Almost Christmas Thoughts
As I think of African American holiday movies there is a sadness when you think of the role of African American families. No longer are mothers and fathers married 40-50 years there to keep the family together. The men of the house that hung the lights around the house, kept the lawn clean, and put the Santa decorations on the roof. No longer are houses filled with good home cooking that came from the heart that beckoned everyone to gather together in the kitchen to eat in a home that was well kept and spotless. The love of long lasting marriages showing accommodation, caring, and dedication to the family is over.
How did we get from those households to fragmented gatherings? Now so frequently the question becomes who has the children for the holiday and which set of family will they see? Which mother of your child will you be bringing this year or which new girlfriend? Home-cooked meals now include picking up pre-orders of fried turkey, Honey-Baked ham, and things heated up purchased from the frozen food aisles of grocery stores. Yes, it’s a dog gone shame.
When I grew up I remember boiling the giblets, helping with the sweet potato pie, making the pecan pie, and helping with fixing the dressing. Hate to call you out ladies but many of you don’t know how to make or bake anything. Cooking is a life skill and more importantly because most of us didn’t grow up with an estate and servants, women cooking helped saved money so the needs of the family could be met. Hello. It only made sense for a man to be excited about the food placed in front of him-right? Good home cooked meals are better than processed food that is unhealthy for the children. What I learned looking at the women of the past is that they were about the preservation of their family putting each generation in a position to thrive. While modern day women act like they are too good to cook, it’s interesting to see the look on a man’s face when he’s eating a home cooked meal.
Gone are the generation of women that saw a man working hard mowing the lawn and came out at just the right time to give him a cool drink of water. Gone are the generation that knew how to be tough when they needed to be and gentle when they knew you were hurting enough and needed love. Gone are the women that were loved and respected by their men for the goodness they brought into a man’s life not for pole dancing and twerking. Gone is the pride men had of the women they knew that didn’t just marry then for a house/money but because they were “sweet on this man” and wanted to build a life with him. Gone are the generation of women that made the apartment work until they could afford the house while watching their families grow. These women that didn’t demand they get their bills paid and pointed out what purse they wanted to Macy’s because heck in 1858 when the store was founded, I highly doubt people of color were allowed to shop there. Gone are the women that stood by their men in difficult times until they (a couple) could get back on their feet. Gone are the women that carried themselves with dignity and respect rather than shots of their behind and scantily clad dresses telling themselves their wife material according to their shape. Gone are the women men knew didn’t have a reputation of sleeping around and didn’t have to question if this woman slept with his friend or if the baby was his. *Now I’m not painting a perfect brush of the past because we all know situations of scandals but such behavior as far as courting outside your marriage was highly frowned upon. Being a woman of loose character and morals wasn’t considered common place nor celebrated.
Gone are the women that knew not to destroy a man’s pride and to be strength to the family without overpowering him. While I am first to champion a woman with a brain, intellect, reaching her highest potential without being stifled by her gender –let us not lose pure intentions and genuine love for ourselves and others. Women of dignity, driven, kind, loving, and dedicated to the lives of their families. Women that lived their values and morals while passing them down to their children. Giving the family a set of expectations, encouraging each child to be successful to achieve the desires of their heart.