Every day I notice some problems that plague us as a community, and when I look at every problem I try to think of what the overall source of the problem is, and of course potential solutions. Now first of all let me say that I LOVE my people, and my community, and I do not want to erase everything we have built culturally. However, there are some new and old trends and situations that are very detrimental to the progress of us a people.
One particular problem I see that could have/has a catastrophic affect on the community is the breakdown of the Black family. Now you might say to yourself “What the hell is he talking about?” “My family is good!” which might be the case, but take a moment and think about how many single parents you know, or people that were raised in a single parent home. I was blessed to be raised enough a two parent home, and grew up around other people my age that were raised in single parent homes; so I can personally discuss the advantages of having a two parent household. So let’s look at what are the potential negative effects when one essential element of the household is missing.
Most times in theses single family households, the father is usually the absentee member for one reason or another. So if we take a look into the role of the black father we can see what problems will arise with him being absent, besides the obvious negatives such as economical strain, and more work put on the mother. Of course most people know the father by his “traditional” roles as the provider and protector, but if we take a closer look we will see that a father as a tremendous impact on his children, both sons and daughters.
For a woman her first encounter with a man is usually through her father. The first man to love her, cherish her, and show her worth is the father. The daughter learns how to love from her father, and it is the father’s job “date” his daughter. The reason I say the father must date the daughter is because she will base her standard of men according to the father. Think for a second about a woman you know or ever yourself, if you happen to be a part of the female gender, and look at the similarities between the men she dates and her father. Now of course there is an exception to every rule, however there is an undeniable correlation between how a woman views men and how she views her father. Also there is a strong correlation between how the father treats the mother in household, which the daughter will use as a real life example on relationships. So with this strong correlation between father and daughter, an absent father could cause the daughter to look for that fatherly love in the wrong places, have a negative view of men, or several other situations.
The connection between father and son in my eyes can only be described in one word “divine.” Often today you hear several males proclaiming loudly “I’m a man,” without having a clear explanation of what it mean to be a man. To get a full understanding of what it means to be a man, one must get this knowledge from a man. The father’s role is to teach his son how to be a man, an even better man than himself. The absence of the father leaves the son left alone to try to figure out manhood on his own. This search for manhood can sometimes take a lifetime or sometimes even cost a life. A son learns several life skills and values from his father, not to mention just everyday life things like changing a tire, and learning to tie a tie. One of the most important things the son learns from the father is how to handle relationships with women. A lot of times men will mimic how the father treats the mother in the household. Just like the daughter learns about men from her father, the son will develop a lot of his views on women from his father.
So clearly the impact of a father in the family is highly important. So why today do we deprive our children of the is essential element that is so vital to their success? Why are single families becoming the majority in the Black Community? These days it seems the baby comes way before the ring, if that ring ever comes. This by no means a diss to single parents, because if you being a parent is amazing blessing and job. Nor is this saying that if you come from a single family home, you will have all of theses problems. This is merely to describe how much easier it is when both parents are in the home or involved heavily in the child’s upbringing. Fathers figures and motherly figures can be found in some of the most unlikely places and are vital to our progress. My prayers for us as a people is that we think heavily about our present day decisions for the truly have deep impact on our future.
~ ©2010 Taurean Brown (@TheBlackVoice)