By Victoria Ellison
Black family month is celebrated in July by having family reunions or promoting healthy lifestyles for African Americans. However, there is an organization doing something different not just in July but every day to help preserve and develop healthy Black families.
Black Family Preservation Group, a faith based advocacy organization which has programs geared toward preserving the Black family. The agency was founded in 2007, by Sharon Brooks Hodge who saw a need for strengthening the Black family.
“I was troubled by the poor image of Black families, lack of importance Black youth place on marriage, insignificance of fathers in Black children’s lives and the general culture war against families,” Hodge said.
“Some blame Black men, claiming they have neglected their responsibilities. Others point to Black women. Presumably, we are so difficult to get along with that we make it almost impossible for Black men to stay in their children’s lives. Our organization is less interested in finding fault and more concerned about doing something to save Black families.”
Working through Black churches, Black Preservation Group helps strengthen the Black family by conducting several programs with emphasis on marriage preparation and enrichment, parenting, reentry, education, healthcare, housing, and plans to launch a program in wealth building. They have offices in Phoenix, Arizona, Cleveland, Ohio and Martinsville, Virginia.
Black Preservation Group assists a variety of people who find themselves in unique situations. “Here’s an example” Hodge said. “A woman in southern Virginia is raising 4 grandchildren under the age of 5 because her son is in prison and they have different mothers. We pay for the children to go visit their father. During the visit, he reads to them. We are working with the prison staff to help him with getting a job when he gets out, which will be accompanied by parenting classes and healthy relationship classes so that hopefully he will make a permanent relationship with one of the ‘baby mommas’ and they can provide a family for all of the children. We also deliver fresh produce to this family every week.”
When asked what to say to people who claim the reason Black people are in the situation they’re in because they won’t seek an education or by other reasons caused by themselves and not by society, Hodge replied, “I would say that they are correct. That is why Black Family Preservation Group is necessary. We need to educate our young people, not just in academics, and give them a strong foundation for life. We can’t expect the broader society to do to it for us.”
Black Family Preservation Group, a faith based advocacy organization which has programs geared toward preserving the Black family. The Black Family Preservation Group advocates for black families by:
Identifying the obstacles that tear our families apart
Disseminating news, information and published research studies about African-American families
Conducting and publishing research on black families and efforts to strengthen them
Promoting positive images of black families &
Encouraging the preservation of the traditional two-parent family to black youth, teens, young adults, married and unmarried couples.
Visit them at BlackFamilies.org