Posted by the prisoner's wife On 3:34 PM
The first half of CNN's documentary Black in America was extremely interesting. It touched on a myriad of issues, but (to me) offered few solutions. I am on the road and do not have my computer, so I wasn't able to blog during or after the show, but I just had a few thoughts...and I am open to hearing your suggestions on how we can begin changing some of these issues.
1. The HIV/AIDS rate among black women is ALARMING, and yet people aren't really talking about it. Thankfully, I am already aware of these issues, but what about my peers? And what about my students? I am a church-goer and yet my church has been silent on the issue. I am thinking that we, as Black women, need to take up arms over this because we are losing our sisters/mothers/aunts/daughters/grandmothers.
2. WOW at 70% of all Black households being headed by women. That's CRAZY! I am one of those 70% and it is not easy. If beloved were home, we'd certainly be raising our son together, but that is not our reality at the moment. How do we even begin changing this epidemic for black folks? Solid families are one of the keys to raising stable, successful kids. How can we expect our kids to compete if their home life is a disaster? I see it everyday in my students. Many are foster kids, and most live with their mother or another relative. They don't even concentrate on school because of all of the drama at home. What can be done about that?
3. Education: Roland Fryer is amazing (!!!). After seeing him the first time on the other Black in America Special, I am intrigued by his work and would love to talk with him. I am a believer in paying kids to do well in school. My parents gave me money for good grades, which in turn made me work harder and later led to an intrinsic love for education, so why not do the same for others (Shout out to Mayor Bloomberg for doing it in NYC)? Some question the idea of paying kids for doing well in school, but as adults, we want to be compensated for our achievement on the job. Since school is basically a child's job, and a means to an economic future, why not steep the fire by providing incentives? Middle-class kids get cars, clothes, and all kids of goodies as a reward, why can't lower-income children be rewarded just the same?
I am rushing, I know, but I am writing from a hotel business center. We are here visiting beloved and have had a WONDERFUL week. I am looking forward to watching part 2 of the documentary tonight, and hopefully stealing a few minutes while the munchkin is sleep to come and write & see what you guys are saying.
Parting questions: Do you think the documentaries did a good job of capturing "The Black Experience"? & what does it mean to you to be Black in America?