I work in a housing project in Chicago. I witness a lot of things that grieve me. Since when is it okay to blast â€œYou Gone Think I Invented Sexâ€ with your little children in the car singing along? With the help of the media we are subconsciously planting seeds in our child that has major effects on them.
â€œSo, Ms. Gazawi. Tell me about No Wedding No Womb (NWNW) and why you joined this movement.â€ The therapist asked without lifting his head, as he continued to scribble away on a notepad in his lap.
â€œTell me what has joining this movement revealed to you about yourself?â€ The therapist asked in a slow, demure manner as he lifted his eyes in my direction and held my gaze for a moment, before returning them to the notepad.
It is tough enough in this world alone, even harder as a child raising a child. Protect yourself. These days sex is more about life and death, and less about trying not to get pregnant. You have two choices: donâ€™t have sex or donâ€™t have unprotected sex.
Somehow, wanting our young girls to wait until marriage to improve their own chances of survival, a future, and an eventual family when the time is right can be considered downright heresy.
The black community is on code red right now. We can no longer afford to be in denial about the problems affecting our community, any of them. But luckily for us that Christelyn Karazin felt the obligation to her people to pick a problem out the hat and begin a movement. Whether you are down for NWNW or not to deny that the break down of the black family is not a problem in our community is ludicrous. Our community in this country has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. And in this day and age we can no longer point to slavery or white people as the sole reason for our downfall. No, now there is nobody to blame for the strife in our community but us. We progressed more after slavery under Jim Crow then we have in the last forty years. We have been slowly backsliding into the abyss of self-inflicted genocide.
to make generalizations and through around statics without framing or contextualizing them is irresponsible and detrimental. i understand that something needs to change within us all, as a community, but sliding back into history to shame and ostracize single mothers is not the answer.
Unfortunately, over the course of the last week, the conversation grew increasingly vicious. Twitfam were getting blocked and swarmed, misconstrued and misunderstood. The vitriol came from both sides (Note to Self: Is â€œGoogle it if you want toâ€ the new â€œMeet me outsideâ€?) and none of it is fostered productive and healthy debate.
No commentary from me, except that I LOVE Rachmaninoff’s The Rhapsody, I walked down the aisle to it. Â Special thanks to NWNW participant, Jennifer Vaughn for finding this. Â Makes for an interesting discussion, don’t you? Conjures all sorts of criticisms about women’s sexuality, even has a mildly violent scene. I wouldn’t recommend watching this around [...]
â€œ[Christelyn is] a mother of four childrenâ€“three of them biracialâ€“and has been married to her husband, Michael, (who just happens to be white) for eight happy, hectic years.â€ Hmmm. Now why would she need to profess to the world that three of her four children are biracial, and her husband is white?
I deplore dialog, unless of course it involves my genitalia confabulating with some vagina. Excessive Vagina Dialog in the Black community has led to a high percentage of out of wedlock births. The excuses reasons for this situation like its consequences are legion. I have decided to interject my two cents and some sense into this #NWNW movement. There are these things that prevent pregnancy. I forget what they are called. The name of them is on the tip of my tongueâ€¦
In some ways to merely say get married is a rather simplistic response to a rather real and serious problem. One of the questions being tossed around in the twitterverse after this online blitz has been what do we do next? In order to answer that question though and truly come up with meaningful solutions I think we must go back and look at what are the issues that have brought us to the point where the vast majority of African American children are born out of wedlock.
Women may give birth to but cannot raise boys to manhood. What often happens in the black community has become the new normal but itâ€™s an aberration. Due to the lack of protection many young girls are at serious risk. Itâ€™s one thing for an adult couple to be together but there are too many instances where the abandoned â€œwomanâ€ is barely 18 and the male who moved on is a good decade or so older. The women tend to be hardest on their own gender hence the phrase, â€œraise you daughters but love your sonsâ€. Itâ€™s the epitome of reinforced sexism where the males are prized just for breathing and the females are told to prepare for â€œlifeâ€. Nothing will break the cycle when thereâ€™s no accountability, no acknowledgment of the huge imbalance and no reparations.
[Note by CHRISTELYN] –> “My goal is to keep this debate honest. I don’t not wish to silence critics, but I think those who read someone’s INTERPRETATION of the NWNW movement should have the benefit of seeing both sides. I’m really, really trying to keep this fair. The conversation has gotten too important to suppress. Remember folks: If 72% of your house was burning down, would you ask for a program, argue statistics, or propose a study on how it started? If you possess the survival instinct, you would run like hell, or FIGHT like hell to put that fire out because that house means so much to you. Period.”
While I believe that the onus of this movement once again places the responsibility on women to bring about social change through the exercise of restraint, the idea that Black men need to own their responsiblities and stop making babies that they don’t intend to raise, is something that resonates with me.
You know as a woman of principle I cannot stand behind and defend or condone foolishness. And the tweets to the person who’s started this movement, Christelyn Karazin, have been more than ridiculous, they should be down right criminal. How anyone could defend birthing a child into this world without two parents in stable and loving household (and I don’t care if they are hetero and homo-sexual) is just shameful.
Yes, I overcame numerous hurdles which have developed my resilient and resourceful character, but at what cost? When is the price too high? Some fatherless children can and do go on to do awesome things. (Note: SOME!) The tragic reality which plagues a majority can no longer be ignored. Disproportionate numbers of fatherless children are the walking wounded.
We all know the sista who settles for the sperm. Sheâ€™s working the register at JC Penny and making moves at JP Morgan. Sheâ€™s our girlfriend in love with the guy who isnâ€™t ready to settle down. But she gives her womb and heart to him anyway. Sheâ€™s the neighbor who takes out her frustrations from her past mistakes on her child. â€œYou no good just like your daddy!â€ www.cocoafly.com
After slavery ended and freed people were subjected to the immoral practice of segregation; the African American society was the envy of all other cultures because they married, stayed together and family was the unity that was their salvation. The parentâ€™s main function was the survival of the children they reared. It was necessary for our culture to value this concept in order to survive the wickedness of the cruelty imposed upon our people by law. If not for this foundation and parental guidance it could have been a death sentence for their children. This commitment, often times, is missing in the parental responsibility within many quarters of our community to which our ancestors would be appalled.
At twelve I looked old enough to be a mother even without having kissed a boy. Throughout all of my teen years I looked old enough to be a mother because young black women every day are becoming mothers.
Over 70% of black women, girls younger than me, my age, older than me, the girl who use to do my hair was I was younger, my old best friend, elementary classmatesâ€”all of these women are mothers now or will be mothers at some pointâ€”single mothers.
Just think about it, don’t you value your unborn children? Don’t you
think your future progeny deserve to have the best life possible? So,
if you have high standards for the lives of your future children, you
should have high standards for the father of these children as well!
This advice is based on my research about strong women and love. My interest began when I was a child and was raised by a woman whose love saved me. Her name is Daisy, and she is an African-American-Cherokee woman who taught me to hold back my kisses until the right boy came along.
Isnâ€™t it interesting that the Black woman is the only woman touting her strength with pride? Why doesnâ€™t the Latino woman have to be strong? Where is the strong Asian woman? What about the strong Caucasian woman? Why does the Black woman have to be strong? Why canâ€™t she just be a woman?
â€œI AM their father! I AM their mother! I AM all they need! They donâ€™t need that good for nothing bastard!â€ A strong black woman would shriek in my office at DCF in such a loud manner her voice could be heard bellowing through the halls. A strong black woman in corporate America was far more demure, but would display much the same mannerisms whilst explaining â€œWhat can he do for my children? He canâ€™t even maintain a job. What kind of father could he possibly be to them?â€
Shellie is an Author and Public Speaker. Her books are “Inside of Me: Lessons of Lust, Love and Redemption” and “Pure Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Integrity”. Her websites are: http://xxxchurch.com/gethelp/women/ “On Fire” Fast Movement ________________________________________________ A couple of nights ago, I was talking to a male friend of mine. (AgainÂ single ladies, get someÂ platonic [...]
All I want is the coochie, I aint lookin to get married. Ladies, if you feel the same as I do, then let’s get it on and quit playin. However, if you desire to find a mate for life, giving it up every Saturday night isn’t going to win you many wife-material points. You gave up your sexuality for free, I suspect you do that for anyone with a car, drink, and a motel room.
It’s not much of a guess because the evidence is all around us. Each day we step foot outside our doors we see it. On the street. In the supermarket. In the park. On the playground. In our very own families. Women. Black women. We are the overwhelming majority of those caring for and raising black children. Alone. I ask you, family. Why?
“In my usual edgy fashion, I took it upon myself to delivery and heavy-handed message for those of you who like it hard. Just keeping it real, ya’ll! Warning: If you don’t like cussing, don’t click it!” –Tim Alexander, creator of the upcoming film “A Mother’s Love” and from the film maker who brought you “Diary of a Tired Black Man”
“…all of the fantastic memories over the past three years came rushing to my head. From the dirty diapers and late night feedings, to dressing up in nylon crowns and toasting plastic spoons while playing â€œtea party with the King and Princessâ€. Memories that will stay with me through her scholastic years, her endeavor into the world, and when she blesses someone with her love and begins her own family.” www.torreyspears.com
Many of us in the blogosphere (from different political persuasions) are writing in tandem about this issue as a result of the deafening silence from the media, academics, and so called â€œBlack leadersâ€ who refuse to acknowledge the pernicious psycho-social effects on children who are a product of unwed motherhood.
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?
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.