Over the years, black men and women have suffered the most injustices. From slavery to racism, it was as though we would never get to win. Too many people, life still looks like this. What does this mean? It just means we need all the support we can get.

Recently, the world has been fascinated with “Black Love” which is just exceptional black people getting together and becoming exceptional people. It’s like this quote from the bible, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Black men and women are strong, and when we get together and support each other, we make awesome power couples.

Still, somehow, the rate of marriage among black people is sadly low, and the divorce rates are higher than usual. We are destroying each other rather than pulling each other up, because we don’t know who we are and the role we have to play in each other’s lives. Of all the African-American households in the united states, only 45% contain married couples. Many black women are in intolerable marriage situations and the divorce rates are alarming. The number of black women getting divorces or having unstable marriages is almost double the number of any other racial group. Children are being raised by single mothers and those mothers are saddled with much more than they should bear. The more weight is piled on the black woman, the harder it is for her to take off and take her place.

Each of us are strong people, however, the boost we can give to each other cannot be underestimated. Many women are living much below their potentials because, not only are they swamped with responsibilities in a world where nothing is rigged in their favor, they also have to deal with their own people believing that they should settle. Outside of the home, black women are constantly being put down by people and systems. Every day that we go out, there is something or someone there to tell us that we don’t belong here. Despite all of these, nothing has the power to break a strong black woman more than the voice she hears at home from the man she loved.

Men have more influence on their women than they seem to know. Every word, look, action has the potential to build her up or tear her to pieces. So, each time you are there telling her she’s good for nothing just because you’re angry, or you talk about her hair or lack of beauty to your standard, you’re chipping away at her confidence and self-esteem. When you objectify her, a bit of her confidence comes off; when you tell her to just stay home and tend to the kids, another bit comes off; when you leave her to worry about the kids and the rent and gas all by herself, you’re peeling off her strength, strip after strip. You have more power than you seem aware of.

Imagine a woman who knows her potential and is reminded of her strength every day by the man she loves and respects. No one can stop her. Outside the home, her bosses may try to keep her in a box, clients could mistake her for a secretary, but all of that will not matter. Men, be the cheerleaders your women need even if they don’t say so.

Just like iron sharpens iron, be the one that makes your spouse sharper. A woman who knows that she is valued and respected gives value and respect to herself but let us face this fact: self-love can die if no one affirms her value.

Dear black man, your women are strong, but they can be much stronger but your inability to lift her up demonstrates your level of weakness and lack of self-love also. Look at the greatest couples in the world and you would know that we are better together. One person can be great, but two people who strengthen each other can make a huge impact on the world. Knowing this, dating and marriage should be more than just about selfies and sex. We should add to each other in knowledge and in strength. Black men and women are carrying around so much baggage from history and their backgrounds and it is only when we are together that we can shed some of the weight and take higher leaps.

This may sound cliché, however, we are good on our own, but we are better together. History has shown that black love wins all the time. We need to remember this and sharpen each other as we should. 


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Will the single parent household rate ever decrease in the Black Family structure?

Today, many men raised by women have turned out great and are raising their own children with good values. The former president of the united states, Barrack Obama, was raised by a single mother, and we can agree that he turned out better than OK. Men raised by single mother are doing fine, because fatherlessness does not mean a slow walk to the dark side. However, is this the rule or the exception? 

Right now, one out of four children are raised without fathers; that’s about 16 million children. Will each one of these children become presidents or close? Maybe not but it is not possible. 

Boys who are raised by their mothers alone are twice as likely as children from two-parent homes to drop out of high school and never go to college; 1.4 times more likely to be out of work for a long time or be idle. Many of these children have low school grades and grow up to have high divorce rates

As much as we cheer on single women to raise their children alone, we cannot ignore the effect of fathers on their sons. Boys from two-parent homes, sometimes have a more rounded growth experience. From their mothers, they learn strength of character, and from their fathers, they learn to handle the aggression that comes with the Y chromosome. 

This does not mean that women cannot teach their sons to manage themselves; however, as the boy grows, he finds that he is stronger than his mother physically, and this often leads to the boy undermining the mother’s authority. This makes it difficult for many single mothers to influence their sons’ life choices. They either feel like she cannot understand, or realize that she is not big enough or strong (physically and emotionally) enough to make them stop. This often leads to them acting out. With a father, there is an example of what they could be, and so they tend to listen more when told what to do or not to do.

Here is the thing; women can raise great sons alone, but the reality of successfully raising a son alone is so complex that it can be heavily discouraging. It takes quite a lot of trial, error, and re-do for a woman to raise a great son alone. It takes a special type of woman.

Still, what can a woman do than raise her son when she has been left alone? We can try, and that’s what we do. We work hard to be two people; good cop and bad cop; the firm one and the soft one; the one who understands and the one who insists; they one they can cry with and the one who pushes them to be strong and stand up to the challenges of life. Women who can do this are amazing. All the same, should this be allowed to become the norm? When do women get to be women when doing the job of man and woman?

The fact that women can raise their boys should not be used to encourage splits in families. Daily, black fathers are lost to violent crimes, prisons, addictions, the mental illnesses, lack of responsibility. Yet, we should not close ourselves off from the option of giving our sons fathers who can join us to raise them. Furthermore importantly, let us tell our brothers, our friends and our sons to do better. The woman can raise her son alone, but she should not have to. Here’s an instance; if your body can take hot spice, does that mean that you should take a clove of pepper with every meal? 

Every strong person needs support. Therefore, as we empower single mothers who raise their sons to be great all by themselves; should they have to.


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Women Raising Men Alone

Do you ever feel like you are all alone in the world?

There are well-meaning friends and relatives around, yet you know that when they say, “I understand how you feel,” they don’t actually understand. Is this you sometimes?

For many people in peculiar circumstances, this is the case. When it is like everyone else around you think they have problems, but they do not know the half of it. This is the effets that many women find themselves in when they are raising sons alone. It can be overwhelming, isolating, draining, etc. 

How do you teach him to “be a man” when you are a woman?

With a girl, you have been there. You were once her age and you can understand why she acts the way she does, even if you do not like it. But how do you tell your son that you understand his growing pains? How can you be both father and mother to him? This is a question you must deal with every day.

Most people around you will have “typical” families, and so their examples won’t always look like yours, and their advice won’t always work for you, but it’s all right. I understand that no matter how hard you try to cover it, the gap shows. Here is the thing though, it is in that gap that you and son (s) will grow stronger. Raising a son alone is like wandering through a new town without a map. You will walk into a few alleys with dead ends, but you will find your way out. When you start to think that you know your way around, you will move into a lane you have never explored, but in the same way you got there, you will move ahead. You can trust this. 

You have friends everywhere

There are other people who have been in this town longer than you have, and it is OK to ask for directions. You do not have to walk alone. There are other people who are going through the same things that you are. There are other women who have cried the same tears and fought with the same questions. 

One of the problems I know you may be dealing with now is that you are surrounded by people who don’t believe that you can do what you’re doing; people who pity you. This can erode your self-confidence, but it does not have to. Listen to people who understand; there is nothing wrong with being in a support group. Two or three are stronger than one.

Count your medals, darling

You are doing great! Before you put yourself down, before you give in and just let life happen how its choses, remember what you have accomplished. You are a brave woman and not many can wear as many hats as you. Think about the mountains you have climbed over in raising your son. Remember the time when you wondered if you would even get to this stage? Well, here you are now. Write out your accomplishments in raising your son. Put down those difficult conversations you have had successfully, and all the proud moments, no matter how small. Think about all those times when the effects of your good work have shone through. 

Sharing helps you and others

There is a tendency among people who are in unique situations to bottle everything in and not say much to others about how they are feeling. This may look like a good thing on the outside, after all, what do other people know? However, the problem with holding feelings and experiences inside is that they eventually become bigger than us, and they burst out in a way that is not good to see.

When you share your experiences and your feelings with others, there are three things that come out of it.

  1. You show other people that they are not alone in their struggles.
  2. It tells people that they can deal with what they are experiencing.
  3. It helps your family and friends understand you better.

Bonus.  You feel stronger, more accomplished and successful.

Wherever you are now, keep in mind that there are others who are in the same place. Not just that, but there are also others ahead of you and pushed passed the pain. You can raise a great son who will be proof of your undeniable work and dedication. You can do this, and you will be simply fine, just seek out support from family and friends who genuinely love and support you. 


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The Black family structures

Over the years, the number of single-parent black households have been going up constantly; there has never been a time when the numbers decreased. Every year, the number increases, and the projections are that there will be even more single-parent black households next year. Let us call them what they are, un-balanced homes. There are too many un-balanced African American homes and the number never seems to decrease.

What are we doing wrong?

This number has been rising from as early as the emancipation. As quickly as we started to marry, we started to separate too. The African-American race appears to be the group in the united states that fights for their marriages the least. We seem to be so used to unmarried couples having children and couples with children leaving their marriages as soon as there is trouble.

Part of this is since in the dark slavery years, women had to raise their children without the fathers. This has continued over the years with men being taken from the homes to make a living and women raising the family alone. Maybe this is why we have become so used to this; but should we let it continue?

This situation needs to change. If there is no other reason, how about this reason; the higher the un-balanced homes we have, the higher the poverty rate among Africans. The structure of black families today has lost its traditions of the past which held integrity and loyalty to the family.

When a middle class family breaks up in a black household, each person in that family (man, woman and child), is faced with more emotional burden than normal, peace of mind is far away, and financial burdens begin to spread. Life has so many challenges already, and when you have to deal with it alone, they can weigh you down. And what about the child? When both parents are each on their own trying to make just enough money, the child has to deal with the feeling that one person did not want him/her badly enough. The child has to deal with the single parent just not having enough to give emotionally, physically and financially. The child also has to live with the constant bitterness bickering that results from this splits, giving him/her a harmful perspective of life and relationships.

A healthy relationship or civil co-parenting produces palpable love which communicates value and respect to both the man and the woman, as well as the child. Relationships are not easy, but we can try to be nice to each other. If it happens that a couple can no longer be together, still be nice to each other. You can be separated and still be good to each other; this will help everyone; man, woman and child to live life with a little less darkness. 

Contrary to what many couples seem to believe, amicable relationships are possible if you can only make up your mind to be good to each other. The fighting that comes with most separations brings each of us down; the couple, the children involved, both families, even neighbours. 

Men, be responsible; women, be patient. Let us all be good to each other. The trauma from ineffective broken relationships potentially stagnates the woman, keeping her from achieving the things that she is capable of because she is constantly being held back by the accumulated worries.

Building the black family begins with building up yourself.

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