Many people remember “The Cosby Show”. It depicted an affluent black American family where the father was a doctor, the mother a lawyer and 5 children who grew up in privilege. For many it was the first time a black family was shown on TV who did not make their money by selling drugs, living in the projects and having a house full of children all with different fathers.
When I watched the show part of me was glad that it showed how life could be for a black family if they had certain obstacles removed and a chance to reach their potential. What I didn’t like was how the show did not really depict life in a black family. When you start a family with a black man marrying a black woman there are a lot of skeletons in the closet that must be addressed.
Many male children do not grow up seeing a man who takes care of his family, loves their mother and is willing to sacrifice anything for his family. Instead we see men who have low self esteem, do not strive to be their best because for many they were not encouraged to do so. They don’t take care of their women because they were not taught to do that. They abandon their children and leave the mother to care for them.
Many female children are not taught by their mothers to support their men. They must learn how to be strong and not dependent on a man because he probably will not be there to take care of her or her children. Even when they meet a nice man who is truly trying to be a good husband and father it is not easy to become the type of wife he needs her to be.
Black men don’t grow up with a lot of encouragement. We don’t have role models we can see and touch and get to know on a personal level. All of our heroes are in sports, movies or far away places. We don’t get to see them when they have struggles, difficulties and how they overcome failure. We see Superman with Lois Lane loving him, not Clark Kent who is ignored by all.
Black women don’t realize how their support can not only make their man but sustain him. To hear words of encouragement, to be pushed to excel in areas other than just physical labor, to be praised more and ridiculed less. These habits would make men better. Sadly our family structure has taken the black man’s self esteem and reduced it to nothing while implanting within our black women a sense that black men cannot be trusted and you must be strong to survive a relationship with him.
I don’t blame black men or black women; I blame a society that has spent centuries striving to have a minority that feels and looks superior by putting down those who are different. Our history books have stories of slavery, oppression, the fight for equal rights, maniac groups like the Ku Klux Klan who are so insecure in their dealings within their own lives that they had to attack black Americans to feel good about themselves. Our history does not show a love for humanity but an innate deprivation to be less than we were all created to be.
It is time for America to realize that we are all created equal, there is no superior race (ask Hitler where that got him) and the only thing that separates us is that we look different. Inside we all bleed red, we all want the best for our families, we all want to live a fulfilled life. It is time to promote equality in America for all, not just the rich or the white.