How The African Diaspora Community Lost Its Strength: A View On The Family Unit
November 21, 2020 238
family Unit remains the most valuable asset we own as Africans. Every society is
a reflection of the values upheld by its family structure and characteristic.
In Africa, even the largest of families have structures and hierarchy. There is always a father and mother figure, 98% of the time. The other 2% is left to broken homes and orphans. Children grow up in a specific way, and their view on responsibilities and roles are a reflection of what they saw their father and mother do.
But on the other side of the world, the African-American society, over the years has witnessed the highest assault on its family structure and unit. Children grow up without a father figure, and women live their lives without a man to give them that sense of security and “woman-ness.”
The disintegration of family structures in the African-American community has been a persistent problem for far too long. The factors which have led to these are numerous. Some, are as a result of pressure from the oppression of our race, while others are self-inflicted.
High out-of-wedlock birth rates, absent fathers, and the lack of a family support system for many young African-Americans have led to serious problems in our communities and social life. The persistence of these crises has helped to display negative images of African-Americans, and as such making our people look like they have a curse or bad luck that follows them around.
Many have said that the African-American family unit as we know it was decimated during the enslavement period. A lot of tactics were employed by white slave owners to ensure that the African male slave looks weak and powerless to protect his wife and children. Nothing reduces the value of a husband or father figure than his powerlessness to stop the sale of a family member, and the rape of his wife and children.
To add salt to injury, African-America men were raped by slave owners in front of their sons, wives, and followers. The term for it then was “buck breaking.” This single act alone was enough to reduce the picture of the dominance of a man in eyes of his wife and children. The bruise on his ego might never allow him to be an effective father.
For a period of 400years and beyond, the white society systematically attacked the 'Masculine principle' of African-American families. This in turn made our women feel as though they could survive without Black men. And that culture has been passed down generations, till this day. The notion among our women is that “if my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother could raise their kids alone, then why can’t I?”
This systemic assault on the black family continued into the post-slavery and the 'Jim Crow' period. And was then heightened during the Feminism movement into the sixties. And now, the black family is being attacked and destroyed by the feminization of our young men.
Today, there are more and more black men who see themselves as women. They want to marry other men, and this reduces the father figures in the black community. And we all know that no matter how strong a woman is, she needs a man to protect her and their children. That is the natural order of things.
Our Family unit has always been the focus of attack. As long as we're divided as a family, we can't focus on defending against our true enemy. It's the same way they focus on dividing and maintaining the division between Continental Africans and those in Diaspora.
Another major issue that affects the black family unit drastically, is the imprisonment of large numbers of black men. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and their unborn children, to resist this attack on our pride as a people. Over 30% of African-American men are in prison or have spent considerable time in prison.
These are fathers and husbands who have been absent in the upbringing of their children. The effect of this amount of men in prison can not be overlooked or underplayed. This is because when spread over a period of 50years, its resulting effect is what we see today in society.
One other worm eating up the black family unit is “Misunderstood Feminism.” A good number of our black women, just by misunderstanding feminism, or by abiding by what they have been thought, believe that men are indispensable. They believe that a woman can do the job of raising kids alone. So sometimes they are in a hurry to get separated from their man when there is a quarrel. But the truth remains that a woman can never be a father. She can provide for the children, but will never give the children the sense of a father figure.
Statistics show that Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, commit crimes, join gangs, and end up in prison. They are also more likely to live in poverty-stricken households.
The black community must put in extra effort in understanding the importance of our family structure. Lessons should be taken from the unbroken family unit and structure back in Africa. That family unit remains the last defense of the African society.