Monday, March 3, 2008

Black Women Need To Help Each Other Now!!!!!

If black women don't start SERIOUSLY and AGGRESSIVELY standing up for other black women, we are all going to be in extremely dangerous and troubling territory. I am truly becoming sick and tired of reading stories about the deaths of black women and children that could have in many cases been avoided. A black president is not going to change many of the issues black women and children face everyday, we must want to make the necessary changes ourselves.

This is a really serious crisis for black people. We can't afford the losses of human life. We need to get involved with each others lives even if the attention is unwelcome or unwanted. We as black women need to start challenging one another to make better decisions for ourselves and our children. Poor choices and mistakes happen in every one's life. Everyone feels overwhelmed and overburdened at some point and time in their life. Everyone feels lost and alone at times in life. That's why it's called LIFE. Stuff happens.

I read about these tragic cases involving black women and children and I feel so sad. And then I feel frustrated and angry. In many of these cases I see tremendously difficult situations and circumstances often of a sister's own making and it is beyond hard to try to point out a possible lesson to be learned when a sister has been murdered, either alone or with her children. I was very upset when people tried to blame the victims in the Hovey Street murder case. We should never blame the victims of violent crime, but I also am beginning to realize that if we don't start looking at the circumstances of these tragic cases, then they will continue to happen.

Case in point, the recent murder of Sheriff's Deputy Joy Deleston, 39, and her two daughters, Micaiah, 11, and Jelani, 4 in Georgia. Deleston and her daughters were murdered by her own 17 year old son. This is a devastating tragedy, but part of me was wondering how a woman ends up a single parent with three children so many years apart? What happened to family planning? What happened to two-parent homes? Raising children is extremely difficult, particularly a single black woman trying to raise a teenage boy and put food on the table. Did Deputy Deleston have the time and the patience to deal with her clearly troubled son?

Adding insult to injury was the media coverage of the case. No mention of the older children's father(s). No mention of Deputy Deleston's immediate family. Who got the attention? The rapper Juvenile. It was revealed that rapper Juvenile had fathered Deleston's youngest daughter. Almost all the stories suddenly became about Juvenile. His pain, his shock, his loss. I found this focus on Juvenile to be outrageous. He added nothing to the story or to the tragedy. This was the man that had to be forced in court to admit fathering this little girl. His press release failed to mention the last time he may have spent ANYTIME with his daughter, but only that he had been paying his regular child support payments. He clearly was not there to help this sister other than giving money, who was there for that family which was clearly in crisis?

And how about the tragic case of Leatrice Brewer, who now stands accused of drowning her three young children in her own home. The fathers of Brewer's children also seem to have been missing in action as well. This is may well be another case about a sister with mental illness killing her children, but I was sitting there again going how in the hell did this woman end up with three children and no husband at the age of 27? This case eerily reflected the case of Banita Jacks, who was arrested for murdering her four children.

These are truly tragedies, but somebody has to carry the weight. Is it the fault of the system? Jacks and Brewer were both involved with social service agencies, not to mention the criminal justice system and Deleston was a sheriff. Is it the fault of the fathers? None of these cases seems to have a regular father figure on the scene. Is it the fault of the mothers? Unplanned children without the income or support systems to raise them in can be devastating to the mothers as well as the children. I don't really know and I don't really want to be pointing fingers at anyone, but we cannot allow such cases to persist.

Clearly sisters with children, single, divorced, or married, need more help. Our help. I am greatly disturbed by these cases and others like them, I don't believe that their deadly outcomes were predictable, in fact I believe they were preventable. We must stop waiting on others to come to our assistance or rescue. How can we help our sisters with children? All ideas and suggestions are welcome.


Anonymous,  March 3, 2008 at 7:24 AM  

I don't think every time we look at circumstances we are blaming the victim. It is necessary. How else will we find the best ways to decrease our chances of being a victim of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?

And yes, I'm aware we can do everything right and still be a victim. I've experienced that.

I am a single mother of a son. I looked in the mirror and said if I am going to have a good life and be able to provide a good life for my family, this can only be a one child family. (Unless I marry.)

I'm not hating on women. Last year I did a post on a missing father's blame when the mother of his children kills them.

Just like with men, we can't keep withholding the tough love and hard truth. We know it takes nurturing and a kick in the butt--we all got it. So why won't we give that kick in the butt?

Naima March 3, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

In the case of Brewer, the father of the 2 youngest children did start court proceedings for custody and notified ACS.

As for Juvenille blame the culture of celebrity we live in, especially in the black community.

I live in a Black community, as its sad to say but the young overwelmed angry mother with a bunch of kids and no husband is almost the norm around here.I don't know why this is still going especially with the cost of living.
Any criticism or family planning advice to them, you come under attack
They look at you crazy when if you are in your 20's with no kids.

wisdomteachesme March 3, 2008 at 11:18 AM  

i too wondered why all the attention was put on him and not her family members and her son. it's not about him, since they had to Make him pay for & Claim this child...
what about this womans mother-the childrens grandmother? and the other family members...i also thought about how much time he may have spent with the child...forced visitations...and uknow.. if he spent little time with her--it may have been best for the child that he was distant...bad habits are easily picked up by children...from both parents...

it's no great thinking feat to figure out how she ended up with 3 children so far apart by ages and by 3 different men....

being that she worked on the sex crime unit of the sherrif's dept. i'm sure she knew about condoms!

but no matter about that now....what will happen to her son.....??
Lord, Lord, so many refuse to allow you to live within them!
and the will of man, will defeat man.

let me continue to keep my motives in one accord with the Master...

Professor Tracey March 3, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

symphony -

Well said!!!!

Naima -

It was for "visitation" not custody. When you have to go to the court just to get visitation, you have problems of your own. That means not able to be around in the first place. This were young children, how did he get out of the loop so quickly?

And I have to disagree with you, too many black people live in small worlds with stuff they call "normal." Things are not normal just because it seems like a number of folks are doing it. Having a child that you cannot afford or can not raise alone is abnormal behavior and we need to stop it.


I was trying to be kind about the three kids so far apart, leave it to you to get at me. LOL!

Anonymiss March 3, 2008 at 1:11 PM  

Naima said:

I live in a Black community, as its sad to say but the young overwelmed angry mother with a bunch of kids and no husband is almost the norm around here.I don't know why this is still going especially with the cost of living.
Any criticism or family planning advice to them, you come under attack
They look at you crazy when if you are in your 20's with no kids.

Don't even get me started with that one, LOL!

Everytime I'm asked why I'm not a mother yet, and I say that I'm not financially nor emotionally ready to marry and have kids, I'm always told that "You don't need a man to raise a man," "So what if you ain't married?", or "Who plans families nowadays? You can't plan everything." SMH. I'm normally badgered by Black women.

I find those type of women to be losers. They're losers because they think that they can't have a nuclear family AND try to browbeat those for not wanting to be single parents.

I'm gonna have to blog about this loser mentality amongst Black women. I find it irksome.

wisdomteachesme March 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

ohhh, so that is what happens when you are in your
20's and 30's...people wonder why you have no children...i've heard of that..strange the way they look at you-i know..
i am an "older" mother-45...and when i was in my late 30's with my daughter intow i would get asked if i was her grandmother.??????
i always answered while laughing...noooooo--why would you ask me that..? of course i got no real answer from them--as they looked embarrassed for asking.
then a friend of mine listened while i told of these times when people would comment about my daughter being my granddaughter and i asked her did i look that old? she laughed and said, no -- these are people who are around women that by the time they are in their late 30's or early 40's, they already have grandchildren!!??
so they probably wonder what is your problem??!! LOLOLOLOLO

my partner and i get that look and those comments pretty often.. i think we LOOK GReat for our ages-45 and 49.. esp with our birthdays being right here-mar. and apr.

then i thought about how when teaching, and the kids would ask my age- and say--WOW! my mom is your age but she looks older--or my grandmother is your age????
LOLOLOLO giirrllll--it would take all my strength not to say something that would have hurt that childs feelings...lololo
but the sad part is, i would realize that i was looking at a long generational curse within many families...just repeating itself over and over and the slaves who did not know they were emancipated and did not have to be slaves anymore....

so i agree with you prof. just because people live in an environment filled with negative behaviors does not mean it is the way everyone should be.
the key is, getting the truth into these places so people can see and know for themselves that...
Hey, they have been living in a tunnel with tunnel vision....

**grandma my foot!

Faith March 3, 2008 at 5:18 PM  

One of my younger sisters had a child when she was 15. She's 30 now and when she decided to keep my niece she said she wasn't having any more again. And she hasn't. I'm 38 and have none though I'd like to but I really can't afford it and I'm not married and would like to be beforehand. It's interesting that her friends have 2-3 or more kids and in and out of relationships and always ask her why she didn't have more.

focusedpurpose March 3, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

hi all-

this is a great post. let me say this...

...i believe that the non-stop message that as black women we are nothing has been digested by so many.

there are quite a few of us that have very low standards-if any at all. due in part to the following:

"what you do for yourself depends on what you think of yourself. what you think/know of yourself depends on what you have been told."

we have all been fed lies about who we are as a people.

those of us that know better must teach others the truth and challenge them to do better. as women we must be accountable and responsible for our well being. we must free ourselves and bestow value upon ourselves. others will not do it. they are making too much money off of our misery, enslavement, and suffering.

at the same time we must hold black men responsible for their part in the dysfuntion. the 17 year old knew better. at some point he came across information that indicated it would be wrong to kill the women in his family. he managed not to kill himself. troubled? add selfish and disrespectful to that please.

he is the product of a society (comprised of us) that teaches black men that respecting black women is optional. for juvenile and other so-called rappers like him---they are directly responsible for misusing our culture of messages through song- and perpetuating world-wide the damaging, debasing, dehumanizing message; while being compensated well for the treason to their community. i don't feel sorry at all for juvenile(grown man calling himself that is a disgrace) and others like him. it is my sincere prayer that they know limitless sorrow until they turn from their evil participation and do something to rectify this mess.

my prayers go out to the family of these mothers,sisters, daughters.

it is obvious when women have multiple children without husbands that they do not recognize their worth. our men make a joke out of it---wanna go half on a baby?

what can we do? i blog, stand on the front lines and challenge all within the sound of my voice, words, etc. to stand up and make a difference. i volunteer. we all have that responsibility. a lot of us would rather look down our noses and act as if it is anything other than God's grace that has spared us. we must get busy and share our blessings and gifts with love.

black folks need to learn to love black, too. black on black love needs to return. where did it go?


Lola Gets March 3, 2008 at 7:16 PM  

Whats interesting about the Banita Jacks case in Washington, DC, the family is now suing DC for not preventing the childrens deaths. When I say family, I mean the grandmothers of the children, and in one case, the estate of one of the fathers (there were 2).

As much as I hate to say this, I truly hope that they do not win. This city does not need to spend millions of dollars to folks who are suing the government to do what they were not doing as well. Again, where were the fathers, and grandparents, while the kids were alive? And now they want to profit from their loss? I dont think so.


Wary March 4, 2008 at 7:41 AM  

I initially read this post yesterday, then stumbled onto this article this morning. Sometimes I wonder what in the world is going on?

Murder and Dismemberment Brutal End to Long Violent Road

- James Hawkins appeared in court briefly for the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend Charlene Gaither.

- An affidavit states Hawkins made the couple's daughter help in disposing the body.

- Court files show a long history of domestic violence between the couple.

BLKSeaGoat March 4, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

Regarding the Jacks' case, the maternal grandmother was offered financial support and housing support from the DC CFSA and turned it down. Fogle died from cancer and it sent Ms. Jacks over the edge.

One thing I can (having internal knowledge of the case) the social workers involved in coordinating Ms. Jacks care made the necessary referrals (contrary to what's been publicized)for services, but we can't force people to participate in their own treatment without a court order.

What's sad about Jacks case is that I think she suffered from having TOO MANY service providers working on the case with NO CONCERTED EFFORT or communication.

Regarding family planning, how do you attempt to reason with some people? Many people spend more time selecting their outfit for the club or for a business meeting than they do sexual partners that may end up mothering of fathering a child.

For single parents who are poor and continue to have children that they cannot afford, what do you do? One Judge in NJ (I think) forced a man to get a vasectomy because he fathered 9 children by 9 different women; 5 of the women knew each other and knew their children shared this loser as a father. How do you stop that?

I mean, I ask my clients all the time... what would you do if these entitlement programs ended? What's your plan?

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