This conversation disturbed me greatly as I reflected that not much has changed in almost forty years. Having been born in the same year as "Claudine" was released, I could not help but wonder, Where did the love go? When I think back to the civil rights movement almost a decade before, I am reminiscent of pictures, movies and documentaries presenting a unified front of African American males and females both internally and externally. When I think back to pictures, movies and documentaries of slavery, reconstruction and the harlem renaissance once again images of unified connection filter my mind. So what has changed?
What happened to those devoted families of the civil rights movement, during slavery times and reconstruction periods that took pride in one another? When did survival of self become so important that we failed to account for the disconnection of family? Have we gotten so concerned with shucking and jiving for the white man, that we shuck and jive responsibility of the black communal?
Some blamed the welfare system which ripped fathers from the homes by telling women they would lose their benefits. Some blame the Vietnam war which drafted many men into a field of post traumatic annihilation. Others blame the black woman’s attitude debilitating a black man’s ego. Whatever the case may be, black women have given up on our men’s ability to sustain and stabilize a family. The expectation is just no longer there, in fact it has been replaced with an expectation of the father not being in the home from day one. Even Oprah Winfrey has given up hope on ever being married as she stated in a recent interview.
What is this fear of truth we have acquired? A fear which have left us immobilized in a state of confusion, chaos and hopelessness. What happened to those great kings and queens, warriors and survivors that have become our heritage? Can we no longer see the benefits and rewards once the trial has ended and the war is won?
Of course I will not accept complete responsibility for the demise of our relationship. He as well as all men need to be held accountable for not cherishing the treasures they have been given. Nor do I believe men she just escape without at least putting up a little resistance. If African American men would just say "no i'm not leaving, because this is where I belong," they would find most of us women caving so quickly our heads would spin. The relationship would go a whole lot smoother as well.
African American Men and women must both reclaim their rightful place as individuals, as a community, as a couple. Lets begin anew: TOGETHER
Peace, Love and Bliss