The struggles of the African American community have cost humanity.Â The wellbeing of our youth has been sacrificed at a very dear price.Â Unlike most people around the world, we do not have a tribe or clan we can attribute our heritage to and therefore this produces a restless displacement in the psyche of many of us who call ourselves People of Color.Â I truly believe that when a people suffer we all suffer.Â In our attempt to find our identity and place in this world we still struggle with developing a wholesome synergy and self image, one that does not idolize the thugs, the murderers and the unruliness of misogyny.
The plight of African Americans has been a long, hard road and probably for the first time in way well over a century, we no longer have to consciously operate in the spirit of fear and shame because of our skin color.Â But the sins of the fathers will pass to the third and fourth generation and the brokenness of our homes and destruction of our communities has left the African American family in disarray.
It seems like itâ€™s just not normal to see African American families together, where thereâ€™s a husband and a wife working together to build a future and raise a child.Â We can argue that the face of families has changed in this country but today I am focusing on husbands and wives, those that see this family structure as an important part of their lifeâ€™s plan.Â As a domestic violence advocate, social activist and advisor for No Wedding No Womb, I like to focus on the foundation of healthy relationships.Â We have to acknowledge that many of us do not know what it means to have a healthy relationship and therefore, many of our intimate relationships spiral out of control, in and out of bed, in and out of love or lust, and eventually out with a baby and lacking a plan.
Ah, babyâ€¦thereâ€™s something about that word that brings warm fuzzy feelings to oneâ€™s heart, or at least should.Â On the other hand the word baby often invokes feelings of surprise, shock, anger, fear and â€˜What the h#$@!â€™, a sudden panic that doesnâ€™t say (stay and) fight but tells most men flight.
We can spit out all day statistics like how approximately 73% of African American children are born out of wedlock or how African Americans have the highest teenage pregnancy rates compared to our counterparts.Â These harsh realities send a jolt into most of our spirits that something must be done and thankfully IS BEING DONE through the movement of No Wedding No Womb.Â For those of us who value marriage and want the best for our children, I want to challenge all of us to focus on this concept of healthy relationships because we must give our children this foundation if they are going to succeed in this area of their life.Â Here are some concepts that I believe we must instill in our children and teach by example:
- Love yourself and who you are
- Respect your body and donâ€™t let anyone disrespect or pressure you
- Operate in the spirit of honesty
- Using violence to solve problems do not belong in your life nor do violent people
- Seek knowledge and never stop learning
- Some people cannot be fixed
- Develop financial skills and savvy
- Empowerment starts from within
- Disband misogynist ways of thinking and instill the 100%/100% code (everyone gives their all)
- Practice safe sex or no sex!
We are in desperate need of a shift in our thinking when it comes to relationships in the African American community.Â The only way that will take place is by focusing on healthy relationships and giving our young people the opportunity at seeing brighter role models than the mainstream.Â And instilling in them the promise of a bright future with a spouse and family they can call their own.
Lyn is a social activist, consultant, entertainment producer and radio host. Lyn is a survivor of child abuse and intimate partner violence. As a bi-racial daughter of an African American and Asian immigrant, generational abuse and culture were prevailing factors that contributed to the psychological abuse she experienced growing up.Â Out of her pain she created www.CourageNetwork.com for domestic violence survivors and does extensive work with The National Domestic Violence Registry as Deputy Director. Â Lyn strongly believes in strengthening families and joined No Wedding No Womb in 2010 as a consultant. To learn more about Lyn’s work with social issues, visit her website at www.lyntwyman.com.