By Roy Douglas Malonson
Marilyn Poole stated some time ago that, “Of all our social institutions, the family is perhaps the one with which we are most familiar. As we proceed through our lives, our experiences within the family give rise to some of our strongest and most intense feelings.
Within the family context lies a paradox, however: although most of us hope for love and support within the family — a haven in a heartless world, so to speak — the family can also be a place of violence and abuse.”
In spite of the ills that may allude from a family setting, it is nevertheless the foundation to every person’s existence. One’s background and family values portrays a very important role in the direction of one’s future in most cases. Not only does the family has a bearing on one’s future but he environment and elements of one’s community as well. It has been stated that, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”.
Therefore, members of the Black community should be more apt to teach one another that there is life after misfortune, tragedy, and calamity. A great deal of times, individuals from within our community totally give in to their environment and life’s circumstances, when situations arise that are beyond human control. I have seen it happen over and over again whereas, the matriarch or patriarch of a family passes away and from that moment on siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews totally go in different directions and families are torn asunder.
In some cases children turn to habits that impose a long and tedious lifestyle of habitual criminal activity. As a community it is the responsibility of each of us as neighbors when we see one falling by the wayside to offer a word of encouragement or to assist that individual with the means to rising above his or her circumstance. Because the truth of the matter is that we all have some type of habit, disposition, or behavior that consumes our personality.
But with a combined effort if each one was to teach and/or reach one, it will create an effect that will positively yield productive results for members of the African-American community. Letty Cottin Pogrebin emphasizes that, “If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles.”