Black single-parent households are at almost 75% according to data on Black families in America. The majority of these single-parent households are headed by Black women, at 68%. A change does not seem to be on its way so the Black community must deal with the situation as is; how should a Black woman raise a young Black male today?
The atmosphere for a young Black male seems bleak, but that is not the fault of the young Black male, it is the obstacles set before him. From the beginning of school life clear throughout young adult years, the young Black male is faced with a system of neutralization. Labeled and trapped into special education classes, stigmatized as a juvenile delinquent and stereotyped by mainstream media as dangerous, drug dealing, and criminal, the Black youth of today face a harsh reality of white animosity and racism.
The first thing a Black woman needs to understand is the truth must be told to her son. No matter how unpleasant it may seem young Black males should be aware of the public's image of them. If a young brother enters life believing he will be treated differently (equal) because of his grades, manner of speaking or his neighborhood, he will almost certainly hit a serious wall of reality the first time someone questions his presence in any town USA.
Advising Black women on raising a young Black man, consequently, comes with advising the Black women of her attitude and behavior also. If the male sees his mother in a certain light, be it positive or negative, it will have profound effects on the way he carries himself in public. Thus, the following points of advice should be taken with serious consideration for any Black woman.
1. Tell him the truth about race relations in America; (it's systemic). Tell him he was born a man, not a homosexual.
2. Teach him to be cautious about various women. Explain the different types of women to him and advise him to choose carefully and remind him that there is a special one out there for him.
3. Teach him that work, in any form whether a regular job or a business earning his own money is something he will always need. And teach him to do the best he can and always have good attendance. He does not have to be the best worker, just as long as he is there.
4. Support him in whatever he wants to do, within the law of course. This is something every man needs is to know, that he is supported and believed in by family and friends. If he is constantly faced with negativity he will develop a lack of ambition.
5. Teach him to respect the law but moreover that prisons are built for him and other minorities in America and it is a place that will break him of his human spirit. Most young Black men want to work and try to avoid street life. Males who are broken in spirit at a young age usually seek comfort from the streets.
6. Talk about the responsibilities and hardships of raising a family and he will not want to have kids too early. Tell him that being alone is the best thing for him and that he could survive easier this way. Eventually his own nature will help him figure out whether he wants a wife and kids or not.
7. Give him allowance every week so he does not think he has to hustle or beg for money. There is nothing wrong and everything right with giving your son money each week until he is 17 years old, even though he earns his own.
1. Never, ever curse at your son or call him names, such as stupid or ignorant. That will lower his self-esteem and give him an anger complex. He will eventually believe that humiliation of others will solve his problems.
2. Never, talk down about his father because that destroys his image of the Black man and he will believe whatever white folks say about Black men. If you cannot say something good, do not say anything at all.
3. Never teach your son to be a thug, to hustle, or make money on the side, (illegally), or to have the "get-over" mindset, (scamming the system). He will never have respect for the law and will eventually be arrested.
4. Do not bring men in and out of his life because he will never learn to trust. Children like stability and consistency and broken relationships teaches him to disregard commitment.
5. Do not make him a mamma's boy. He will never leave home.
6. Never force him to play sports, an instrument, or any activity. Introduce him to everything but force nothing on him. Let him make up his own mind about what he feels passionate about.
7. Never choose a favorite sibling over him, or a friends child or make him feel less than. He will resent you and lose respect for you. There is nothing worse than a young Black male without respect for his mother or women for that matter.
A few tips:
Young Black males are not stupid regardless of what mainstream media says or white America thinks. They have a natural-born instinct for leadership, masculinity and a solid work ethic. Do not teach him that the police are his enemy because he will become paranoid around them. Teach him that they are doing a job and as long as he has done nothing wrong he has nothing to worry about.
Furthermore, teach your young Black male not to fear death. Tell him we were put on this earth for a reason and we will not leave until our mission is fulfilled. Teach him there is a God as Supreme Being. If he is taught that there is no governing force above humanity, he will be left to his own devices. A man has the natural instinct to know there is something greater than him, as long as that greater good is not another man.
Finally, love him as hard as you can. A man needs love and he will return that love faithfully even if he does not say it. Prepare him to be successful so when you are old he will take good care of you. Teach him to love and respect his siblings and to never turn his back on his family. Teach him he has friends but not many and that family comes first, life will eventually verify that fact. And never, ever, cast him aside.
© May 2017
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