The Black Family Structure
By Nikki and Manuel McLemore, Prisonersolidarity.org
Feb. 19, 2006
The black family structure, what
can we say, has been compromised by the ways of a materialistic
society. We wonder why most of our homes are matriarchal? It's because
our men have been subjected to be absent for a numerous reasons
and its MOM who has to play both roles to bring about a strong foundation
not only for the children, but the love relationship with her man
(i.e. husband, boyfriend, companion, life partner etc.).
She walks lightly, smiles much and
carries an iron fist. Why, because our men are not home thanks to
the separation by default (i.e. Imprisonment). When we had that
strong patriarchal home the MAN came m to break down our Kings,
by separating us from our head of the house hold figures ''Our Men".
Women today have had to fight to be a presence m this world and
black women get less than their fare share of accolades for all
they endure to keep the ''family'' together. When our men are beaten
down, stripped of their dignity and made to be less of a man then
they are--who has to step up? The woman. Once we as women had to
take that stand, it changed the dynamics of what "a man m the
Women are made to be power hungry
because when we least expect it we have no one to lean on for support
except ourselves. Is it fair to put all men out like that and say
they aren't good? No, we still need our men to be just that Our
Men, our protectors, providers, but with so much brow beating, we
as women forget that sometimes we need to give a little to get a
lot. Men need to be needed and when this happens not only does the
Black Family strive and survive, it flourishes and history is passed
on for generations to come.
See we as a structure can make a
mighty sound united, but we only sound like whispers when we are
divided and this has been where many of our problems have occurred.
Where did we lose the ability to communicate within or our families?
Before we could read and write we had so much m common then one
day, things changed and forever more have we lost sight of from
once we came.
The beauty of our black family structure
is that, no matter what happens with the confines of our families,
did we ever let anyone from the outside come to regulate or disrespect.
Today this has no merit, often someone from the outside has over
stepped their boundaries to introduce the poisons of society to
turn families against each other, bringing down one more unit or
strength to a mere existence of silence, isolation, desertion, separation
and frailties. We as a black family structure need to readdress
how it was that our ancestors made it for so many years, before
they were forced into assimilation (i.e. prison and slavery). When
we as black people behave like a family we reap the benefits of
the whole unit, rather than the struggles of one who has to carry
When did the word family start standing
Unity, communication, LOVE, food and sharing are what gave us our
black family structures, so why did we abandon such a detailed outline?
Manuel McLemore, # A 293546
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505
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