Breaking The Chains: A Cycle That Plagues Black America
Now more than ever, it is time for the black community to start a change in our communities. With the stress of being raised in a home to a single mother of three, the rules differed. My mother was raised in the south during Jim Crow in Little Rock, Arkansas, so my morals come from a southern place taught to respect our elders, speak when you enter a room, clean up your mess, everybody sometimes loses, etc. My counterparts are probably asking or saying I grew up with the same issues. However, it isn’t the same. Let me explain why!
My grandmother just turned 84 this year, which would place her birth year in 1936. My grandmother’s father, my great grandfather, was a slave-making his father the slave master. There are reasons that I understand now the “spanking” aspect of growing up and how in black communities, our traumas are passed along to generations. Imagine being disciplined as a slave from “whippings” and then (her mother and father would punish my grandmother) would discipline their children in the same way a slave would be punished.
Traumas are carried down from generations of suffering. Today, my grandmother is not in the mindset of spanking anymore. Now, I realized, looking back, that my grandmother was working her hardest to break the cycle. I am sure that is something she attempted to change in herself. Now, more than ever, I do understand my upbringing. My grandmother did the best she could with what she knew — however, I decided to break the trauma cycle. The abuse I dealt with was more than just “spanking” looking back; it was toxic.
When black people speak about “black trauma,” some are not aware that that is a real thing in our community. Some people are okay with spanking their children. I have learned to understand my children. Talk to them more about what is going on. Just because they are children does not mean their voice does not matter.
You want your children to be able to talk to you. There are other ways to discipline children other than spanking. Boys are allowed to be sensitive; however, that is not the case in some families. These are the issues that we need to become aware of and attempt to change.