Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Womanist Mommi's POV

Let's be real, the primary concerns of the average black woman are not that
closely aligned with those of white women.

Black mothers fear for their sons who, if current statistics prove true, have a higher chance of ending up in jail than in college -- or of being victims of violence.

Black mothers wonder if their daughters will marry or have children, now that black women have the lowest marriage rates in the country and, if they are professional
black women, also the lowest birth rates.

Black men have the highest level of unemployment in the country.

And black women are contracting HIV at unprecedented rates.

With so many pressing issues bearing down on our communities, is it any wonder why gender has yet to trump race?

Marjorie Valbrun wrote these words in her article for http://www.theroot.com/ in regards to the Hillary/Barack competition for the Democratic nomination for President.

I couldn't have said it better myself. A resounding "Amen" I heard in my head as I read this article. It's the same resounding "Amen" I heard in my head when I read the Alice Walker definition of womanist (womanism) in regards to a black woman's feminism. It's the same amen I heard in my head when I read Nat Irvin's definition of Thrivals. It's the same resounding Amen I hear in my heart when I see the "Yes We Can" video. It's the same resounding Amen I hear to the beat of Jill Scott's "I Keep" or Common's "Be."

Those Amen's and How do I's go hand in hand in my life. How do I balance my income to live within my means, save, create generational wealth, and be philanthropic now? How do I raise my children to be multicultural, yet hold on to important cultural specific traditions? How do I walk my own journey of growth, while teaching them growth? How do I balance a career and entrepreneurial pursuit. How do I remain hopeful in the face of hopelessness? How do I continue to live and love with an open heart and protect myself, my children from the heartbreaks of life?

I can truly say that the differences of my experience as a Black mother are rooted in my conscious way of life. I am conscious that the choices I make for myself and my family affect the larger Black community. So those choices are made with a little more thought.

I can't say that I make all of the right decisions. But, I can say that there is thought - sometimes too much - in every decision that I make. And, all I can pray is that the good decisions affect all of the Black Mommi's, fathers, children and families in a way that elevates a people.

1 comment:

girlpie said...

The word that comes to mind upon reading your post is TRUTH. Being true to your family, to your people, and most of all to yourself, are priorities many folks don't have to deal with at the level that many of US have to.

Efforts to raise family in an authentic environment means that we do have to think about who we are first and constantly improve and expand ourselves. Through the evolution of me, no matter how hard the people around me fight it, I know I am becoming a better mother, humanitarian, and explorer. Because of that I have to be becoming a better person. As a member of the world I know that I must being doing my part on improving society, even on this small scale.

Because of all of the statistics mentioned in the article you referenced, our responsibilites are endless. Dealing with each separately would drive me crazy.

So my answer to truth is just continue to improve myself and hopefully that will impact my children, family, and community.