Friday, March 13, 2009

Will The Real Brothers Please Man Up?

by Kenny Pugh, Thursday, March 12, 2009

The African-American community is now at one of the lowest points in history. Critics and media weigh-in and begin placing blame and fingerpointing at the reasons for our societal and cultural demise. I agree that the liberated Black women’s movement has caused a shift in the traditional family structure, but we must applaud the desire for women to better themselves. Despite the varying issues our African-American women possess, you can often identify a man (father, husband, boyfriend, etc.) as the source of their troubles. What has caused this shift in our Black men?
1. Why are so many of us not finishing high school and opting to underachieve? We identify cancer as a disease that eats away at a person’s body. Similarly, underachievement is one of the cancerous demonstrations that we as men, are contributing to a community that is already dying a slow death. When men make conscious decisions to live a below average life, it is a slap in the face of the many trailblazers who fought for our equal rights. Education, freedom, motivation and a strong work ethic are things that used to matter to the ones formerly known as ‘head of household'. However, many of us are satisfied at utilizing ‘the white man’ and ‘circumstances of life’ as reasons to continue living as generational underachievers.

2. Why are so many of us looking for the quick-fix hustle? The media and entertainment industry glorifies the hip-hop lifestyle, sports figures and often associates popularity with purpose. However, the harsh reality is 99% of men will NEVER make a hit album or play professional sports. It is the responsibility of mature African-American men to make sure our younger generation is prepared to be successful in ALL walks of life. It is okay to encourage our young people to excel in football, basketball, baseball, golf, etc. It is also necessary that we balance out their athletic appetite with a healthy dose of academic reality. Unfortunately, we have dropped the ball and today’s generation is reaping the results of our neglect.

3. Why are we quick to make babies but slow to take care of them? According to, 63% of African-American households are headed by a single parent. Over 85% of single parents are women and 46% of them have attended college. Well, the statistics allow us to see a trend of men who are not solidifying the God-ordained structure of the household. The statistics also show us that contrary to popular belief, almost half of single mothers have some level of college education. This means that they are still pursuing their dreams despite encountering a bump in the road of life called love masked in the form of a non-committal, immature, unmotivated and irresponsible man. It is amazing how minutes of pleasure lead to the destruction of a child, family and ultimately a community.

Parting Thought -

Although white America has seemingly written us off, we serve a God that is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think. Don’t allow the past curses of your family to keep you from living the abundant life that God has called you to live. The African-American family needs strong, Black men more than ever. We are not only basketball players or football players, but we can also become influential members of society. There is nothing wrong with becoming a doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur (legal of course) or corporate executive. Start dreaming big, but remember that an entire generation will be lost if we continue at our current pace.

Kenny Pugh is a minister, coach and sought-after speaker on relationships. Kenny is creator of the blog, Chat Kafe, and is a frequent guest on various radio broadcasts.
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1 comment:

Brother OMi said...

Again, I urge people to be careful of statistics.

Just because 63% of black women with children are not married does not imply that the fathers are not involved in the lives of their children.

also read this:
African-American Buying Power Rises, per eMarketer

and this

oh yeah:

while you're at it:

some will say that these are only minor improvements. i beg to differ. we should celebrate these things instead of the doom and gloom I often hear.

We are doing well overall and while improvements need to be made, we are NOT going to hell with gasoline drawers on.