Loving Black Masculinity – Salvation – bell hooks

All the single mothers, black and nonblack, who raise healthy sons who later become mature, responsible men capable of giving and receiving love know that it is a lie that only men can raise sons. Patriarchal culture currently seeks to devalue single mothers by insisting they cannot raise healthy sons, even though there is no documentation to show this truth. All the data we have available  documents the fact that loving single mothers can and do parent sons who are as healthy as those in two-parent households. Dysfunctional households rarely produce psychologically healthy boys whether they are single- or two-parent households. When the focus is on black life and the parenting of boys, mainstream culture likes to insist that only black men can raise healthy boys. Underlying this insistence is the assumption that these boys need coercive discipline which only a black male authority figure can give. All these assumptions about the needs of black boys are informed by racist and sexist stereotypes which identify these children as dangerous threats to the safety of everyone else, whose spirits must be tamed or broken early in life. Tragically, more and more black people endorse and support this line of thought. No public leaders talk about  black boys needing healthy love, which necessarily includes teaching children how to be disciplined along with other life-enhancing skills.

Whose interest does it really serve to instill in the public’s imagination that only black men can raise a healthy black male child in a society where so many black males refuse to engage in parenting. Following this logic would lead to the assumption that all black males raised in female-headed houses are unhealthy and dysfunctional. Certainly such thinking does not serve the interests of black boys or the women who provide them with parental care. While it is clear that black boys, and all children, need positive connections with adult men, those men do not have to be fathers. It is also clear that a woman alone can raise a healthy boy child.  For too long, single mothers of all races have been made to feel that the lack of male parental influence is their fault. No one has prevented black males or any group of males from parenting their children. There is no evidence to support the notion that healthy mothers try to keep healthy fathers away from sons or daughters. The hard truth that this nation does not want to face is that most patriarchal men, irrespective of their racial identity do not wish to be loving, parental caretakers.

bell hooks, salvation

~ by Tichaona Chinyelu on April 27, 2012.

3 Responses to “Loving Black Masculinity – Salvation – bell hooks”

  1. Very insightful post. However, I think that both sons and daughters benefit from having a loving father in the home. Children have an innate connection to the people who create them regardless if they are good parents or not.

  2. Reblogged this on Thabomophiring's Blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: