Can a White Woman Raise a Black Man?


A parent’s job is to raise an adult.  Not a child.  Damn… that’d be a nice meme.  Anyway, before I go off on the tangent that very phrase makes me want to go off on, I want to get right into the question the title poses.  Can a white (non-black) woman successfully raise a black person? First, just like in Public Breastfeeding: Necessity or Attention-Seeking? I felt the need to ask some subject matter experts.  I of course have an opinion on this subject, but I’m not, never have been and never will be a single mother. Here’s what a few moms with mix-raced kids  thought and experienced (mad respect for all the women out there who are REALLY doing this alone):

Brandy:

I don’t look at the situation as being a white mother raising black men it’s more of a single mother trying to raise men period. received_200923420322856The struggle is real lol but that’s a whole other topic. I don’t claim to be trying to raise black men because I, quite frankly, know nothing about being a black man. I think I’ve been lucky enough to have the bare minimum when it comes to unfortunate experiences with my kids based on their color. My oldest was called a porch monkey by someone my cousin was trying to talk to other than that I’d venture to say nothing else that I’m aware of. Maybe a few statements by the older generation but no real racism. My family completely accepts my decision to date black men and have biracial children and I live an area where biracial children are very common, military town.”

Nadja:

(keep in mind, Nadja is German, and can still formulate sentences better than myself and a lot of other English-Speaking people. Edited slightly for clarity, with permission)

received_10157383109105511“When I was station in Germany I must say I really never had any race discriminating against my kids or me. But when I did move to the states I did run in few people that had race problems that I have mix kids. Oh boy I never going to forget this. I went to burger King drive thru and try to order something. She say she can’t understand me I need to drive up to the window. She looked in the car saw my kids and said “I’m sorry you can’t order any food. You got mix kids and Im tired your taken our mans” I said excuse me she said “you heard what I say.” It was one black female so after I say excuse me it was 3 black female’s looking at me crazy. I just left I didn’t had time to start a Fight for some ignorant stuff.But I did call the manager when I got home she couldn’t believe it she say she will going to do something but I don’t know if she did something about it. Because I never went back to check that day was the day I never went back to burger king. received_10157383143610511That happen in G.A. I must say in G.A I did had the most problems in race issue with black female’s. But this was in 2001-2003 I was station there. When I walk with my kids father I got a lot: find a man in your race, what you want with our mans, white trailer trash. Love the word ‘trailer-trash’ lol because I never did live in a trailer but  I just ignore it, to me it makes no sense to fight over something stupid.”

 

Jenell:

“I see this question and immediately received_10209174508655033think “Ughhhhh, here we go…..” but as I sit here trying to write this, it really is something that I ask myself as a single mother every day. Not necessarily the “Black Man” but a man in general.  There are things that I just won’t be able to help him out with…and these are the things that keep me up at night. That my decision to sleep with his “father” ,despite the voice in my head telling me not to, will affect his life more than it will ever affect mine. As you’ve probably figured out, the situation was not ideal. And his “father” saw him the day he was born and has shown no interest in his life at all since that day. The struggle to raise ANY CHILD as a single parent is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy! It’s hard, and it sucks sometimes. I am lucky to have an amazing support system for which I am grateful for more than they could ever imagine. So, I wonder sometimes how I will deal with teaching him about things that I have never had to deal with. Will I need a plan of attack? Is it something that I should teach him BEFORE he asks? I honestly don’t know the answers. I hope that, as any mother should teach any child, that I can teach him to be kind, respectful, responsible and that if that is something that is truly instilled in him that SOME of the struggles he will face as a Black man he will know how to handle anyway. I don’t know the struggle of this personally, so can I truly help him with these struggles?? All I know that I can do is make him aware of these struggles.

received_10209174497654758He’s too young now to notice the stares from the people in my small town, judging ME. Not because I’m a single mom, but because I’m a “Mud Shark” (It’s really just disgusting, and yes, I have been called this, to my face) How at work in the same small town, I’ve had to listen to a customer randomly spew his racial bullshit, and rant about how he feels sorry for “mixed-up” kids. I try not to engage in most cases, especially in my work environment. And even socially it’s usually not worth it, I’ll never change their minds or perception, so is it really worth me getting worked up and upset?? At the end of the day, I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think of me, so it usually isn’t.  And I hope that it continues to only be addressed towards me, I can handle it. But the day it’s addressed towards him, Watch out! Momma Bear is coming Out!”

Cami:

14287616_10209146555455260_952909401_n“Can a white woman raise a black man? Good question. Can a single mom raise a good father?

It’s been my experience that I cannot raise a child all on my own. Much less, raise a cultured respectable black man when I myself have not grown up in a traditional black home.

The beauty in raising kids regardless of color or ethnic makeup is that we are able to pull from past experiences and our support system. We’ve all heard the saying “It takes a village.” My village is made up of my past, my family, my kid’s grandparents and my friends. My past experiences help me to prepare my kids for what they may experience. My Dad, from day one, has always had such an open mind and love for all mankind. This has been a fundamental pillar in how I raise my children. All this being said, yes we have experienced racism. My son was 6 months old and I was told by an aunt that I was never welcome in her house again.14285623_10209146441852420_246873335_o Another time, we went to a restaurant and an older couple just could not get passed the fact that I was smiling and enjoying a meal with my kids and their black grandparents. They left but that’s okay because atleast they got a free meal from the people that ironically ruined it for them. It’s these moments that define us and our kids watch and absorb everything.
How we react is going to be the most important lesson they learn. So, yes, my village and I can raise a black man. This is evident when he tells me we are a team, when helps me with his sister no matter what I ask, when he jumps out of the car to help me pump gas, when he holds the door for 600 people at a time, and when he asks me questions like “Mom, what’s the big deal with all this black and white talk?” –

 

I think I may have skipped a step or two.  I know there are those who think a woman can’t properly raise a man alone at all!  I believe there are two sides to that, but I somewhat agree. Can a woman properly care for a boy until he’s a man? Of course!  They do it all the time.  Can they teach a boy how to treat a woman? How to throw a football?  How to mow the lawn?  Yes, yes and yes.  But there’s so much more to being a man, just like there’s more to being a woman than how to shop for tampons/pads, make-up, hair supplies and heels. It’s pretty insulting to sum up what being a woman is all about, isn’t it? Well, guess what, it’s the same for us.

On top of that, there’s the factor of a white or non-person-of-color, raising a black man. As you can see, there are some mixed feelings about whether there should be a difference between raising a black man and perhaps raising a white one.  And they’re right, there shouldn’t be.  But the sad reality is, there is most definitely a difference. Here are my points on the matter, please forgive me, I’m a little scatterbrained lately:

– Men

There wouldn’t be so many women raising men (alone), black or otherwise if we were doing our jobs. There are only two reasons why a man shouldn’t be actively playing a role in their kids’ life. 1: You’re dead.  2: The mother expertly decieved you into not knowing about the child, or fooled someone else into thinking it was theirs.  It happens… But not as much as guys simply choosing not to be Dads.

– Black Women

There are far too many of you doing poor jobs of raising your own black men.  I’ve witnessed on several occasions black women being the worst possible role models for their future black men. Bringing different men in and out of your homes, and lives.  Disrespecting yourselves and them in different ways.  And overall, just being poor examples. If we can’t expect the best treatment of our black children by our own single mothers, why can we expect it or question it from female parents of other races?

– White [non-black] mothers:

Let’s look at the organic situations.  The white [non-black] women who have conceived children with black men.  If that black man chooses to leave that kids life, he has already set an ill-fated path for that child.  And made the already-hard job of being a mixed-race mother even harder by not being there AND embittering that child. Furthermore, the mother has to try and keep a positive attitude about it all!  Being left by her black babydaddy may have left a bad taste in her mouth about black men in general… at the same time, her son, someone she loves very much is going to grow to be one as well.

Can she do it? Well, the best answer is: she can try.  That’s all we can do, right?  Ultimately, preparedness is the only thing we can offer our children in the first place.  I wrote this blog to let people know that it’s not a question of whether anyone can raise anyone, but moreover to let the women in this situation know that there are some special things your black son [and daughter too of course, but we’re talking more to the male] needs to be prepared for.  Prepare your black son for the things he’s most likely going to run into.  Even before he gets to show the world what he’s made of.  You may think it’s preposterous, but it’s a fact of life, not just in America, but around the world… the color of your skin, whether adverse or positive, can and will cause a reaction of some sort.  Those kids need to be taugh thtat it isn’t right, but it can and does happen.  And when they don’t understand, tell them they’re right for feeling like it doesn’t make sense, and that they should try to stay the way they are.  Not seeing a difference because of it.  But not acknowledging the issue is not the best route of action.  I assure you that.  Allowing your son to have his first brush with racism [because it IS going to happen] unprepared is highly irresponsible.  Our job isn’t necessarily or only to protect our children from the world, but to ultimately prepare them for it. (Yes, you can quote me on that.)

So, you ask yourself.  Can a white woman raise a black man?  Can I? Can we ever get to a point that we won’t need to prepare a black child for things we don’t need to prepare a white, brown, or yellow one for?

We can try.

Scream at me.

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18 thoughts on “Can a White Woman Raise a Black Man?

  1. Betina says:

    Great Blog though my children are white I have one who repeatedly met with racism due to my being married to a black man at the time and her looking mixed. It was hard for her to understand how grown ups could be so mean to her. My stepson struggles learning to be a man while living with his mom thankfully his dad stepped up and makes more time for him to help him realize the right way to treat woman ( he is a handsome little boy that the girls chase) . I agree with the point that it takes a village with a great support system that stays involved our children grow up to be better adults.

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  2. Jim Fish says:

    Great blog post, Robert; I’m Cami’s dad and I feel this post is not only timely but informative and vitally important as we transform into a world-community.y greatest reward as a father was raising children into responsible adults and patents and, in that, my wife and I have succeeded more significantly than we could have imagined.
    Cami is tough in both physical and emotional strength and I have no doubt she will rise to expedite any situation that will arise. That notwithstanding, her soon to be ex-husband is one of the best examples of a father I could have hoped for to play a part in my daughter’s growing family. Yes, they both are less than perfect by ideal standards but they were perfect for their time and place and I, for one, am proud of them and sadden their paths must go in seperate directions.
    I plan to be here for Cami, my grandson and granddaughter, and even their father; as much as they will allow me. Regardless, I truly believe Cami has got this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brandy says:

    It’s sad to hear that so many of the ladies in this post have faced so much negativity based on the man they chose!! I guess I’m lucky in that sense. I, too, have a child whose father has never been in the picture but that didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth about black men. I know that there are good men out there of every color. I totally agree with the statement it takes a village to raise a child. I get help every day and im grateful for it.

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  4. Farrah says:

    I’m on the fence as far as if a woman can raise a man. Sure they CAN. However, some things boys learn are taught by example from a male. It doesn’t have to be their father (although ideally) but hopefully they have a positive male role model in their lives. I’m a teacher and we have a program at our school called “Watch Dogs” and this allows males who are involved in a child’s life to volunteer at our school to help out during the school day. The program is wonderful and allows students who may not have that positive male figure, for whatever reason, to be exposed to someone who can positively impact their young lives. My parents divorced when I was very young and while we saw my dad on the weekends and holidays, he still wasn’t around daily to show my brother HOW to be a respectful man. I believe it is crucially important for children to have a strong male and female role model in their lives. On the other hand, we just have to do the best we can with what we’re given. For those of you single mothers raising children, I highly commend you and I trust you all are doing the best job you can. It really does take a village to raise our children. As far as preparing children for racial hurdles they may/will encounter, that is smart. It hurts me that bullying people just because they are a different race still occurs more often than we want but it’s far better for a child to anticipate what could happen and know how to maturely handle the situation if one arises. This blog was very enlightening and I appreciate reading the first hand experiences from the women with mixed-race children. Keep doing what y’all are doing and raising your children he best you are able to.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emily says:

    Single mom. Wow. Never thought it would be a term used to describe me. I grew up in a town where the only goal in life was to get married, have children, and stand by your husband. Only issue is, it’s a small town in the middle of no where. I grew up knowing everyone. At a very early age I new I was unlike all the other people in my town. I grew up with a family that went to church on Sunday’s and talked about niggers at family get togethers as normal conversation. This mentality was the common way in my part of the world. I did not condone their beliefs. Over time I grew to learn and form my own opinions, which eventually led to strife in my family. Particularly with my father.
    As I grew up, I found myself intrigued with a world that was kept forbidden to Me. I began to date men of a different race and began to experience more strife at home. My father began to scold me and treat me differently. Abused me physically and mentally for my choice to live my life differently. So I left. Over the course of the years the relationship was only strained more. Comments they made were unimaginable. My own mother told me If I chose to have children of a different race that I would destroy my family. The stereotypes they believed of black peoples such as “all black people are bums” or “all back men are criminals and drug dealers” were all they had to offer.
    Eventually I met a man, who made me happier than I had ever been. We fell in love and I was convinced that I would spend the rest of my life with him. He convinced me I was the woman he had waited for his whole life and asked me to have his children. A few months later I experienced the greatest moment of my life. Becoming a mother. My family present wondering if I was going to have a black baby were relieved when my daughter arrived looking just like me. Then 6 months later found out we were expecting number 2. The family tension only grew. The awkward holiday dinners, and racial comments didn’t cease. My father and uncles constantlybrefeerebtinthe classic holiday candy creme drops as “nigger toes” despite my obvious intolerance for such behavior.
    They continued, only now…. My 2 beautiful angels were In the middle. My father continued his abuse.
    When my daughter was 8 weeks old, their father decided that he needed a break and disappeared. I was left with no one to rely on but the very people and circumstances I had tried to escape my whole life. I was forced to take a job in my home town so my parents could help me with childcare. I was forced to leave my current job to take a new one close to my hometown so my parents could keep my children. I had been working there about a month and One day my father lost it and hit me in front of my daughters then hit my oldest daughter for crying because she was scared. Then it hit me. I’m a white single mother of two biracial children with a racist family and no way to protect my children. I worked at my job later that week everything went well. On Monday I had to turn in some papers from orientation. I didn’t have child care for my daughters so I took them with me. When I entered the hospital it was as if people had seen a ghost. No one acknowledged us. Me or my children. I turned in my papers and left. I didn’t think much of it until I showed up at my job the next weekend to be greeted by security and my manager in the human resources office with an already printed termination letter. When I asked for the reason I was being terminated I was told that I just wasn’t right for this ER. No clinical reason. No valid reason. I was told that they were not going to contest unemployment. So let me get this straight, you’re firing me but you’re gonna give me unemployment because you feel bad about it, and don’t want me to sue for discrimination. Ok got it. Everywhere I go with my children people are constantly stopping us to say, “hello, you’re children are beautiful,” “you did good,” “oh look at that beautiful hair,” “are they yours.” So I know it’s not everywhere or everyone, but why does it exist at all?
    So, When asked my thoughts on being a single white mom of 2 non white children I wasn’t sure how to put it into words. The only thing I am sure of is that they are my perfect, beautiful, rainbow babies that are truly a gift from God. It is my duty, and my duty alone to love them, provide for them, protect them, and teach them at all costs. I know that I have to be the woman that I want my children to be. I have to recognize and accept reality in order to Prepare them for the day when someone will try to make them feel inferior because of the color of their skin. Failing at being able to teach them the reality of being African American in a racist world is my greatest fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      Nigger toes. Jesus Christ. You know, Im pissed at all those racist people. But, if everything is as you aay it is, Im pissed mostly at their father.
      I hope things start to fet better for you, if they haven’t already. Thanks for reading, commenting, and doing what you do as a mom.

      Like

  6. Cami says:

    This is one of your best, Robert. I feel honored to have had a very small part in it. I really believe that all we can do is try…. And prepare them to the best of our abilities although, we never really know what exactly they will experience. I am thankful for my very small run-ins with racism. They were learning opportunities for me to enhance myself and very important teaching opportunities for my kids. Number 1: This is something that you might experience, how do you feel about this, you are special. And then Number 2: Don’t be like this and always try to judge people on their terms and not your own. Be tolerant.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary says:

    Great blog. As a single mother of a son who is half black and Hispanic, I must say I can not raise or teach him how to be one. Nor can I show him how to be a man in general but I do try to surround my son with positive male role models within both families and friends . It’s not what race a child is but who you raise him to be. A single mother can instill values, morals , how to respect women and all that. Now when it comes to being a man we can not if the father is not around I suggest find the next best thing someone who is not only positive but is successful, someone he can look up to and become a great man . So yes woman can raise any child of any race it’s all in how you raise him and what male figure you choose to help lead the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fallon says:

    Rooks, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog and your thoughts on this topic. I commend all of the women who are doing it alone, being strong examples of a good mother to their children. Although I am a mostly black woman raising mostly black children (that are female), I do understand the difficulties of not having a man around. My ex husband and I have shared custody of our children but I notice their behavior is different with me than with their Dad. They become much more unruly without the presence of their father and not for lack of discipline on my part. There’s just something different about Dads and what their presence means in a child’s life. I can’t imagine how much more difficult the scenario would be if I had boys rather than girls. There’s some things only a man can instill inside of another growing man. Of course we (women) can love our children and raise them properly and to the best of our ability, but we can’t take away the significance of a male figure in their lives, helping to raise and instill values in them. In the long and short of it, all children (but especially boys) need their fathers to be active participants in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      I’m glad you’re one of the more mature mothers who can recognize the importance of a father in this day and age where we’ve almost made ourselves obsolete after the conception process. I agree with you, and am glad you’re doing all you can for your kids and to be a co-parent with their father still. Thanks for reading and commenting, Fallon!

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