After Death– What is Left Behind???

You received the phone call, your loved one has died.

Over the past two years your relationship has been frayed, separated by Secrets & Lies.

As executor of the will, you find there are more legal ties.

More family, people you don’t know, more Secrets & Lies

Money changes people they all seek what has been left by your loved one the decease

You’ve been put in an uncomfortable position, you need an emotional release.

Your girl is a “gold digger” this you already know,

With the estate making you wealthy your relationship is about to blow

There’s one you’ve been talking to, she’s been tugging at your heart

You spend the week spending steamy moments with her setting off emotional sparks

Neither of you know the connection you’ve found a new beginning, a new love

But from the grave your father’s Secrets & Lies reveal another shock, you need help from above.

You find yourself dealing with a wife and family you never knew he had

You look at those expecting part of his estate and now you’re questioning “Dad”

Can a life that held Secrets & Lies reach you from the grave?

Can your family be the same, can new relationships be saved?

Will the wife finally confront the mistress who has been in her marriage from the start?

Will the mistress find she is the only woman who held the deceased close to her heart?

Can the son understand why his father didn’t tell his Secrets are there more Lies does he have an Alibi?

Will he lose his new love or find the truth while keeping his own secrets those he must hide.

Will the Mince family be secured as they were before D.Q.’s death?

You’ll have to read…..Family Secret’s Lies & Albi’s to learn the rest.

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Walt’s Latest Inductee to the Princess Franchise

 Growing up in the pre-Disney video era, I never had much fascination with Mickey Mouse, his crew or his creator. In fact, I had practically missed the Mickey frenzy until I moved to the West coast. In the meantime, I was more interested in my dolls. I had at least eight Barbie dolls a few that looked like me and most that did not. It took time to amass my Barbie collection, the first one appropriately titled, ‘My First Barbie’.  She wore a yellow bathing suit with blue trim. I was seven when she became my favorite playmate.  Three years later, I received my first black Barbie. She was a Day to Night Barbie. During the day, she wore corporate attire, but her clothes could be reversed to make her presentable for an evening at the theatre.  She was the first and only Barbie I named. I called her Valine and she quickly replaced the My First Barbie as my favorite. Not only was she beautiful but she looked like someone I could grow up to be.

 

  This is what Walt Disney has deprived little black girls of for decades. Finally deciding to rectify this deliberate oversight, or seeing an opportunity to pad their pockets with a segment of the population that is steadily growing more and more middle class, Disney will release its first princess movie featuring an African American girl in the most desirable role to be bestowed on an animated character. She will be Princess Tiana. While many of the details are unclear, her story will be told within the 1920’s jazz era of New Orleans. There has been buzz of her being a chambermaid, but those speaking out against it have sent Walt’s crew back to the drawing board. Confusion also existed over the nationality of her prince, as the little information that has leaked out suggests, he will not be African American. At first, he was to be Caucasian, however, the most recent reports state he will be Middle Eastern. The tale will not run short of the snobby rich white debutante and the rich white mogul. There was even talk of a black male villain, but that’s up for revision too. Beyond that, Disney is being quite tight-lipped, probably in an attempt to give the skeptics as little ammo as possible.

 

 In a society of political correctness, Disney has received a lot of negative attention, at least within the African American community. Many wonder why it has taken Disney so long to release an animated movie with black leads who were not villains or animals. One important possibility exists in the fact that minorities do support non-ethnic media while most of the Caucasian market does not. It all comes down to availability. With plentiful media aimed at Caucasian dollars, very little reason exists for Whites to crossover to the ethnic market. On the other side, with significantly less or in some cases no options in the ethnic market, minorities had no choice but to support what was mainstream.

 

  While they could not know the release of the movie might find our country months into the first African American presidency, the timing could not be better. Although the release of the movie entitled “The Princess and the Frog” is set for late 2009, the project was announced in late 2006 putting the search for Princess Tiana’s voice in full swing. Disney granted the honor to Anika Noni Rose, supposedly beating out the likes of Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keyes. Rose has such movie projects to her credit as Dream Girls and Just Add Water.

 

    With their Asian Mulan, and Middle Eastern Jasmine, the company’s attempts at inclusion have still fell short until now. Many will stand in wait to judge how Walt’s crew will pull off this long overdue addition to the Disney Princess Sorority, knowing that this is about more than just a movie. If handled like the princess inductees before her, Princess Tiana will become a franchise unto herself, with the possibility of dolls, video games and other toys. With critics picking apart the very few details that have been released, Disney will have to scrutinize every decision regarding this film.

 

  Though many question the validity of animated characters as childhood role models, none can deny the extent to which animated movies influence children. They generally teach life lessons and encourage kids to dream. Additionally, they provide them with their own viewing material, when not much else is suitable.

 

  Regardless of the details surrounding why little black girls are finally getting their Disney princess, this is a great opportunity to change the associations of black versus white and good versus evil. Black girls will have the opportunity to look at the movie screen and think, “That could be me.”  

 

A Black Nation’s Hope and Promise on His Shoulders

As one talented African American man makes history in winning the Democratic nomination, so does another in the realm of African American activism.

 

On Saturday, June 7th, 2008, 35-year-old Benjamin Todd Jealous became the youngest person elected president of the 99-year old activist organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also referred to as the NAACP. Jealous is one of the few elected to this high-ranking position without the having a professional background in politics or the ministry.

 

Having started his activism at the age of 14 with his participation in a voter registration drive, Jealous, a California native, earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in social policy from Oxford University. Professionally, Jealous continued to support black activism through his role as a community organizer for the NAACP,  and an executive director for the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which boasts to be the country’s largest community of black newspapers. Most recently, Jealous was president of the Rosenberg Foundation, an institution in the private sector supporting human rights and civil rights advocacy.

 

As the NAACP nears its centennial, it chose a new direction to regain its fading financial support. It is their hope that Jealous is the answer to many young black critics who accuse the organization of not recognizing the current challenges of young black supporters. With this new appointment, many hope the new leadership will address issues facing younger African Americans that emerged since desegregation. 

 

Just like Obama’s presidential nomination suggests a promise of new hope and fresh ideas, so does the appointment of Benjamin Todd Jealous as President of the NAACP. Both men have a lot to live up to but they each possess the passion and the intelligence to make it happen.

 

Sources:

http://www.blacknews.com/news/naacp_ben_jealous101.shtml

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/17/naacp.president/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/17/AR2008051702320.html

 

A Case for Assimilation or Separatism

Minority cultures often struggle between losing themselves in assimilation or alienating their communities with acts that suggest separatism. The majority of society assumes that their rituals, morals and traditions should predominate because in terms of sheer numbers they dominate.  As a result, we have a historical discourse that features people of color as a footnote to the generational advancements of this society.

 

While race relations have improved compared to the experiences of our ancestors, prejudice and intolerance is a rippling undercurrent that taints our relationships and our social interactions, regardless of ethnic background. This state of existence is felt and read about in every sector of life.. It is a source of entertainment, ridicule and violence.
Most recently, I find myself bombarded by this as I interact in my romantic literary circles. In April, I attended two writers’ conferences. At the first one, I was a minority face in the crowd. Many of the reactions I received in response to my multicultural/interracial platform were, “That’s actually cool,” and “That’s interesting.”  However, meeting an editor and a reader grateful for my platform made the time and money I spent worthwhile. The second conference I attended that month was Romance Slam Jam, an African American romance writer’s conference. I felt like one of the girls in this crowd. It was nice to meet others who wrote interracial and multicultural romance as well as many talented women who wrote strictly African American romantic fiction. It allowed me to enhance the relationships I had been forming with many of these women online.

 

The separatism and assimilation question came up when I got back from Slam Jam. When I went to my local Romance Writers of America meeting, I reconnected with a few women who had been absent from the most recent meetings. I reluctantly told them about Slam Jam. They had no idea what I was talking about. The women, one Caucasian and the other Hispanic, listened with mild interest.  The woman of Hispanic decent began to show a growing interest as she asked if you had to be Black to attend. To be honest the question took me off guard because it highlighted the reason for my reluctance to discuss it in the first place. Of course, you don’t have to be Black to attend, but it is a natural presumption that non-Blacks make. I’m not sure if it’s because they think we don’t want them involved or if it’s because they don’t really have an interest in being involved. Yet, it is expected that we want to be a part of whatever it is they are doing. In reality, we have fought long and hard to be included. However, the existence of separate but equal activities and organizations makes me wonder if our struggle has more to do with equal opportunity, respect for our culture and our existence as human beings rather than truly being involved in the activities of the majority. Many members of the majority say, “See, they are being separatist. They want us to include them but then they create their own organizations.” This was never been clearer to me than when I stumbled upon the debate over the Black National Anthem. African Americans on the blog condemned it for perpetuating separatism. Many Caucasian bloggers agreed, stating this is America and a Black National Anthem was disrespectful. So much for being a melting pot of ideas. Can we be a part of the majority and still claim some things as our very own?

 

This notion confronted me again when I picked up the latest RWA Romance Writers’ Report. In this issue, there was a quarter-page announcement for the recipients of the Emma Awards that took place at Romance Slam Jam. There was no information about the conference or the history behind the awards. The announcement also came three months after the awards ceremony, despite the fact that there were RWA representatives at the conference. Please note the Romance Writers’ Report, RWA’s industry member magazine, is published monthly. Hey, I guess better late than never, maybe they have really long lead times. There was also a very interesting interview about the experience of multicultural authors in the romance writing industry. It indirectly spoke to the idea of assimilation and separatism when famed author Beverly Jenkins spoke of the emergence of African American romance novels. It was clear that the publishing industry didn’t think black female dollars were significant enough to warrant a book line catering to the life and loves of African Americans. Nor did they think it was necessary, after all black women have been reading about white love stories for ages. Isn’t the point of these novels to provide fantasies and a glimpse into the lives we couldn’t possibly have the chance of living ourselves?

 

These occurrences have lead me to realize that my multicultural platform is more than about people of differing cultures and persuasions living, loving and interacting with one another. I don’t desire to create a fondue pot where the contents melt to create a blended product, but a crock-pot where all the ingredients of the stew are still distinct but the different textures compliment and coexist together.

The Voice of the Abused

Love Experiences

(The Voice of the Abused)

Been through love experiences and still remain confused

I don’t quite understand “Love Terms” I thought it involved two.

Two people with an understanding,

patience and desires to walk down life’s road

Not always hand in hand

But willing to carry the others load.

Two people who set forth to reach similar goals

And when there are differences assuming the supportive role

Two people with undying faith, belief and trust

Realizing to have a marriage these parts are a must.

Been through loves experiences, been hurt in the past

Turned my back, walked away, never knowing

The hurt would resurface this fast.

Had that fantasy dream, that “Happily Ever After” lie

Went through that depressed state thinking I would die.

Pulled myself through it all with friends and prayers to God above

And just as foolish as before asked only to be loved.

Went in and out of relationships not wanting to be on the rebound.

Also didn’t look or check for a new foundation starting on solid ground.

Fell into a friendship, a one sided love affair,

Stayed close to ten long years knowing I really didn’t care.

No, I couldn’t love again, not release the feelings in me

No, I didn’t trust the relationship

Just took what I could with no love guarantees.

Then you reentered my life, a puppy love from puberty

I knew God had answered my prayers at last

A love I thought was meant to be.

It didn’t take love to revel itself, a relationship again

With hurt and pain

You had past thoughts of battered love

And treated me as if things were the same.

Never mind the levels we climbed together

The accomplishments we made

Now that I look over this, I’m not just depressed

I’m Afraid.

Afraid of you and the things you do and say

Afraid of the marks it leaves on my mind, body and heart

This is not love, now again I pray for a new start

I am drifting into a zone of unknown silence

I realize I am becoming a victim of Domestic Violence.

If you can’t love me as you said, you would in the beginning

Walk away leave me alone,

My children nor my life needs a devastating ending.

In the words of some wise man or maybe just a thoughtful quote,

He who truly loves never grabs his spouse or loved one

By the throat.

These are my feelings and thoughts

As again I stand confused

I know what comes around goes around,

I wonder who I abused.

I’ll close my eyes again tonight crying as I pray,

God grant me forgiveness, peace and solitude

And if you find extra love……..

Please send it my way.

Thoughts & Reflections©2000

Author Nanette M. Buchanan

Author Nanette M. Buchanan

Family Secrets Lies & Alibi’s- Another Great Review

Family By Any Other Name 3.5 Stars- Apooo Review
By     Angelia Menchan “acvermen.blogspot.com”

Family, Secrets, Lies and Alibis by Nanette Buchanan introduces us to D.Q., a man with two families. For over thirty years he takes care of his wife, Tonya, and their children. At the same time he is providing for his mistress, Nikki, and their son Rell, while actually living in both households. Rell is under the impression that his dad walks on water and can do no wrong. His dad has been there all his life, only missing when he was working at night. An argument Rell overhears in his early twenties exposes his father’s double life, causing Rell to relocate to get away from the lies. The family he always thought he had was nothing but hidden secrets.

When D.Q dies, Rell, as the executor of the will, is summoned home. Nikki was separated from D.Q for years but remained in contact with him. Tonya, on the other hand stayed married to D.Q. even with the knowledge of Nikki and Rell and feels that the death of her estranged husband will be her comeuppance. His money should be there for her in ways her husband never was. What she does not know is that D.Q. has surprises for all of them, especially Rell.

Rell’s discovery of all of the lies and skeletons sends him on a path to discovery, while at the same time causing him to create secrets and alibis of his own. Family, Secrets, Lies and Alibis is a face-paced read full of interesting story lines. Occasionally the story seems improbable but does not stop the book from being interesting and entertaining. I recommend this novel to those who enjoy contemporary fiction filled with drama.

Angelia Menchan
APOOO BookClub

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The Feminization of the African American Male

I did a show on the Feminization of the African American Male. During my research I found this article. It was very intriguing. The article paints a dark picture regarding the future relations of African American males and females.

My question is, when will men stop blaming everyone and everything else for their inability to succeed. We all know that race relations are still very strained in our country. We also know that African Americans must work twice as hard to achieve. However, having said this, many of our men are not “working” at all. Instead they opt to use “the white man holdin’ me down” mentality.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many brothers out there who are doin’ their thing, but many more of them are not. This is why we have so many single parent households, jail cells fuller that college campuses, and overall degradation of the African American family.

I personally know men who are well in their sixties and still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. When they were in their 40’s and 50’s, their 70+ mother was hunting them down in alley ways like children. What’s up with that. These same “men” have to turn to their younger family counterparts for handouts. This is not the way it should be. When is enough enough!

To say that the white man brought drugs and guns into our neighborhoods is one thing, but when did they hold the gun to our heads and make us use them?

As an African American women, I live for the day when all of our men take a stand for our children, our families, and our communities.

Read the article below and leave any comments you may have. God Bless.

What’s love got to do with it?

Why Oprah’s still single – society and opportunities for African American people – Brief Article

Paul Offner

TAMA MATTOCKS IS A LIVELY, ARTICulate 42-year-old African-American woman who lobbies for a healthcare association in Washington, D.C. A native of Detroit, she attended Wayne State University before pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Stopping just short of getting her degree, she went to work for a state assemblyman, whom she accompanied to Washington in 1992 when he was elected to Congress.

Madison was home to few blacks, so social opportunities were limited. Washington would be different, Mattocks thought, with its sizable black professional class, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Interesting, eligible men have been few and far between. Some of the men she’s met have little interest in working, preferring to seek out women who will support them–“a rag-head on your couch,” she calls them, conjuring up images of the lead character in Baby Boy, John Singletons story of a seductive predator who lives off his girlfriends. On one occasion, the congressman even arranged a blind date, but nothing became of it. “Maybe you should join a bowling club,” one friend suggested half-jokingly. “The pain of being alone is so great that you go into denial,” says Mattocks, “so you can get up and go to work the next day” Most of her friends have given up thoughts of marriage.

Mattocks’s experience is not unusual. Just look at any African-American publication. “Are professional black women losing in the dating game?” asks Jet, the popular African-American news magazine. “Within their own ethnic group, sisters find slim pickings,” reports the San Francisco Sun Reporter. “Most of us don’t even come in contact with single, middle-class males,” laments a professional woman in the Memphis Tri-State Defender. This struggle was captured in Terry McMillan’s bestselling novel, Waiting to Exhale, which later became a movie starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. Its success came as no surprise to its target audience. “It is so popular,” Sherry Smith told the Philadelphia Tribune, “because there are so many single females out there trying to find a good male.”

This is something new within the African-American community. Over the last generation, most of the problems taking center stage involved such matters as single-parent families, welfare dependency, and the feminization of poverty. But here’s a problem affecting relatively successful African Americans. The number of well-educated, professional women is multiplying rapidly; but the number of similarly situated black men is not. In fact, as black women advance, black men are falling further and further behind. It’s not a subject that black leaders like to address, but it’s a hot topic in African-American periodicals, where professional women complain bitterly about the difficulty of finding suitable mates.

Lonely At The Top

African Americans have made great strides in the area of education over the last 20 years. The percentage graduating from high school has increased by more than one quarter, and the percentage enrolling in college is up 44 percent. African Americans still trail whites in both areas, but at least the numbers are moving, in the right direction.

Unfortunately, nearly all the improvement in college enrollment has been among black women, who now receive twice as many college degrees as black men. The number of black men graduating from college today has barely budged from where it was 20 years ago.

Nationally, college women outnumber men among all racial groups. But the imbalance is much greater among African Americans. Black women earn twice as many master’s degrees, 50 percent more PhDs, and 50 percent more degrees in law, medicine, and dentistry. What’s more, the gap is widening. If current trends continue, 20 years from now black women attending college will outnumber their male counterparts by three to one.

Already, black women are getting most of the good jobs. A half-century ago, women filled about a quarter of the management and administrative positions held by blacks; today, they fill just under 60 percent. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the imbalance is even greater in larger firms, where black professional women outnumber men by two to one. Of course, African-American women are not alone in terms of professional advancement. Happily, women of all races have increased their share of college enrollments and management jobs over the last 40 years. But there is one important difference: Among whites and Hispanics, men are still far ahead.

Currently, these changes affect a relatively small number of people–most black female workers are still concentrated in low-paying jobs and are paid, on average, less than either white women or black men. But the assessment of Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson seems apt: African-American women are now “poised to assume leadership in almost all areas of the Afro-American community and to outperform Afro-American men at middle-and upper-class levels of the wider society and economy?” What we’re witnessing, in other words, could be called the feminization of the African-American elite.

Slim Pickings

In the realm of dating, this creates what must be a frustrating situation for many single women. They are told to expand their search to include less-educated men, younger men, and older men. (In How Stella Got Her Groove Back, another McMillan novel, the heroine finds happiness with a man 20 years her junior). A recent issue of the Tri-State Defender summed up the frustration of a college-educated woman whose friends counseled her to seek out blue-collar men. “Why are we told to marry down?” she wonders. “I want to be in a relationship with someone who is an equal in every way.”

What is remarkable, though, is how many women are marrying down. More than half of black female college graduates are married to men who don’t have degrees (for whites, the figure is 31 percent). Four percent are married to men who haven’t even graduated from high school. For a few, there is the inter-marriage option. Although black intermarriage has traditionally been rare, that is beginning to change. But it only worsens the imbalance, since black men are much more likely than black women to marry people of other races.

For other educated black women, the choices are few. Says Walter Farrell, a University of Wisconsin professor who has studied the subject, “The more prominent the successful black woman becomes, the greater the chance she will end up alone.” As a result, professional black women are having fewer children, which means that a growing percentage of black children are being born into less educated, less affluent families.

Women’s Work

A number of explanations have been offered for why black women are doing so much better than black men. Some focus on female upbringing. “Historically, in the matriarchal Negro society,” writes former Urban League President Whitney Young, “mothers made sure that if one of their children had a chance for higher education, the daughter was the one to pursue it.” The goal was to spare her from a lifetime of domestic work. In 1940, 60 percent of employed black women worked as domestics, while another 11 percent were farm laborers, with the result that on average black women earned 38 percent as much as white women. World War II changed that by opening up new opportunities in offices and factories. By 1980, only 6 percent worked as domestics, and black women’s earnings were roughly on a par with whites.

For black men, however, things didn’t go as well. Although they made just under half as much as white men in 1940, at least they had access to the well-paying manufacturing jobs that dominated urban labor markets at that time. During the ’60s and early ’70s, their wages rose relative to white men’s, but this progress stopped when many manufacturing firms abandoned urban centers. By 1980, black men earned 26 percent less than their white counterparts, and a good case could be made that it Was they, not the women, who most needed help.

In other words, at a time when domestic labor was the predominant form of work among black women, they attended college at the same rate as the men. Later on, when fewer and fewer women worked as domestics, the women’s college attendance soared. On balance, then, it is hard to see how the parental interest in having their daughters avoid domestic work can explain the gender gap in college enrollments.

An alternative explanation focuses on the boys and the harm allegedly done to them by the weakening of the African-American family. Former Senator Daniel Pat Moynihan (D-NY) famously made this argument in his 1965 report on the Negro family. Many black leaders criticized the report for “blaming the victim,” even though Moynihan clearly placed the blame on this nation’s unemployment record and discriminatory history. In any event, his analysis proved prophetic. While a quarter of African-American families were headed by single women in the year Moynihan issued his report, today that fraction has more than doubled to reach 56 percent.

But the argument that single-parent families disproportionately hurt boys is suspect. Girls may not be going to jail in large numbers, but they face their own considerable problems, such as out-of-wedlock childbirth. Today, fully half of black women between the ages of 20 and 24 have children, which most raise on their own. Sociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, authors of the authoritative Growing Up with a Single Parent, make a convincing case that girls, not boys, are most damaged by the absence of a parent. Yet, despite these significant obstacles, young black women are attending college in record number.

Another explanation involves what Brookings Institution scholar Joyce Ladner calls the “demonization” of young black males and the adoption of stricter policies toward their antisocial behavior. Today, a disproportionate number of black boys are labeled as hyperactive, prescribed medications such as Ritalin, and assigned to special education classes. Many end up in jail. In 2000, more than one in 10 African-American males between the ages of 25 and 29 were incarcerated (among high school dropouts, more than one in three). Moreover, high black crime rates have done more than just reduce college enrollments. When businesses feel compelled to hire more African Americans, writes Andrew Hacker, they generally pick women because they find them less threatening.

Mars vs. Venus

“Unless unforeseen social forces reverse current trends,” writes sociologist Robert Staples, “the future is likely to bring one of the first cases in history where women have achieved superiority over men in the vital areas of education, occupation, and income.” While few people would dispute Staples’s point as it pertains to blacks, there is disagreement over what it signifies. For instance, Robert Hill, author of The Strengths of Black Families, doubts that much will change and cites the example of the black church: Women are in the majority, they head up most of the church clubs and contribute most of the money, yet men make most of the decisions. On the other hand, success in the American economy today is increasingly associated with specialized knowledge and skills, and African-American women have the clear advantage there.

Indeed, they may have too much of an advantage. College-educated women want to find men with similar backgrounds, and the shortage of college-educated men rules that out for many of them. As the education gap widens in the future, marriage rates will continue to drop. More and more of these women will remain childless, and a growing proportion of black children will be born into poor single-parent families, with all the disadvantages attendant on that fact.

Oddly, current government policy may actually be adding to the problem. In an effort to increase welfare recipients’ long-term self-sufficiency, 22 states now help welfare mothers attend college, a form of assistance largely unavailable to the fathers, most of whom are not on welfare.

As it happens, the current round of welfare reform just underway in Washington includes a major campaign to raise marriage rates. Conservatives would like to provide pro-marriage education to children in school and give states financial rewards for increasing marriage rates and reducing divorce. Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation even favors bonuses for at-risk women who avoid getting pregnant until they are married. The only problem is that no one knows how to increase marriage, and the little we do know suggests that it’s not as simple as handing out bonuses to young women who put off child-bearing.

One promising place to start would be increasing the rate of college attendance among African-American men. This will require reexamining many of our education policies, such as the way we deal with boys who act up in school and those who are involved with drugs. Currently 400,000 individuals–mostly young black men–are behind bars on drug charges. One and a half times as many black men are in prison as in college. When they get out, most of them will have trouble finding steady work, and thus becoming reliable fathers to their children. Four years ago, Congress enacted legislation denying college financial aid to anyone convicted of a drug offense, which can only make such matters worse.

But if significant progress is to be made in this area, the African-American community will have to take the lead. And therein lies the problem. The relative position of men and women has always been controversial among blacks, which means that there is no consensus on the nature of the problem or what should be done about it. “There is a crisis in nearly all aspects of gender relations,” writes Orlando Patterson, “and it is getting worse” In this environment, there is a danger that the higher-education gender gap will be airbrushed over, lest it become an embarrassment to the African-American community.

Black organizations such as the National Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have never much involved themselves in welfare reform, preferring to let the states and welfare advocacy groups take the lead. But there is no one else to go to bat for black men. Nor can anyone else hope to resolve the gender issues that divide African Americans today. Without pressure from black leaders, the likelihood is that nothing will be done, and that would be a disaster for both the black community and the nation.

PAUL OFFNER is a professor at Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Washington Monthly Company
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group