Home > Motivational, Relationships, Story > Educated African Americans Need To Have More Babies…

Educated African Americans Need To Have More Babies…

I came across this article in a blog and found it very interesting. I always thought certain people need to stop having babies because we obviously have a problem with contributing to the behavior of african-americans in our communities. We’re not helping other races put away the stereotypes, give the government more reasons to help make high school students more successful and higher education more affordable for all students, not just Blacks, and most of all, kill the idea that funding the prison system is the only way to solve the problem of HELPING US.

I admit, I thought the only thing that could be done is addressing the people that want nothing out life and constantly having babies. The people that make it out the hood, I observed, just want to be able to maintain they have achieved with no troubles, especially from the hood they came from. Well, if you make it out the hood and you’re educated, give back to society… give us a baby!

Grrrr. The title of today’s blog was the subject line of an email I received yesterday on the BelleBerry.

*please note the clear distinction between what i’ve said and what I’ve quoted others as saying

Reluctantly, I opened it.

Double Grrr.

This is what the email said*:

Last weekend I attended my best friend’s bday dinner (the big 30)! A bunch of us were sitting around engaging in the regular banter of late 20’s/ early 30 young professionals. My BFF segues from into a story about a visit at her Ob/Gyn where her doctor, a white woman, begged her to start multiplying. The Ob/Gyn hoped not to offend, then told her more educated, professional AA’s need to start having babies and need to start having them soon, to balance out the craziness in our community.

She asked my BFF if any of her friends have babies (which none of us do). Upon hearing that we did not, her OBGYN was futher alarmed. She asked what is going to become of African- Americans if all of the educated folks continue to be baby free?

This really got me thinking. at that brunch table were all act right, educated, self respecting AA’s. And we’re ALL baby free? Then I thought about my circle at work and beyond who are mostly baby- free too. The more I thought about it, the more I realized my BFF’s OBGYN may be on to something!

The people in our community that need to produce the most are not and the people who need to stop producing, multiply like there is no tomorrow. What will happen to future generations?? We complain that there is a lack (in particular) of well mannnered, educated AA men. But if we are not getting married and having babies and in turn, raising well-mannered, educated AA men, who is to blame?

Back in the day, WEB Dubois proclaimed that we need to rely on the “Talented Tenth” to move us forward as a community. I would argue that the so- called Talented Tenth is failing our community. We are no longer getting married— or believing in marriage— and we are no longer reproducing (at the rate of other folks in the community).

I know your position on babies, but maybe we should re-think our position on not having children. We need more future Belles than not.

Oddly enough, I’ve heard this argument before. I mentioned a story briefly in the comments yesterday.

Three years ago

I’m in Hawaii with my parents. Some of their friends, practically family, stop by the suite for a chat. Their son, 9 months older than me comes by with his new bride. There sit the happy newlyweds, she on his lap because they’re in the “If I don”t touch you, I will die” phase. Sweet.

His mom starts up. “Belle, when do you think you’ll get married?”

Because she, or someone she knows reads this blog, I won’t tell you what my first thought was. “Um, What?”

“Marriage. When will you get married?”

Marraige, unlike say, going to get a master’s isn’t something you just can do. It’s not like you fill out a bunch of applications and then sumbit to five great schools and two safetys because someone’s got to take you. So I never understand why people ask “when?” like I have a surefire way of meeting The One or shaking a Magic 8 Ball and it reveals a date, time, and location I should show up in a white dress.

That, and I hadn’t even thought about marriage. Not a blip on my radar at 27. Not even sure I’m interested in the whole idea ever now.

“You know,” I say, devising the most dramatic way to finish my thought and get the biggest reaction. “I’m not sure I even believe in marraige.”

She sputters. Her husband slams his drink down in shock. The lovebirds in the corner aren’t paying attention and could care less about anyone else in the room. My father raise his brows briefly and take a sip of Absolut. My mother grimaces and quickly recovers. My parents are used to by speals. My father doesn’t rattle easily, like me. My mother is all manner of embarassed that I won’t get with the program.

“You don’t believe in marriage?” Dr. C. bellows. He’s been my home doctor as long as I can remember. For the year I had no insurance, he saw me for free to make sure his friend’s kid didn’t up and die. I was expecting this reaction from his wife. But she’s still in shock. I quickly do a tally in my head of the amount of marriage in the room. 60+ years, not including the newlyweds.

“How can you not believe in marraige?” He launches into a soliloquy that sounds about the guest’s BFF’s Ob/Gyn. Apparently, it’s my duty to procreate and educate the Black race? If I die, who will replace me? I owe the race at least a child, perhaps children to keep the eductaed and upwardly mobile in existence. What?!I blame his Howard education on this. All that radicalism in the 60s back when he was there.

We go back and forth until the guests are sufficiently rattled and baffled and I’m no longer amused by the ability to rattle and baffle them. That’s what they get.

My thoughts on procreating on behalf of the race, which I relayed in response to the guest’s email:

I resent the idea of being told what to do with my time and my body by anyone. Having a kid isn’t like buying a car or a house that you can sell when you’re tired of it. Raising a child is a monumental responsibility (time, emotion, finance, etc.) and should only be done when and if you are ready.

I’m not so keen on the idea of popping out a baby without a husband. Or putting further societal pressure on women to reproduce. I think they get that enough.

I didn’t add this in the e-mail, but isn’t this idea a lil elitist? I mean, we’re talking about DuBois and The Talented Tenth, ie ideas from the 1900s!! (literally. His original article about T3 was published in 1903.) Do we still need a Talented Tenth to move the race forward? Doesn’t this idea have an overcurrent of elitism and classism? Isn’t all very “stop ‘them’ from taking over?”

I relay the email to my bestie, Tariq. He’s bourge only when it counts, like for Black tie functions. Otherwise he’s tipping back Henny or what ever has the highest proof percentage and watching the game like every man re: of class, creed or color.

His surprising repsonse:

I can agree with that… it’s our duty to continue the legacy, so our kids can have something. It’s how you build old money, as opposed to all the “shikas” and tanya’s kids being the first to go to school and alll that stuff. We can build continuity by having kids, it uplifts our “race”…

Is it about to be 2010 or 1910?

EDIT: VerySmartBrothas is discussing the very same topic over on his blog today from a male POV. His post is “1984 and More: Spreading (the right) Seeds:

In summary:

my mom lamented the fact that neither i nor any of my close friends have any children yet, but these fertile hoodrats are popping out kids by the bushel. basically, how will black america prosper if people like you (educated, no records or missing teeth) are waiting longer and longer to maybe get married and maybe have one child while d-block and chardonnay are producing a new seed every 14 months?

although she was half-joking, she brings up a valid point. as much as we love creating blogs, stores selling 8 dollar cupcakes, and internet p*rn, our main purpose here is to procreate and continue the species. if this trend continues, we (the very smart brothas and sistas) will basically make ourselves extinct, or at least so overrun by swarms of oddly-named hood spawn that extinction wouldn’t seem like such a bad idea

Unquestionably, this idea is elitist. Is that bad?


Kudos to A Belle In Brooklyn

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