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The Plight of African American Children Today

Updated on April 18, 2015

Do You Think Parenting Skills Have Declined in the African American Community?

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Blood spills on the streets

Chicago, Los Angeles

While wings are granted before their time

Sometimes at the hands of the boys in blue

Others by those who mirror the victim, perpetrators of the crime

Death for no reason

Gang violence increases

As absent fathers, impoverished communities, and welfare recipients continue to grow

The ancestors turn in their grave providing silent protest and unheard revolt

Marcus Garvey-No

Harried Tubman-No

Al Sharpton-No

Martin Luther King-No

Sojourner Truth-No

Booker T Washington-No

W.E.B. Du Bois-No

Malcolm X-No reported:

The achievement gap between black and white students in America continues to grow. Too many black children attend overcrowded and underfunded public schools that are racially and economically segregated from mainstream America. To be young, black and poor in America is to be confined to some of the nation’s most dangerous, violence-ridden and vulnerable spaces.

The System

What's wrong in the African American community today and how have these issues effected African American Children?

  1. Lack of Marriage. When you have exposure to gender roles, LOVE, and commitment -you are more secure mentally and emotionally as a person. You have an identity. You are exposed to gender roles, how couples work through problems, and hopefully witness love between your parents. You are exposed to your father's and mother's family. You learn how to work through conflict and have wonderful memories of togetherness and Thanksgiving meals-good times. PLUS-African Americans have historically been paid less than their counterparts so it would be smart to couple your money to allow one to save and invest, thus securing a better financial future and retirement.

  2. Television babysitting. No need to sit at the table and discuss your day. Just watch television full of drama, murder, ignorance, buffoonery, and receive the message that you don't have to work hard in life to achieve money/materials. Most television watching for youngsters nowadays is not filled with public broadcasting, the history channel, or programs discussing the future of our country. Turn on Love and Hip Hop or Housewives of Atlanta and tune in for backstabbing, fighting, and displays of how to handle conflict in a classless manner while disgracing yourself and your race.

  3. BET videos. No need to desire to become a successful attorney, journalist, CEO, President of the United a gangster or a doughboy. [Urban Dictionary defines a dough boy as rich drug dealers, dealing anything from marijuana to coke.] Let's forget about the real threat of jail or death in the pursuit of illegal items. Just remember all the wonderful women and instant friends and stardom you can experience by gaining illegal wealth. Objectify women, observing the treatment of women as sexual accessories and you grow to devalue women in relationships as you get older. Unable to choose the right mate because you are caught in a look or appearance rather than seeking the true great qualities needed in a woman to have healthy/quality relationships. What happened?-A generation of men that will hate the ladies and make the babies (2Pac).

  4. Lack of Parental Involvement and Guidance. It is not the teachers job alone to educate your child. What happened to having your child read to you at night so you can figure out what challenge they have regarding comprehension and word construction. What happened to treating children to a book at the bookstore instead of rewarding with clothing/materials? What happened to setting an example, setting your child up for success and not failure? What happened to parents being the role model and not the basketball stars?

  5. Church and Religion. The backbone of the community always included some type of faith, belief in a higher power, and idea of moral character. While not all in the community followed this path, the community usually revered and protected those who had a relationship with a higher power or attended Church. Now we have a group of people who don't need a higher power/God and look at the result of the changes to our community. The changes are not for the better but took a turn for the worse. Now you have children that curse and act crazy regardless of adults being present. A culture of people who believe pretending to be nice while lying, manipulating, and using others while adopting a mindset of cheating as a normal way to conduct themselves and function. The African American community always thrived and overcame struggle with a belief in God and now that is old news.

  6. Lack of Addressing Major Trauma. Let's not discuss the man mommy was dating who raped/molested a child. Let's not discuss processing your mother having 10-15 men that rotated in and out of your life. Let's not discuss the new boyfriend/girlfriend that didn't want you around and made you feel like a nuisance because you were his/her child that was part of the package deal. Let's not discuss how parents took out their frustration, yelling, criticizing, and never taking time to talk to their children. Children and parents need not be a stranger to therapy to help them to develop into healthy functioning adults. If you are a child that witnessed physical/mental abuse in your household you need to seek therapy and process this so as an adult you don't repeat patterns.

  7. Lack of Positive Speak and Belief. You can do anything and be anyone you want to be in life. This message is not being conveyed to young people. By the time their self-esteem is lowered, raised in an impoverished community witnessing crime and devastation-life threatening, and parents that set no example there is little belief to achieve or do better.

  8. Lack of Shaping Your Child’s Future. Children are not mentally engaged and challenged. What's wrong with taking your child to science museums, enrolling them in 100 black men programs, or exposing them to engineering/math events. Children's minds can be shaped. Ask Venus and Serena Williams father how to shape your children to be successful.

  9. Raising Materialistic Individuals. Stop raising your child to believe materials, at any cost, as the most important things in life. Teach them developing good morals, character, and being a decent human being in society is worth more than a pair of shoes or purse. Children now feel entitled to materials and view materials as love as they grow older. Love for yourself, not outside materials, will give you inner peace. You will gain confidence and have a much fuller life if you learn to love the person in the materials and stop believing materials alone will make you happy because it won't.

  10. Lack of the pursuit of education/trade. Let's be honest. What type of life do you think you are going to have on a $10 per hour job? To sit in this situation and teach your kids that this is normal is disrespectful to the achievements of our ancestors. There is a time and place for everything. If you have children, you should support those children. A parent is responsible for ensuring they have food to eat and raised in a good environment and have opporunity. Children don't ask to be born and you owe them your time, attention, love, and affection. They come first, not your need to party or date someone. Knowledge is feeding your brain with something to expand your knowledge, teach you something, and create knowledge of the world around you.

Entertainment A Weapon of Black Destruction

What's also wrong with the youth in the African American community, in terms of rescuing our children, rests with the community. There are plenty of single educated women/men who do not have children that could volunteer their time to help others. Big Brothers and Big Sisters have programs or one can take an interest in your cousins son that is headed the wrong way and get involved. This is a challenge to all who have knowledge, know better, have time/resources, and can help others but remain focused on oneself instead of the impact on the community. To those I challenge and charge you to get involved to help others to do better and expose them, by example, how they can make the lives of their children better.


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    • realtalk247 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Good points. Let me say I for one did not applaud the black woman who repeatedly attacked her son. One has to be careful when the media applauds someone's extreme actions. I have not quite processed what I want to say about that situation but here are my unedited thoughts.

      1.The mother mentioned she was "raised right." Mother of 6. Did she have an ex-husband?

      2. Where were any of the male role-models, any one of the fathers of the children, that may have shown more strength and been present to make sure his son/her son was not involved in such activity.

      3. When she mentioned the "polices" that were there it made me wonder if people put her on the screen to propetuate the ghetto ignorant violent angry black woman. If a woman really had control over her son then the look alone when she discovered him engaging in harmful activity would have been enough to make him drop his head and go home.

      4. If the child was not African American would the world be applauding him being slapped and treated like that by a parent? Child abuse for the child that matters and high-fives for slapping around your African American child.

      5. There is a problem with African American relationships today. It starts with women overcompensating for the lack of male presence in the household. These boy grow up saying they "love" their mothers but is the message of interaction with this black women is this violent, argumentative, "ghetto dysfunctional" love that is deemed as normal?

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      Did you see that article on the missing old black men in Baltimore. Only men can teach a boy to be man. This is particularly true if that man is your father but it is also true if there are no older black role models in the community. There is nothing like having older men around who will hold boys accountable even when daddy is not there.

      They used to say to troubled young men: You've got two choices, jail or the military. As one who was in the military let me say that it can do wonders to help you develop a sense of self discipline if you don't have it already. They make it clear that if you cannot discipline yourself, there is plenty of rather unpleasant external discipline readily available.

      I and many others loudly applauded that black woman who went viral when she smacked her son in Baltimore. I know some notherners hate us for this but as a true son of the south who was on the receiving end of a well deserved spanking or two, I do believe that sometimes you have to get a boy's attention. On the other hand, as the more enlightened times have shown us, that's what the butt is for. Never smack the face or head. Too much unintended damage can result.

      I believe that good jobs can help the people of most troubled neighborhoods. Some folks don't want to hear or know the truth about how to find a good job though. Sometimes you have to move. The truth of the matter is really, really obvious. Obama has a good job and he moved to get it. Need I say more?


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