Although Mother’s Day is in May, for Black History Month, we’d like to take the time to bring to your attention an important aspect of Black culture. And that is the love and support for and from a mother. While this, obviously, does not solely belong to Black culture, when it comes to the world of Entertainment, Black mothers are the most visible.
Cissy Houston, Afeni Shakur, Voletta Wallace, Janice Combs, Ann Jones, Gloria Carter, Tina Knowles, Donda West and more are recognizable by face and/or name from most of our community, largely in part due to their children. And it’s no surprise.
With statistics stating nearly 64% of African-American children do not live with their father, nearly half of those are belonging to the absence of fathers all together; and 9.2% of which is due to incarceration. Even so, absentee fathers isn’t only a “black thing.” Statistically, 1 out of every 3 (36.3%) of American households are vacant of biological fathers.
While it’s important, though too easy to lecture and rebuke failed Black fathers, it’s more important to put the cycle of abuse and absence in perspective first. As fathers today do not have to face the hardships that warranted freedom and fervor like the newly popularized story of ex-slave Jordan Anderson who fought for the return of his children, many issues of shame and abandonment created during that institution play a factor today.
Speeches from Obama, and so-called inspiration from Jigga will not do the trick to change things. The easiest answer to ‘what will?’ is a change in the self-esteem and available responsibility within the culture. Still, one thing you can count on is that the mother figure has and will always be there for comfort (for many).
In the world of hip-hop and r&b, African-American mothers are often praised for the determination and support their children received that helped them achieve the astounding feats they overcame. There’s hundreds of songs mentioning, detailing, and celebrating mothers. Historically, Black mothers have helped birth and guide the leaders of our nation with plenty of obstacles and deterring ailments in the way.
Here are a few favorite clips/songs of some of our favorite modern-day men who overcame the absence of their fathers, speaking, interacting, and singing about the important impact their mothers played in their lives.
And there’s a lot more where that came from. Who is your favorite mother/child pair, listed above or not? What are your thoughts on the importance of mothers and the absence of fathers in a child’s life?