Posts filed under ‘African American’

Boys Will Be Boys…

I could never understand why the things that I got into trouble for, my brother didn’t get into trouble for. The way it was explained to me was: you are not your brother. Fast forward to a story that my husband used to tell me. He was the oldest of four, and two of those siblings were girls. His sisters did not understand why the discipline for him was different than the discipline for them. His dad simply told them you are not a 16-year-old boy. Now whether that’s right or wrong, that’s how our culture decides what’s appropriate for boys versus what’s appropriate for girls. It doesn’t always match up with what is right.

What’s even more unbalanced is how our society is inconsistent in its justice for black boys versus white boys. I taught males in high school. When I taught at a male-only high school, and noticed that the punishment for African-American or Hispanic students tended to be more severe than the punishment for Caucasian students. What was that about?

So growing up as a girl, I realized that boys’ behavior was more acceptable than girls, and as a young adult woman I found that white males received more leniency for punishment than males of color.

So now we have a U.S. Supreme Court candidate who has been accused of sexual harassment as a teenage boy. During one of the news reports yesterday, I heard a commentator or maybe it was a U.S. senator say “well you know boys will be boys.” That’s a travesty and shouldn’t be tolerated! A crime is a crime no matter who does it. If you sell dope, (I think we call them drugs today) then you’re guilty. Your punishment shouldn’t be any different because of your skin color or your gender. If Bill Cosby, who had a reputation of being America’s funniest TV dad, can be accused and convicted of sexual misconduct, then so can Judge Kavanaugh and President Trump.

I mean justice is blind right? Click Here to purchase a copy of The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship With Your Son.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

September 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

Discipline Disparity Between Black Boys & Everybody Else’s Son

When we African American mothers complain that the system is against our son(s), we are told that we are paranoid. Probably not.

Of course it doesn’t help when our sons are consistently targeted /stopped / jailed / shot by law enforcement officers.

When my son was three, I took him to a neighborhood in-home day care. The day care provider had three kids; two who were too young to attend school. One day when I picked up my son, she told me that he bit her youngest son. While I wasn’t surprised; he was going through a biting stage; her next words surprised me. “You better get him some help or else he’s going to be a a danger to society (not verbatim).” 

While I didn’t disregard his biting behavior, I also knew we had recently relocated the family and he was moved from a home he had known and loved since birth to one that was unfamiliar to him. I also knew other sons who bit, spit and punched each other and their moms simply said “Boys will be boys“. 

Understand that I am not saying our sons can do no wrong. If they are wrong, it is our responsibility to correct their behavior. Continual targeting is not the way. If you are a single mother without a positive male role model in your son’s life, then it will be hard not to take to heart what school (or daycare) officials say. Don’t believe the hype.

It’s really important to the socio-emotional health of our sons for us to protect them when it appears that they are constantly punished, suspended or jailed for acts that are considered quite normal for sons of other races and ethnicities.

Please read the Washington Post article by Tunette Powell and let me know your thoughts on this topic. Click here to read.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Founder & Creator of Finding Superwoman

clynnwilliams.com

August 1, 2016 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

The #Ferguson Experience

We are living through a time of dichotomies. What’s good for you & your family is not necessarily what’s good for me & mine. Clearly this is true for Michael Brown, his family and officer Darren Wilson.michael brown

As a Divine spirit living a human existence as an African-American mother, I do not know how to talk to my sons about their rights as African-American males in these United States. It is unfortunate that my sons who have been educated and raised in American schools, and lived a middle class life, can have their lives taken in cold blooded murder by a trigger-happy law enforcement officer. #TrayvonMartin

To make matters worse, yesterday the grand jury decided that Officer Wilson was justified in shooting an unarmed teen and voted not to indict. #MichaelBrown #Ferguson

It is at times like these that I understand and agree with the philosophies of H. Rap Brown versus those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This Ferguson experience is unexplainable to me. How do I continue to justify America’s social justice to my sons? A society that allows the killing of African-American males is not the answer to its’ problems. It’s just a matter of time, before my son becomes your son. #removethemaskoffear

If you want to continue this discussion about protecting our #sons, sign up for my Parenting Newsletter. Want to ask questions or dialogue with me about how tough adult issues affect our families; reach out to me on Twitter @MsParentguru or on my Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/CGWWBooks.     #parenting

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Generational Development Specialist
www.clynnwilliams.com
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

 

November 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm 4 comments

When Parents Make Mistakes

ImageParents are invincibleinfallibleHuman!

My husband and I saw Black Nativity last night and I am glad we did! Being a person of color, we usually support movies with African-American actors, directors, film writers during the first weekend the movie airs to support it financially. While I love, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, I’m not crazy about musicals, so I almost missed a golden opportunity. If Black Nativity is still playing in your area, go see it! Anyway I digress… There was a line in the movie that absolutely spoke to me about PARENTING! Rev. Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), the estranged father of Naima (Jennifer Hudson) said “Parents make mistakes…I am so sorry that I meddled in your life.”

Have you ever felt that way about something that occurred between you and your teen or adult child? Were you able to admit it and have an honest conversation with your son or daughter? Or did pride keep you from opening the doors of communication with that person that you love with all of your heart and soul? The movie had another theme that has been really messing up my parenting theory about our teen (or twenty-something) daughters getting pregnant and having children without being married. When my daughter was a teen, we had the ‘SEX’ talk a few times. I wanted to make sure that she understood the consequences to getting pregnant. I felt (and told her) that she would have to move out if she got pregnant before getting married. I felt that way because she, her dad and I talked candidly about waiting until marriage to have sex; if she couldn’t wait then use birth control. I know you’re thinking OMG – it’s okay for her to have sex??? She did not get pregnant, but what if she had? Would I have made her leave home for this mistake? Would we have been estranged? What about her future? Would she have gone to college, grad school, or become the professional woman she is today?

Well, no I didn’t want her to have sex, but let’s be honest here;  part of the teen experience is that LOVELY puberty that starts to occur to our kids when they turn 12 or 13. The boys you couldn’t stand in fifth and sixth grade, now start to look a little less like wimps and more like hotties! A kiss on the lips, turns into raging hormones! Right?!? If your daughter loses control (and has sex) she’s screwed (no pun intended) unless she is taking birth control. Again I digress. So for mothers like me who take that hard line, what are our daughters supposed to do if they find themselves pregnant? That was the dilemma of Mary (Grace Gibson), the very pregnant and homeless teen in Black Nativity. She said, “I made a mistake and was kicked out. I have nowhere to go, so here I am pregnant and homeless.”

The other theme that caught my interest was the relationship between the mom (Naima) and her teenaged son (Langston). God, she really loved him (and he loved her too), but as a single mom trying to make a living for the two of them, she was unequipped to offer him the masculine discipline & love that he needed to grow into a man. Well I won’t tell the entire story, but I’d like to end with this: if you, and your son or daughter have not spoken to each other because of miscommunications or disappointments, reach out and call them and begin to mend the fences. There is nothing worse that not having an opportunity to say “I’m sorry” and having regrets for the rest of your life.

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

January 14, 2014 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Eating Through the Holidays…

I LOVE to eat! There I said it! There are so many wonderful memories wrapped up in food and family – at least in mine. As a kid, it was fun to have relatives come over and eat together. We usually dressed up for dinner, and the table was set with a tablecloth and linen napkins. I loved turkey and macaroni and cheese. As I became vegetarian, meat no longer interested me, but I was still a homemade rolls girl. Ahh… the smell of fresh bread or cake in the oven

Christmas dinner

was pure love! As I have gotten older, not only do I enjoy getting together with family and eating; I enjoy the preparation of foods, usually remembering conversations that accompanied “cutting up onions and peppers” for dressing or making “greens” as we talked about the latest family news.

My biggest problem with “eating” through the holidays is that I’m always drawn to the saltiest or sweetest foods . For example, we have plenty of grapes and apples in the house, but NO, I want popcorn or oatmeal cookies! It wouldn’t be so bad – EATING – if it wasn’t accompanied by weight gain, an increase in blood pressure and all of the health issues that we, African Americans face. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

Back to my salads, grilled fish and working out. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

 

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach
Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm 2 comments

Slavery in 2013

slaveAs a young girl, I was always glad that I wasn’t born a slave. In school I read about indentured servant, but knew that type of enslavement occurred only until that person could work off his or her debt. Slave trading of African people and those of African descent in the United States (and other countries as well) was a different story altogether, and created an indelible imprint of no class citizenship among African American people.

Growing up, I often thought I was a slave to my mom and dad since they told us what to do and we did it – most of the time without question. However the idea that I could be taken from my family, identity changed, beaten, told what to think/believe and forced to do whatever my “slave owners” wanted done was absolutely terrible@! After watching the miniseries, Roots by Alex Haley, and the pain of watching my ancestors sold away from their families, forced to work for no pay, brutally beaten, forced to have sex, (the list of atrocities goes on..) I knew I would never need to relive that part of my heritage. Until now..

Last weekend I saw 12 Years a Slave. I didn’t really want to see it. I mean it was going to be another movie about how slaves were mistreated “in the South”, and frankly I had had enough. However, the perspective of this movie was told from the viewpoint of a freed black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Watching the atrocities against the enslaved people still made me sick to my stomach. The fact that people actually justified enslaving African people as being “the right thing to do” still made no sense to me. However, what I liked about 12 Years a Slave was the tenacity that Solomon Northrup possessed (and how remembering who he was, continued to give him hope until he was rescued).

Unfortunately, slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. No, modern day slavery is still occurring today in 2013. Today it’s called human trafficking. Human trafficking is the trade of people, usually young girls for sexual slavery, forced labor or extraction of organs or tissues. It’s a $32 billion (per year) industry and women are kidnapped from their families and “trafficked” throughout the world.

Interested in stopping human trafficking? Get involved! Google the topic, human trafficking to find advocacy organizations in your area where you can volunteer your time or make donations.  One local organization that I have partnered with is the Chicago Dream Center (http://www.chicagodreamcenter.org/ministries/human-trafficking/). The Chicago Dream Center is actively involved in advocacy work and recovery for victims of trafficking. #GetInvolved!

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com
cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

November 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm 2 comments

It Doesn’t Matter if You’re Black or White

bboy

Let’s take an honest look at an ugly topic – RACE. There I said it! Not just race itself, but what happens when we allow race to permeate our thoughts, feelings and our perceptions. Think about your son or, or if you’re younger and sans kids – your brother. Did it ever occur to you that your child (brother) is held responsible or labeled because of his race? Let me give you an example. When you are walking down the street and you see a black boy walking in your direction, do you a) Cross the street; b) Clutch your purse tightly or c) Continue walking without fear? Or, what would be your first thought if you heard that an altercation occurred between your child and another student? Would you assume it was the other child’s fault? How about if the other child was a black child? What would be your assumptions?

When my son was three years old, his daycare provider (a friendly, white woman) took care of him and several other kids, including her own. We lived in the same neighborhood and our older children attended school together. She was fanatical about cleanliness and that was okay because who wants their child in a pig sty. She loved her family and believed in God. Important points for me! We were off to a great relationship! At least that was what I thought. One day I after work, I picked up my son and she told me that he bit her son. What? Biting was not new to me because my son bit another child at the previous daycare provider. I was very concerned because biting is aggressive act and I needed to know what was going on in my young son’s mind that made him think biting was acceptable. My husband and I would address those concerns with him once we got home. What I wasn’t prepared for were the next words out of my daycare provider’s mouth. She said that he was an aggressive kid and that he would probably grow up and kill someone someday! WHAT?!? At the previous daycare provider, her toddler son (white) started the biting phenomenon and bit our son. I’m not sure if he was punished, but one thing I know, his mother did not decide that he was aggressive and would grow up and one day kill someone. As a matter of fact, she apologized for his behavior, kind of laughed and said “boys will be boys”.  Two different kids, same behavior was judged differently. The only difference is that one kid was black (African American) and one was white. boy-white

More recently I was talking about parenting to a business partner of mine who has three sons. Her sons go to predominantly white schools and the youngest tends to show his feelings (good or bad) though facial expressions. He has not learned the art of masking those feelings yet. In any case, her son’s teacher told him to stop doing something and he continued to do it. She told him a second time and he made a face and said okay. She wrote him up and called his mother. Okay! When my business partner asked her son why he didn’t stop when he was instructed, he told her he wasn’t ready to stop. He also told her that Johnnie (white) did the same thing but he was not told to stop. Now you can spin that anyway you like. Should both sons be admonished equally? Of course, but what is happening in many classrooms is that behavior is viewed differently and punishments, suspensions, and expulsions are more severe for children particularly boys of color. WHY IS THAT? And WHAT can we do about it?

Race may not be an issue in countries where people physically look the same. In those instances you are most likely judged by socio-economic standards like who your parents are and whether you have money or don’t. In this country, the United States, race is an out of control issue that is based in fear and needs to be addressed personally as well as societally.  In Michael Jackson’s song – Black or White, I have to say – it does matter if you’re black or white. You ARE judged by the color of your skin and not necessarily the content of your character. Isn’t that a shame…

C. Lynn Williams
Author & Speaker

http://www.clynnwilliams.com

cgwwbooks@yahoo.com

September 13, 2013 at 11:43 am 5 comments

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