Years ago I was touring with Dr. Odell Hobbs, and the
concert choir. We had stopped in Virginia Union University at a Hardees for breakfast; all 50 of us college students. Not long after our arrival, some of Tennessee 's finest decided they would stop for breakfast at this same Hardees, eschewing their regular trip to 7-11. It didn't take long for them and the other patrons to relax and get down to enjoying their biscuits and coffee, since we obviously were paying them no attention. After we re-boarded the bus, Dr Hobbs mentioned an insult he received during breakfast One of the patrons who just happened to be white commented/complimented him on how well behaved we were. R. Hobbs was polite, yet un-accepting, letting her know that this was the norm, not the exception. Tennessee
I thought about that incident as I reflected on all the talk I've heard over the last few months referencing the Obama family and the wholesome picture of black families they reveal to the world. During that time I've also heard a number of references to the fictional family, the Huxtables from back in the '80s. After hearing enough of these references I like Dr. Hobbs became annoyed.
I'm not blind to the harsh realities of the world we live in regarding the makeup of American Households, I was raised by a single strong woman, but I'm also not blind to the positive realities of American households.
Before the Huxtables made Thursday night "must see TV", the Beasleys; my aunt and uncle, were successfully raising three children in
. Before the Huxtables, The Wilsons; my other aunt and uncle were successfully raising my cousin, who's now married and raising three boys of his own. My Uncle John and Aunt Dee adopted and raised a pair of brothers. And I can't forget the Jones, another aunt and uncle, who successfully raise five boys in a place called the projects. Five boys, who became five men, happily married, successful in business, active in church, and in the lives of their children (I envy dem boys). Right now, fifteen feet away from me is a happily married man whose teenage daughter was recently elected to the Greater Richmond Youth Association local bowling hall of fame for teens (Jessica Overton); having learned the sport from her dad who was elected a few years ago, the same week that she received a full academic scholarship. Paterson New Jersey
Even as I browse the blogosphere, I see numerous examples of black families making marriage work. When you get a chance, visit Donovan McNabb's mom or, read about Keith's night out bowling with his wife and a bunch of other married couples. If bowling isn't your thing then read about his trip to the movies with 75 other couples. Please pay a visit to Tammy to read about her Funny Valentine. And, before you sign off say a prayer for our sister Lisa Shaw who's been fighting illness lately but still managed to start Marriage Flavor.
While I admire all of these examples, I also admire those of you that have suffered through the pain of divorce, the trauma of abuse, or the salted wound of infidelity, but have somehow managed to keep your sanity and your integrity intact. I mean, I like the Huxtables, but you've overcome a whole lot more with a whole lot less.
DEDICATED TO SHAZ AND HER SOULMATE