Let's Get It Straight!

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An Open Letter to my Black Brothers. Yes, Black women are indeed the highest educated group in America. We (I am one, and very proud of this standing) are the most highly educated group for many different reasons, good and bad, imho. Let's talk about this, shall we? This phenomenon is not new. From the time we touched these shores from slave ships, Black women have had to endure being the head of the family by design. It was a way to keep the people down - Disempower the traditional head of the family. We answered the need - we had no choice. We have always valued education and encouraged our kids to get educated as a way to keep our humanity, values and our history alive. We are the first line of defense in this effort, because our male counterparts are all too often missing from the scene for one reason or another. (Not placing blame, just stating a fact.) So, we have always depended on each other (sisters, aunts, grandmother's, extended sister friends) to fill the gap. Our educational systems have always made it difficult for our kids to achieve a good education - always, then and now, especially the male child. Your statement that "educated women raising degenerate kids" is mean, obtuse, misplaced and at the very least - myoptic. The village is there still here. The problem is all too often, it is a village of women. Go to any school open house, parent teacher meeting, community neighborhood organization meeting, community issues, even church and who is always the majority in attendance? Not Black men. We have raised three Black males - and at every step of the way have been challenged by the system to make sure they did not succeed even though they were highly intelligent, talented, polite, we'll raised young men - one even a genius! We still had problems steering him through a system that is designed for him to not succeed. We were told they (all of our sons) needed to be in remediation even though all of them were beginning to read by the time they were three! When they scored many grades above they levels, and should be in gifted classes, we were told "he just had a good day in testing and write were pushy parents." When they were not sent to the office for misbehaving, it was because the administration assumed they were new to the school even though they had been there for 5 and 6 years! That's when we realized, there was no way they would be permitted to succeed to their personal level of potential unless we changed the script - which we did. Now notice - I said "we". See my kids had two college educated parents. I came from a two family home as did my parents, as did my husband and his parents. We came from hard working people who valued education, in all its forms (intellectual and the trades.) When I was growing up, most of my friends came from two parent homes. Making generalized statements that play into the paradigm that keeps us fighting and blaming each other for the problem instead of becoming partners in making sure things change is counter productive. The reason "we" were able to navigate our sons through the landmines of American education and the judicial system is because we recognized the real hurdles and were able to address them together with a purposeful game plan - where we were often critiqued by our peers for doing so. Man, do we have stories! The most disheartening thing for us was/is when trying to pass on this information and experiences to our people we are often told, we were "lucky" or "that's just too hard" or "that's not true." Well, statically one of our sons should be dead, in the criminal justice system or have kids by more than one woman. That is not the case, and I know of many, many others in our shoes. Statistical data is a funny thing. Even when true, it can be used to prove many things to make people believe many things and especially to divide and conquer. Sour, my dear brother, it seems you have fallen prey to the latter.

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