By La-Tonya Slack
The sun is shining, children are laughing and the barbecue grill is smoking. It’s time for the annual family barbecue. However, you’re not that excited to go. Why is that? When you get there all you see is mostly women, children, a few young guys and maybe one or 2 grown men…..then you remember why the excitement is muted. Has that ever happened to you? If not, consider yourself blessed and you should be thankful.
You begin to wonder where all the grown black men are. You remember as a young child sitting on grandpa’s lap and listening to the old stories, or being excited when a great uncle came for a visit. Wanting those days back you realize in your family it may never be. Why? The dynamics of the family has changed over the last 50 years or so.
There are no fathers around, maybe one or 2 distant uncles and a few cousins. What happened to all the granddads, dads, brothers, uncles and cousins? If your family is anything like mine they don’t exist in 2011 and perhaps they never did. Some are dead, some are in jail, others never come around….and you’ve got some that you don’t want to come around. When you consider men that are in your family who are in jail or strung out on drugs you get attendance that’s close to nothing.
Why is this? Why are there so many black families being lead by grandma and mom? Why are so many children being raised by grandma instead of mom and dad? Let us stop asking why, and start spearheading positive change.
It’s time for our black men to stand up and take your position as the head of our families. We need you. With strong black men we get strong families, with strong families we build strong neighborhoods; strong neighborhoods lead to strong communities. Right now the black community is at the bottom of the food chain. Obama can’t do it for us. We’ve got to do more and it starts at home. What will you do to incorporate positive change within the black community and in your home?