To the young girls who might be reading this today, whether you have a child or not, the only reason I am participating in No Wedding No Womb is because I want you to win. Period. I want you to win. I want your children to win and their children to win and their children to win.
At this time, we are beyond the point of critical mass- more than 70% of all black children are born out of wedlock- this is a fully fledged epidemic that we cannot continue to normalize and make excuses for. This â€œtrendâ€ has now gone beyond the ghetto and has now become normalized in the AA community- a rite of passage in many ways.
Itâ€™s impossible to believe that it is when staring at a glaring statistic such as 70% of children born in the Black community are born out-of-wedlock. The status is glorified in movies, in videos, and by newspapers and other media outlets. We have to admit that having children out of wedlock has become so synonymous with Black women, that it is assumed we all wear the title of Baby Momma even when we donâ€™t. Remember the FOX- First Lady Michelle Obama drama during the campaign?
I realize that “No Wedding No Womb” has caught on and the overwhelming majority feels this is a positive dialogue. But as I read about one child after another killed at the hands of their mother’s boyfriends, husbands or shack up honeys, I see that some women who don’t care to declare NWNW many times endanger their children. Yes failure to see the importance of NWNW can have devastating ramifications for any children that the baby mama already has.
Everyone is making such a big deal about this whole single-parent/out-of-wedlock â€œepidemicâ€ in the black community. Apparently, 72% of all African-American children are born out of wedlock. First of all big deal and second of all get with the timesâ€”who uses phrases like â€œout of wedlockâ€.
This past weekend, my husband and I were chauffeuring my children and niece about to weekend activities and the kids were in the back seats chatting. At some point, my 6-year old niece announced that she was going to be a mommy when she grew up. Just then, my 8-year old spoke up and said, â€œno, youâ€™re going to get married first and then you and your husband are going to have a baby.â€
The most common move to solve social lifestyle epidemics is simply to make it so common that it could almost be called â€œokayâ€. When a problem becomes the norm then the less people are offended by it, and dismiss everything that may come under the situation as not a very big deal. Itâ€™s a slow but very effective mode to get things â€œacceptedâ€ into society. Look at many controversial subjects flaunted in the media. They make so many of them appear to be so commonplace that the average person will become less sensitized too it, and may even begin to favor it. Viewpoints toward it change, lessen in rigidity till it is almost completely approved by society.
Who else is discussing the other reality: the right and responsibility to make some very, very hard decisions about unwanted/untimely pregnancies.
As much as No Wedding No Womb advocates for marriage before parenting, I contend it must also include:
* educating and empowering young men and women to be sexually responsible;
* providing them every opportunity to embrace themselves sexually yet simultaneously provide them the tools to avoid pre-marture parenthood; and finally
* it must embrace and support women who decide not to have babies â€“ after becoming pregnant.
Is NWNW willing to there?
We are some of the strongest people on the planet and we often have to make some serious decisions. One of the toughest decisions can be who we share our bed with, our womb with. However, I know a LOT of women who have made a conscious decision to wait until they are married to conceive.
In the US, children born out of wedlock have become a common occurrence and the truth is there are lots of reasons why couples choose not to marry. Though in the Black community the consequences are creating what I am sure scholarâ€™s years from now will call the lost generation or maybe even the lost generations.
After talking with my favorite teacher the other day she brought it to my attention that being born out of wedlock is not the issue. Being born from two people who are not financially stable, mentally capable or emotionally capable to raise a child is the true travesty. So am I saying that having children out of wedlock is okay? No! Iâ€™m emphatically stating something else to the contrary; children need to be raised in a two parent home with a male and a female who are capable in all facets of life to rear children.
It is imperative that our women, especially black women, begin to take their own pulses to see if they are breathing or not! Too many women are spiritually dead and some act as if they are mentally dead, because they are constantly allowing men to not acknowledge their humanness or their womanhood.
How long will we wait for someone else to solve our problems while the cycle of poverty repeats itself? How long will we wait for our so called religious community to have the courage and faith to speak out on the number of out of wedlock births which are now destroying the structure of family life? How long will we wait for the government and our elected officials to have the courage to speak out on the self-annihilation of the family structure?