Have Black Women Fallen From Grace?
In this commentary, I pay tribute to my mother, the late Mrs. Hattie Lee Peters Clark, who taught me much of what I know about being a wife, mother, and engaged citizen.
I dedicate this article and this entire publication to my mother, because she also taught me everything I know about writing articles for publication, and about speaking out about the issues that affect African American men, women, boys and girls.
She was a beloved educator in Randolph County, who will long be remembered for lovingly and thoroughly, teaching and nurturing the children placed under her instruction. The best dam teacher I had in all my years of schooling.
Because of her motherly influence, I don’t know any other way to be other than the way she taught me to be.
One of her favorite phrases was “I am a grown woman – good and grown — and I cover the ground I stand on.” She taught me how to stand up and have some courage, guts and intestinal fortitude.
When she told you something, that’s exactly what she meant – you could bank on it. If she liked you, you knew it. And if she didn’t, she didn’t waste no time with you. She abhorred arrogance, ignorance and stupidity. When I was a child, she would scold me for anything that made me (or her) look stupid, ignorant, or disgraced me or our family. She didn’t want me doing anything that would give the impression that she hadn’t taught me better at home. She was morally upright. She didn’t have men outside of her marriage. And male or female, boy or girl, if you came into her home, you had to respect everything there, but above all, you respected her. And she respected herself. Even after I passed the age of adulthood, I was demanded to respect her home, when it came to dating, relationships, and visiting after being away at college. No man was EVER allowed to visit me in any part of our house other than the living room, dining room or kitchen. That’s as far as he could go in my mom and dad’s house.
It was the respectable black women of the 1900’s who shaped such great leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mayor Andrew Young, Dr. George Washington Carver, These women shared vision with their husbands for a better African American community. And worked with them, to achieve their vision.
Watching and adoring my mother, is how I learned my respective role in life, the home, the family. I’m proud when people tell me, “You are just like Mrs. Clark.” I want to be like her. She taught me how to use my head, and think for myself, and be my own woman. She taught me an appreciation for reading and education.
Many of us are awe-struck by the potential image of Michelle Obama, a black woman who stands a very respectable chance of becoming America’s First Lady. Last week, we highlighted Michelle’s potential role as the symbol of motherhood and womanhood in America.
But, the ultimate question for me today, is why do black women even need a Michelle Obama to serve as a role model?
I just finished reading a book by a writer who uses the pen name, “King” entitled, “Black Women Are Crazy As Hell.” In his book, King talks about why black men and women have such difficulty in their relationships, and what drives a black man to turn to women of other cultures. He talks about the pathological behaviors most black women display, such as “drama queens,” “whining,” “gossiping,” “insecurity,” “tire-slashing” “clothes cutting,” and all the sick acts our women commit when they get involved in relationships.
And you know what? He’s right.
Regrettably, we need Michelle, because of the way black women have let down their guard and relaxed their value system. I am bothered today, when I see young black women who are perfectly willing to settle for any ole excuse for a man, and reduce themselves to willing accomplices to a man’s sorriness, and slothfulness.
I have often been accused by my own children of being “old fashioned” and out of touch with the times. But, where I come from, respect is respect all day long. Decency is decency. And a sorry man is a sorry man – no matter what color he is. But, we are often just as hard on our own men as society is.
We often speak about the plight of the black man in America. But, much of that dreadful plight rests on the shoulders of these contemporary, hoochie, coochie mamas who are way too quick to raise their dress-tails, and then raising their own sons to be “pimps, playas’ and “pretty-boys” instead of demanding that they conduct themselves as responsible men or suffer the consequences.
I find too many young black women too easily hurt over a man who ain’t worth your tears. He disrespects you, because you let him. If he whips your behind, he does that because you let him. And if you are stupid enough to let him impregnate you with another child when you already have one baby that he’s not taking care of, that’s your own fault for having lowered your own standard.
Who in the heck said, “a piece of man is better than no man at all?” Must have been a black woman.
Stop being stupid. Stop being messy. Stop being played. Stop being used; Stop letting these small time playas make a complete fool out of you. Stop worrying about what your friends will say about you not having a “man” in your life, or somebody to “love” you. DAMMIT, LOVE YOURSELF!
I have been widowed since 1993. I was widowed at age 39. I am proud to say I have tried to live the best I could, with decency and respect before my children. I struggled to raise my children alone… But, I also worked my behind off. I have been called everything in book. I have had men ask me if I was “funny,” merely because I don’t have some man laying around my house every day, and I’m not hangin out in the streets looking for one.
READ MY LIPS! I DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE THINKS ABOUT ME, BECAUSE I KNOW WHO I AM!Get your mind on something constructive, then you won’t have time to sit up and worry about some trifling ass man, who ain’t worth your time or your effort.
Get a book and read it! Learn how to write! Volunteer to help with a community organization! Publish a dam newspaper! Start a business of your own! Make something of yourself, then you won’t have to depend on some trifling Negro to give you an identity. Stop running your trifling behinds to these white judges, and policemen, trying to get them to make some man do what he ought to want to do if he was anything like right. Learn how to judge a man’s character, and if he ain’t right, don’t play with him!
If my daddy was living, there is no way in hell he’d have a Pat Whaley, or a DHR, or any other white man telling him how to run his house, or raise his child.
It’s times like these that make me ashamed to be part of the African American culture.
Black women need to get real. We are a BIG part of the problems we experience with our men.
If we black women start raising men from the cradle, we’ll have a population of respectable upright black men, for our daughters to marry and we can raise families that will make a difference in our communities.