There is a saying that mothers love their sons and raise their daughters. This perspective is evident in the way that girls grow into women. For all the ceremonial culture that we lost when we were ripped from the Motherland, women still maintained a strong foundation of social and even physical rites of passage to build on.
As girls, we learn hard life lessons. In our families and in society, whether good or bad, we have clear definitions of what it means to be a woman. We follow the Mother Figure in the home. Our mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and the women in our community ALWAYS talk about what it means to be a woman. Keep your head up and your dress down. Books before boys. Cook a pot of rice and pick the peas properly. You got your period? Don’t be bringing no babies up in here. Keep a clean house and sweep the yard. Do well in school. Iron your clothes. Get a good job. Always have on a clean panty — you might get into an accident. Keep your weave tight and your nails fly. Get your own money. Get that man’s money. Whatever it is, every family has its own values but it’s always clear.
So, for girls, the opportunity is there to rebuild Rites of Passage, the more structured and ceremonial side of becoming a woman. And what about the boys? What ideas do you have around using a structured Rites of Passage system to teach our children how to be women and men? If you know of any resources, please also post them here.
In the News: Black is coming back! Share your ideas for the Black Woman and Child magazine relaunch at www.blackwomanandchild.com.
Black Woman and Child is in the process of developing a pre-natal program for women who are 12 weeks or further along in their pregnancies. We need your input! Did YOU ever attend a pre-natal program? What did you think or feel about it? Did the program help to prepare you for childbirth and parenting? Did it have an impact on the kind of parent that you are today? After the program, did you have any additional contact, bonds, with the other parents who participated? Please post your comments here or send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback is greatly appreciated so thank you in advance!
The holiday season is fast approaching. How does your family spend the holiday season? Does your family observe special holiday traditions that have been passed down generation after generation?
Christmas, Kwanzaa or your own tradition…?
We want to know. We are looking for families to share their holiday traditions to be included in an article for the Holiday edition of Black Woman and Child Magazine. Deadline: October 31, 2008.
Post your comments here OR email email@example.com.
This is a public service information request. In the Winter 2009 edition of Black Woman and Child magazine (November 2009), we are working on a piece about blended families. Meaning, he has a child from a previous relationship, maybe you have a child as well. And now that you are together, maybe you have more children together. How is it working for you? Are you able to balance the needs of the children, previous partners, grandparents, society and, if you’re lucky, yourselves? Are you happy? Do you have any advice for others in a similar situation? Is there anything that you wish you could do differently? Please share. Your comments could go a long way in supporting one of our readers — and, if you are interested, you could even be one of our featured families for the article. Let us know where you live; our goal is always to go global as much as possible. If you don’t want to use your real name, just don’t.
To find out more about BWAC, visit www.blackwomanandchild.com.
Project Butterfly Book by Niambi Jaha-Echols
Now available from the Black Woman and Child Mama’s Market:
- Project Butterfly: Supporting Young Women and Girls Through the Transitions of Life – a great book written by Niambi Jaha-Echols.
- Also available – the corresponding write-in workbook.
Niambi made a great presentation at the recent Family, Culture and Lifestyle Show in Toronto on June 28. Exerts from her speech will be posted here on Blog Woman and Child. Stay tuned.
To get your own copies, visit the Black Woman and Child Mama’s Market at http://nubeing.com/bwac/market/mamasmarket.htm.
Wow, I was just reviewing some newsletters we produced in 1999 and found a quotation by Susan L. Taylor. In getting ready to start the new year, I thought this would be a good piece to keep in mind:
“Stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off.
Stop waiting until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy…Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” — Susan Taylor