Tonight I published my first post as a contributing editor to the Mommy and Family section of BlogHer.org. Honestly, I didn't know about what I should write. With everything that's been going on in my life lately, I have lots of material, but the rip and run of what creates bloggable material was weighing me down. I was tired.
I wrote about three different posts, all having a similar theme because I've been contemplating changing my life. What follows is the original beginning of the post I finally chose to publish. This beginning was not included. It goes with the post "Mothering Against the Odds: Live Well In Spite of Those Bad Statistics." For some readers, I'm sure this intro can stand alone.
In the last four years I became something I've never been before and not because I actively pursued it. I became the divorced mother of a teenage son who has little contact with his father, and I remained something I've always been, an African-American. So now, stretched before me, I have not only the negative labels society thrusts upon African-Americans, but I'm part of those statistics the media likes to publicize and often in a negative light. Yes, I am a black single mother raising a son without real access to a father in the home.
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So how do I feel when I hear of studies that say "Plight Deepens for Black Males," or claims that 50 percent of black males are unemployed, and then heaped atop such claims studies reporting that children of divorced families are more likely to divorce? For a time, perhaps a few seconds, I feel defeated. Whether such studies, statistics and claims are correct or incorrect, I'm human and can't unhear the bad news. Neither can I become an ostrich and stick my head in the sand.
What I can d do is make a choice to take the road of my female ancestors and diligent mothers all over the planet and shout, "Yeah, well not my child! My child will not be one of the many young black men who don't attend college. He'll not be one lost to criminal activity or gang violence, nor must he become a man who can't maintain a marriage if he chooses. No, I say, I will do what I can to give him the best opportunities to overcome the odds against him."
To the cynic, this may sound very fluffy, like any minute I'll launch into a chorus of "Look on the sunny side of life." Nevertheless, I think that what we choose to believe about ourselves and the world around us, to some degree, shapes us. Why not opt to believe we will overcome negative odds, odds against us and our children? And not just believe, but give the belief substance through acts of faith, doing our very best in raising our children against the odds, against the grain of stories we hear about dysfunctional families and families failing. ... Continue reading here.