Monday, June 14, 2010

Is it harder for black moms?

I recently read an article over on essence magazine’s website titled, “Is it harder for Black Moms” and I of course instantly began thinking about this issue. It’s not something I had ever considered before. That my race, my being a black mother, put me in another lane, another field, another planet. Then I dug a little deeper.

I gave birth to my daughter 4 days shy of my 20th birthday almost 5 years ago. I fit oh so many stereotypes. I was unwed. I was a minority. I was a teenage mother. What do the statistics say? That teenage mothers probably don’t finish their education. That black moms will end up on welfare and section 8. That I’d end up have 3 or 4 baby’s daddies. That I’d just end up being a broke baby mama. These are the messages that are around us.

Its sad, its disgusting, its discouraging, and it enrages me.

So is it harder for black moms? Is it harder for Spanish moms? Is it harder for Asian moms? Is it harder for white moms living in an inner city? Is it harder for black moms living in the suburbs? I mean, we could go on and on and on and on.

I could view my beautiful caramel skin tone as a disadvantage just as many others do. I could blame my complexion on the fact that I didn’t get that job. Could use it to reason why the cop in the store was eyeing me up and down. I mean, if we truly think we are at a disadvantage then won’t be?

I’m a huge huge believer that your future is what you make of it. While I cannot make people do what I want, I can change my reaction to people and situations. Instead of always jumping to conclusions and blaming my race, changing my perception will allow me to see the bigger picture not just what I see through my narrow lens.

I think we as a society need to start taking responsibility for ourselves and stop looking for someone or something to blame.

But that’s just me.


  1. I couldn't agree more. And I think your outlook is what will then be instilled in your daughter and she will be better off because of it. No one makes your path for you. My daughter's are half-black and I've wondered if I'll fall short as their white mom, but at the end of the day, as long as I love them and provide for them the best I can, they'll be okay. And anyone that disagrees can just suck it.

  2. I agree with you that the color of our skin should not be the scapegoat that we look for to blame the outcome of our futures but just like a young black sales woman in Gap told me after a young white man walked out of the store with stolen merchandise that no matter how much we want to pretend that we are in a color blind society it doesn't take away from the fact that the cop at the store will still look at me first and profile me(as a tattooed/pierced young Latina with 4 kids wearing Hot Topic wear walking in gap) that happens to be in the front of the store instead of "soccer mom" Amy at the back of the store doing nothing but wandering with a big purse and stroller for the past 30min.

    So as sad as it is the color of our skin although it doesn't play into everything it still does play into many things.

  3. Absolutely agreed! We are products of our environment only to the degree that we allow ourselves to be. Great post!

  4. I completely agree. I live an ALL white rural part of Michigan and unfortunately most of what people know of black people or any other race is what they see on TV or the news. I am constantly being told that I am not black. I am saddened by that statement because apparently without knowing it I was already given the disadvantage and had to work my way up. I am a successful women with three children and I am raising them to break stereotypes.

  5. I think that being a mom is hard in general. And the color of your skin doesn't really make our motherhood experience harder than any other race. Moms from every race struggle and get on welfare. As black people, I think that we have kind of used slavery as a get of jail card way too many times. And now we're a hole that we can't seem to get out of.

    I know that there are people out there who still have that Good Ol' Boy mentality but we can truly overcome those challenges. We have a black president for goodness sake! We just have to stop being lazy and pointing the finger and waiting for somebody to rescue us and save ourselves!!!

  6. Thank you all for the feedback, you've all given me an idea on my next post, so watch for it!
    I hope no one got the idea that i think that racism doesn't happen, because it does, and anyone who doesn't think so lives in crazy land. LOL. No, but for real, there are blatant cases of it everyday, but YUMMama you point out a great point, not everything IS racism, and WE cant always use that as an excuse.

    @Michele-Exactly!! Loving your children is the best thing we can do for them.

    @Momarchy Speaks- I think alot of people like to believe, or want to believe we live in a colorblind society. Again, those pple live in crazy land.

    @Lua- Exactly, ONLY to the point that we allow ourselves. I grew up in the projects, but I wasn't out running the streets, my mom was very strict with me. Came home, homework and chores. I wasn't allowed to run wild, and I think my Mom for that.

    @Nicole-The media sucks!! The media is extremely manipulative with what they do or don't show, and how they show it. They do a grand job at reinforcing racism, which is gross! We all should be raising our children regardless of race to break society's stereotypes vs becoming one of them.

    @YUMMama- Preach girl preach! Yes, being mom is hard, bottom line. We have to want better for ourselves, want better for our children and our family to stop being lazy and start changing ourselves!


I love your comments!