 5 more examples of people like this. S.M.H

    3. A Woman's Eyes

      ” Why are people who barely finished HS so confident they can run a business? ”

      Because they see adults running businesses, and have no idea the work it takes because the adults are not mentoring them to teach them how to do this, and teaching them about fiscal knowledge.

      It is a part of youth to think you know everything. Youths who thought they knew everything have impacted the histories of humankind many times over, especially during times where teenagers were considered adults and were marrying, having children and making adult decisions.

      Young people have always needed adults to tell them the truth, instead of sugarcoating things with “you can do anything you want
      to do” yet not sharing information on opportunities to learn as much as possible about what they are curious about. Steve Jobs did everything he could to find out more about what he was curious about, and kept at it because it was becoming his passion.

  2. Wu Young

    Our community has been drifting aimlessly for some time. Collectively we know what has to be done but a collective step forward has to be taken.

    – I know we’re faced with numerous ills but to see these younger dudes walking around with their pants hanging bothers me. I can’t excuse any of it. I don’t need to see your underwear.

    -on the education front I think the wave anti-intellectualism that has swept the nation is another example of when America gets a cold black America gets the flu. No a college education isn’t needed but you have knowledge or some skill that will legally put food on your table.

    I’ll try to add more tomorrow.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “Collectively we know what has to be done but a collective step forward has to be taken.”

      oh we know alright. the question is will we (as a whole) make the sacrifices and forgo temporary satisfaction for the greater good?

  3. Veronica

    I like this. You know, I have said this time and time again. I think we (and I do me we as a race) lost the younger ones with the whole, ‘you ain’t my moma, you can’t tell me what to do’ thing. We’ve gone waaaayy too far away from ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Now, more than ever, I’d say it’s what we need. Now, I do know that not every grown up can offer good advice and positive words to youngsters, but I really want to believe that there are enough out there who can. Let me try to give an example of what I’m trying to say. Example: I was in church one Sunday. A group of kids (ages 6-9 or so) were being rather loud. The two adults with them acted as if they didn’t know the kids were being loud during the whole service. Not at that age, they should know better, but you can only do what you’ve been taught or you keep doing what you’ve learned is okay. Well at one point, I put my finger over my lip to the kids to signal to ‘shhhh’. One kid rolls his eyes and said, ‘shooot, that ain’t my moma’. He was right in that fact, but certianly wrong in the disrespct. The adult looked at me and at him and laughed. That smirk from her let him know, ‘it’s okay to disrespct adults adn it’s okay to disobey’. That adult should have told the kid to hush also. Now a days, the ones of us who try to lend a positive word or offer a better way or what not have to almost stand ready to fight the parent for even saying anything to the child. *sigh* I don’t know how to go about it, but I certainly think we’ve GOT to get back to the being our brother’s keeper to an extent and get back to some of the older ways of raising kids. All the extreme freedom kids have today is out or control. I don’t know… I’ll keep trying to do my part one word or person at at time..I’m certainly going to try…

  4. Alexius Francois (@5h0b4)

    ok… I hope this strikes a nerve with whomever reads and convicts accordingly. I see a lot of people everyday, ALL day, working in the bakery and, as you can imagine, I see many different walks of life. many times I wonder, “what the hell is going on” or” wonder what the story is” for many of the people or characters that walk through. I think about how I was raised. What i was exposed to. What my siblings were exposed to. Then, what my peers were exposed to. it was a vast difference. I can honestly say I had a half sheltered childhood. now, I say this, because my parents tried their best to keep me from the perils of growing up in New Orleans, but many times, i was still exposed. But, at the same time, I had enough sense to merely take heed as opposed to mimic what i saw. I meet some very old {white} people in my field of work, and sometimes I have the burning question of…”50 years ago, would I be selling you anything and you praising me for a job well done??” Maybe, maybe not… I don’t have a time machine and the people that come in the bakery are rarely in any book of history. At any rate, I feel that, as a people, we are programmed to go against the grain. Our ancestors spent a great deal of energy getting rights for US and now we misuse them. Mainly because we are still “fighting” for something that has roughly been gained. I say roughly because it isn’t all the way there, but as short as 20 years ago, no human in their right mind could fathom a SUCCESSFUL African American President, let alone 40- or 50 years ago. Hell I never thought I would see it and I’m only 25. But we still have people avidly “using” the system, looking for “reparations” and just all around trying to prove a point. The hell for?? Steve jobs was a genius. So much so that he came off as autistic to some and had to work alone. Now, does that mean he wasn’t able to go to college?Nope, just means he wouldn’t have coexisted. with everybody. I didn’t finish school, but I’m probably more intelligent than some people with 2 degrees who just went through the motions and walked the stage. Not downing them, but they can’t down me, because looking at me and talking to me, you would ask what my degree is in. I feel like I’m rambling, but I could go on this subject forever. At the core of it its all about what we are exposed to. Like the “clinical” trials in Tuskegee where they infected blacks with syphilis… That’s the purest example. If you expose your child to syphilis (being barbie, saying Bitch, wanting a “May-Back” before wanting a retirement fund, and draggin his pants or her wearing the smallest shirt) then they will have syphilis…

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      thanks for commenting bro. i feel you on being sheltered. even though i grew up in dc my parents tried their hardest to make sure i wasn’t influenced or fell victim to harsh living in the area at the time.

      as far as people going against the grain its just silly for people to have opportunities before them and not take advantage. people can say that the system wasn’t built for us all they want but truth be told at least 60% of the world’s population would gladly trade places for the opportunities that a lot of young people squander.

      1. A Woman's Eyes

        ” but truth be told at least 60% of the world’s population would gladly trade places for the opportunities that a lot of young people squander.”

        Amen! And that speaks to how sheltered children are if they have no idea the struggles that 60% of the world’s population experiences that would make them want THEIR opportunities that they squandered.

    2. Corrin

      “Mainly because we are still “fighting” for something that has roughly been gained. I say roughly because it isn’t all the way there, but as short as 20 years ago, no human in their right mind could fathom a SUCCESSFUL African American President”

      Has it been gained? Having a black president is great and def an achievement ,but it doesn’t make-up for the hundreds of black kids going hungry everyday or having to stay out until the street lights come on b/c they’re parents (who don’t work) wanna be left alone. It doesn’t make up for the poor schools which just so happen to be in black neighborhoods that have no books. It doesn’t change the food options that the black mother on welfare has to choose from ,which all happen to be bad,spoiled,or unhealthy.We haven’t gained anything as a people but more problems.

      1. Alexius

        While, that accomplishment may not make up for it, it should be a moniker of what’s attainable today as opposed to back then. Could you, at your age imagine having to go in a room labeled “Coloreds” because of nothing more than your hue and a keen fear of what is not known about you? I can’t, and I KNOW you can’t. But I won’t discredit the advancements made by making a mockery if them and not using what is available to me. Racism will always exist, and I personally think it’s more prevalent in the black community than any other, but that doesn’t give it any excuse. Back then we couldn’t choose where to work or attend school , now we can and black people as a whole, refuse to.

  5. mizzcam

    I agree entirely. My Generation Y posts were written mostly in jest, but I was still quite serious with the points I was trying to get across.

    I cannot put enough emphasis on how much I truly value my education. I never want to stop learning. I’m always striving to know more – to do better. My favorite high school teacher always used to say, “Well read is well said.” I apply that sentiment to most things I encounter in my life. My thirst for knowledge is endless, and I can’t quite grasp why more people aren’t this way.

    We, as black people, are definitely lacking in financial knowledge. I don’t know if you plan to address this subject in your future posts, but I think that being unable to manage money is contributing to the downfall of our community. We don’t know how to escape from this cycle. Our kids have horrible credit before they’ve even had the chance to try to build it because they learn from their parents. We are a massive group of consumers and we place so much value on purchases that don’t appreciate. I could go on and on with this.

    I’m looking forward to your future posts in this series.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      your generation y post was actually pretty good. even though it was written in jest i took it seriously. riding the subway to work everyday this past couple of months has allowed me to witness briefly the sad state that this next generation is in.

      as far as financial knowledge i feel blacks are far behind the pace when compared to our counterparts. not even in what to do with money once we have it (that’s another post) but ways to put ourselves in the best position to secure financial freedom. which in turn ties back into my education point. i will be addressing it. thanks 🙂

  6. Euphoric Ears

    Excellent post.

    I’m sitting here thinking of what to address first “education” or “role models”…and I think it all goes back to family structure. I think everything starts at home. I work with high school students from the inner city. They have to apply to be accepted to the school I work at. Honestly, its considered a privlege to attend this school and you live in Paterson.

    I work with these kids and it blows my mind how many of them are still unmotivitated, don’t love themselves, and are just exsisting. No, they won’t excel in school if education isn’t made a priority at HOME. No, they won’t respect themselves if they aren’t shown how at HOME. No, they won’t understand accountability if they aren’t taught at HOME.

    Now, this doesn’t ring true for everybody. Some students have enough fight in them to make it beyond their circumstances. But the majority…not so much so. No matter how much my co-workers and I talk to these kids, offer services beyond our job descriptions…some of them can’t get out of their own way and alot of times they want their parents to do what we try to do for them.

    Education was always important in my household. We HAD to read. We went to museums. Took classes on the weekend. God forbid you said you were bored…I said that at 12 years old and my uncle tossed me “Roots”. Said it before then around 8…my father showed me how to write a letter. Is college for everyone? No. However knowledge is. Neither of my parents went to school and they’re both smart as hell because they constantly seek out new information.

    As far as role models go…I try to be a good one to these students. Most importantly, I keep it fairly real with them. I understand what they’re going through, so I let them in on things that I’ve experienced so they can understand my story and how I arrived where I am now. When we speak about college, I encourage them to stay on campus for the experience. I tell them to travel, take classes abroad. I help them in anyway possible. Most importantly, I meet them where they are at. Teenagers will pay you absolutely no mind if you’re talking AT them and they can’t relate to you. Overall, we need to find effective ways to connect with our youth.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      my children will be doing the same. i’ll make sure i play an active role in their education and thirst for knowledge. i was one of the children who pushed myself despite lackluster support from my parents. i wouldn’t say they didin’t care but they were concerned with putting a roof over my head and food in my mouth. i think some parents think that’s enough when its not. you have to go the extra mile and then some to stay involved in all aspects of your child’s life. its your responsibility to make sure they turn out into a well rounded adult.

  7. Tasha

    Part of the issue is that we have taken for granted the very liberties that our ancestors have died for. I defy anyone to go into a local high/middle school and ask a black student who W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey is without getting a “huh” look back at you. Then ask who Jay Z, Drake, Beyonce..etc and hands go in the air – quick. It boils down to what we emphasize to our children. Growing up my mother always stressed that education, unlike material things, never diminish and can never be taken away. Until we [adults] stop putting emphasis on Basketball Wives, Real housewives, etc. Then how can we truly expect our children not to do the same?

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      great points. i try my hardest to stop internalizing things that i know are counterproductive to the life i’m trying to live. its a struggle at times. funny you mention dubois, washington and garvey. i think you’ll enjoy part 3 of this series when i come up with my proposed solutions.

    2. Euphoric Ears

      Last Thursday, I played a Battle of The Sexes game with my students. I asked questions about geography, math, history, and a few pop culture references. The girls were losing…terribly. You know what they had the nerve to ask me…. *wait for it*

      “Miss, can you ask some questions about Basketball Wives LA….OOOOOH, no…Bad Girls Club!”

      -_- As they proceeded to tell me they don’t read and to look at the boys (mostly shy, video game playing freshmans) and its easy to see why they’re winning


      1. madscientist7 Post author

        -_- but its ok for grown women to watch those shows because “its an escape from their reality”…. yes those are excuses i’ve heard why women watch those shows. women will tune in week and week again to talk trash about these women while still giving the show ratings to be kept on the air.

      2. Euphoric Ears

        Hmmm…good point.

        I don’t think anybody should be watching that crap who can’t seperate reality from entertainment. People get so caught up in that crap. I understand why my parents didn’t let us watch certain shows as kids b/c we would think that it was “normal” and begin to act out that lifestyle. Until we were able to form our own opinions and KNOW that what we see portrayed in movies/tv/music ain’t really real (or the way to go)…they had our entertainment on lock.

        If women watch it for entertainment…by any means, go head. Just don’t start emulating it.

      3. Wu Young

        It’s funny that you mentioned The Basketball Slags. Sunday night Moneypenny and I were watching Black Girls Rock! and she made the comment that BET should have aired BGR opposite Basketball Slags of Los Angeles just to prove a point. That simple act would have spoken volumes to many.

  8. K.Nicole (@GlintofLight_79)

    You are reading my mind and singing my song! I did a series of posts on these very subjects:
    I think one of the issues is parents of the X, Y, and Z generation. A lot of black parents that are middle class are having children who do “hoodrat things” because they’re too busy chasing the “American Dream” and are not at home teaching their children. I grew up in PG County around lots of middle and upper middle class parents/children and I see so many of their children underperforming/under succeeding because their parents were not there for them. You have kids who’s biggest influences are the media and their friends. Both of my parents do not have college degrees, but they always told me I was going to college. And although they didn’t have degrees I always saw my mom & dad reading and engaging themselves in pursuits of knowledge.

    Too many parents these days want to act like their children themselves. I see too many men and women that are 30+ who want to be Nicki Minaj and Whiz Kalifah (sp?) how are they going to teach their children any better?

    1. K.Nicole

      Wanted to reply to Wu Young and say that they probably didn’t air it against BBWLA because they were afraid they wouldn’t get the ratings they wanted, don’t want to “split the vote”.

    2. madscientist7 Post author

      i’ll definitely check out your series. i grew up in pg county too and saw some of the same things. one of my best friends growing up had a mom who was too busy trying to be young to really keep an eye on him. my parents didn’t want me hanging around him because he was a bad influence. he was killed a couple years back in a drug deal gone wrong.

  9. mab

    Great post, and I agree 100% with this. I think especially certain areas the problem is being a product of their environment. Once they realize that you don’t necessarily have to be a product of your environment they would strive for something more. Thus the importance of role models.

  10. Drew-Shane

    I always hear people holler about how college isn’t for everyone. I totally get that but some education should just be basic. I’m not sure if I blame the culture or society but since we’re talking about our people, I’m going to blame the culture. Somehow we negate the fact that some skills should be even across the board. Going to school should only further what you want to learn about in a specific area of study. However, education does extend beyond the walls of the classroom. My mom used to always allude to the fact I had more book knowledge. She made it seem like I didn’t know anything about “life” which I knew wasn’t true but she just wanted me to balance all around.

    Role models… Oh God! I just think celebrities don’t owe us anything but their talent. If people look up to that then… ummm yeah. Role models. Maybe we should talk about mentors?

  11. BougieHippie

    I connect with the education part. My mom and dad told me that though school may not be for everyone not knowing wont lead to succession. It best to learn everything that you can.

    But for the role model part, you can not blame someone else for your mistake as a parent I listen to all music watch all tv shows and admire to only be successful thanks to my parents for explaining what’s real and fake. People on tv can do whatever they want they aren’t responsible for raising our children that’s why they’re the entertainment.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      i think we’re in agreement about the role model part. i’m not saying entertainers should be responsible but parents should make it so children don’t have to look up to them. hence the obama example.

  12. Corrin

    This subject is a hard/touchy one because it shines light on a lot of people’s poor decisions and the consequences of those decisions. 1st, no matter what someone says, the mental ramifications of slavery were and still are VERY REAL. I don’t have to point out Mr. Lynch’s speech for you to understand the type of mental control/game that was being played. So I won’t agree that “we need to get over slavery”, but just as with any crutch you acknowledge it and move on in spite of it. To address the two fore-mention areas of needed improvement, I think role models are certainly a key component, but how many of us “who made it” actually go back and realistically “reach back”? Many a successful black person who was determined to do better, vows never to go back to those questionable circumstances from which they came. As much as I don’t agree with this sentiment, it is reality! Young kids don’t have positive role models or examples of how to be, therefore the drug dealer on the corner or neighborhood hoe with 4 kids & 5 baby daddy’s becomes the example. As far as education, I personally believe it is for everyone, especially if you’re viewed as a minority. America was built by us, but not for us. This system we strive so hard to be a part of was not designed with us in mind. Therefore we will never actually get the rules right. No you don’t have to go to school to be smart, but the odds of someone taking a chance on a “smart” person with no socially accepted “proof” are slim to none. Being formally educated is critical to improvement in life, without education we can only go so far in life, point blank period. An area of improvement which is close to my heart is health. After doing health fairs for many years, I have seen the countless numbers of AA coming to get information about their disease and how to manage it. So it’s not that they don’t want to do better, they just didn’t know. So lastly, I agree that we as black people have to get our shit together, however I honestly don’t think we are in the state that WE are in because we don’t want better. I guess I’m naïve or just don’t want to believe that the descendants of inventors and creators just don’t want better.

    **I also think that until we have been in these poor situations we cannot completely comment or place blame b/c we don’t know what we would do if we were in them!

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      PC i think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. the problem with harping on slavery is that you subconsciously place yourself in the role of victim. and we unknowingly look towards white people to save us from our situation. why can’t we pull ourselves up by our boot straps and fix our own problems. i’m not saying forget about slavery, racism and the struggles of those who came before us but as we push forward to find our niche’ in this country we’re faced with different challenges. constantly revisiting the past leaves us stagnant.

      1. Corrin

        so my first instant was to ask “how do i pull myself up”,then i expected you to list ways of betterment, then I would list all social things in place that hinder AA from getting to the betterment. So to skip all of that and avoid trying to prove a point sarcastically, I’ll say this, I do think it is up to us to do better, no one will “save” us or “help” us for that matter. But in order to “pull up” we have to be shown how and many sadly aren’t. My mom always says ” I will show you how it could be and how it should be, from there it’s up to you”. The problem is most AA aren’t shown “how it should be”. My point is, acknowledging the root and all that it did to us and for us shouldn’t take away from the advancement we seek, it SHOULD however serve as blueprint for the monster we are dealing with!

        **and I know once u say “agree to disagree,” your willingness to debate is pretty much gone,lol**

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        i have a blueprint. that’s for later on in the series. oh and i’ll still debate. i just disagree with you on that one point. i agree with everything else.

  13. K.Nicole

    Wu, I guess my thing w/ BGR is not on whether BET would have made money on it putting it up against BBWLA, but more so really what purpose would it serve. I’d actually have young women read a book or connect with their families than watching either show because although they’re different types of “entertainment” they’re both vehicles glamorizing celebrities for the most part.
    I think the racism arguments against “pulling yourself up” are excuses to a point. Let’s look at Black immigrants (African, Carib, etc.) they seem to not only make it in America, but to thrive in America. They have gone through the same racist/colonialist BS as Amer. Blacks, but their priorities (for the most part) are different, i.e. education, entrepreneurship, careers, etc. And if racism or lack of education is a barrier to them, they usually work hard at whatever menial job they hold to ensure that it’s not the same way for their children & ensure that those values are instilled in their children.

    1. madscientist7 Post author

      as far as your second paragraph is concerned whenever someone mentions that then the tired rebuttal of trying to pit blacks against blacks is is brought forth. its not to put black americans down by comparing. its meant to use as a teaching tool or template of how to deal with the bs in this country and still excel.

      1. K.Nicole

        I agree and it’s not an us vs them at all, like you said we should be emulating those that have gained success in this country despite the odds against “others”.

    2. A Woman's Eyes

      ” Let’s look at Black immigrants (African, Carib, etc.) they seem to not only make it in America, but to thrive in America. They have gone through the same racist/colonialist BS as Amer. Blacks, but their priorities (for the most part) are different, i.e. education, entrepreneurship, careers, etc. And if racism or lack of education is a barrier to them, they usually work hard at whatever menial job they hold to ensure that it’s not the same way for their children & ensure that those values are instilled in their children.”

      AND so are Black Americans. I hate the stereotype that Black American’s do not care about education. The problem is that Black Americans who do not care about education are the ones who get the most publicity in 2011 thanks to the media, internet and t.v. and radio media. The voices and actions of ignorance will always be the loudest compared to that of intelligence and being hard-working when it comes to Black people in America.

      Yet there are many Black Americans who are very serious about education.

      I am so proud of Black people worldwide who are fighting hard for the betterment of their families.

  14. Silent Scorpion

    Sigh…Reading this after coming home from doing two home visits in East New York…sigh..again.

    We al know institutionalized racism exists, if it didn’t, I wouldn’t be in school learning the how the system works so that I can fight for social justice. But the question is after we’re done bitching about how we’re disadvantaged what are we going to do? There are so many resources, even in the most desolate of areas in the United States that go unused everyday. When do we stop blaming circumstances for our lack of achievement. I’m at an advantage, because I have witnessed an immigrant man, who barely spoke English, move to this country at the age of 19, attend a two-year program at a community college and start his own successful business. I knew what I was able to achieve because I had great role models, my parents. For those kids who aren’t that lucky, whose to blame? If your parent was a poor role model, and you continued the destructive cycle with your own children, who should be held accountable? How far back do we go?

    To my “socially conscious” people when is standing for something going to be fashionable for our generation and down. We have no leaders, but we also have no educated and committed followers. Every leader needs someone in the trenches doing footwork. These days if it isn’t a sensational verdict or killing/beating being plastered across social media and the news, then we have no clue about what’s going on in the world, government, school systems, etc. We won’t do anything but huff and puff (meaning tweet and talk shit) and then continue to hide in our safe cubicles at our 9-5s. How can a leader emerge if everyone is so worried about self and not ruffling feathers?

  15. The Bradley Show (@bradleyshow)

    Awesome and insightful post. Coming from the Black leader perspective, everyone is so concerned about building an empire and money, but when you talk about issues in the Black Church they say pray about it. I try to be proactive as a young Black male and do something about it. I don’t understand why things are the way they are. You have people that are out there living the example, but if they aren’t Jay Z or Nicki no respect. They are looked at as lame.

  16. A Woman's Eyes

    Environment is everything. I was watching “Diary of a Tired Black Man” and was impressed with the focus on how we begin our lives–our childhood–and how it impacts our choices, beliefs and behaviors as adults.

    I really do think that 97% of television is poisonous to Black children’s minds. I am always amazed that parents let children watch music videos and movies that show adult themes that involve adults talking to each other disrespectfully. But at the same time, there are also households where the adults plainly do not respect each other. Our behavior at home is showing our children how they should behave at home. We are responsible for how we speak to children, and we are responsible for our expectations of children. Children always always meet our expectations whether they are low or high.

    I consider myself privileged simply because I grew up in a household where my parents respected each other, and also respected our person-hood as children. This means that we were expected to respect the adults AND we were expected to be a child, deal with childish things like playing, reading, making friends, rather than thrust into a confusing expectation of children acting like adults but being expected to respect adults who disrespected them.

    My heart hurts when anyone tells me that think it is okay and normal for adults to curse out children, talk to them in demeaning language and beat them down frequently. (Mind you I’m not talking about spankings or whippings but literally beating a child until he/she is unconscious or unable to sit down or until the parent is exhausted).

    I think that households where disrespect is condoned are households that are raising future pissed off adults, and future adults who don’t know what love and respect is. It is more than clothes and a 15 year old with a stroller. It goes back to when was the first time this child was treated like he/she was not worth anything and whether this treatment continued. Did an adult step in and protect this child when the disrespect happened? Or was the child told to “man up” or “stop acting fast” and left to fend for themselves?

    Were their parent(s) home to raise them and teach them better, or were forced to work to survive and the t.v. in a lonely house (or horny next door boy/girl, unsafe adult in the neighborhood) was their child’s companion? It is whether they are being raised by a single parent who is angry about having to do everything on their own without their father and takes her anger out on the children or verbally disrespects the absent parent or disrespects the child who reminds her of the absent parent.

    My only disagreement with what you said is the notion that people often complain about their circumstances. I find that many people who are the teen mother, the struggling single parent, the boy who wants to be a man who has not been corrected on his English, often are too proud to complain or make excuses for their circumstances. Guaranteed, some people do fall into “woe is me” but many people are too proud to admit that their life and circumstances are limited by their poor choices. It takes great courage to even say that your life is terrible because of your poor choices and poor examples presented to you in childhood. To be able to say “woe is me” is almost a luxury, in my opinion, especially during this recession.

  17. A Woman's Eyes

    I’m a Generation X parent. My son has no choice but to go to college. After college he can decide what he wants to explore and do. I will never accept the “college is not for everyone” thing coming from my son. He is too smart and important to me to not continue his education in the world of college academia. At 5, he thinks college is where he is supposed to go to after high school so that he can do what he wants to do, after doing what he is expected to do.

  18. Pingback: The Deconstruction of Black America (Part II) « The Native Son

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