Black Child-Parents: The New Factor in Black Genocide (1979?)

In the Service of our Ancestors and African love,
Listen Seeker, I come in Peace,

“Many believe that parenthood, when it occurs in childhood, causes the child-mother to achieve emotional maturity rapidly. 2) In actuality, the child-mother’s emotional development stops progressing when she becomes responsible for another life. It may not resume until the child-mother is relieved of all responsibility for parenting and can continue her own maturation with the guidance and support of mature adults outside of the family circle.”

— Frances Cress Welsing

If only one article could be shared among African people, particularly young African people, this could certainly be a candidate.  Although nominally concerned with Black Child-Parents (children [teenagers] having children), this relates generally to emotionally immature parents, potential parents, caretakers and partners alike.  Although many objections can be raised (e.g. the minimum age for partnering, the specific definition of emotional maturity, and how emotional maturity can be transmitted, kwk) the richness of this article should not be understated.  Many of us can read the lives of loved ones and colleagues in this article.  Who doesn’t know of the mother with several different baby fathers who cares for her children up until they are 12-months-old, then puts the remaining burden on her mother, who did the same?  Who doesn’t know of the mother who is overwhelmed by her infant and entirely unprepared for the responsibility?  Who doesn’t know of the lay-about father who quarrels with his baby mother until he finally flees for his next woman?  Who doesn’t know of the woman who looks down on her mother so she treats men at a distance, pushing partnership away to eventually herself be a single mother?  Who doesn’t know of the child who acts out against everyone–or wishes to be the center of someone or anyone’s attention–and who doesn’t know how bad that can end up?  And who isn’t impacted by these people?

Many of us do not understand relationships.  We do not know how to judge a suitor.  Some of us are under the delusion that the suitor should be judged independently.  On the contrary, your suitor should be judged on their own merits, but also on the merits of their friends and then the merits of their family.  As a word of wisdom, when your suitor claims to not like their family, it’s likely because they are like their family.  Many men will visit their suitor’s father and ignore everything about the man, literally and figuratively inviting every negative quality of that man into their family; not exclusively through him, but through their suitor.  The same can be said vise-versa and of the mother.

As you read this chapter, consider the above.  For some men and women, it’s too late to have an emotionally mature partner: partly because many of us have not reached emotional maturity (otherwise why be in a relationship with an emotionally immature person?)  However, for others, this should be a wake-up call to be serious about with whom you partner.  Particularly, as the emotionally immature can stunt your development and your offspring’s, and that fate can be miserable, to say the least, and few can expect both parties to stick around in every capacity.  Note, between men and women, it’s poorest for women, as men can initiate reproduction but typically are the party to flee; of course children suffer the most.  Emotional Maturity, which is here correlated with one’s struggle on behalf of African people, should be among the higher priorities of young African people today.  Without further delay (please excuse my [Onitaset’s] transcription errors),

Black Child-Parents: The New Factor in Black Genocide (1979?)
by Frances Cress Welsing in “The Isis Papers” (Chapter 22)

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The levels of collective self-consciousness and self-respect that a
people carry can be determined accurately by the standard of care and
development it demands for all of its young- the future of the people. It
is virtually impossible, in the final quarter of the 20th century, for 99.9%
of Black teenage male and female persons to raise children who will be
emotionally strong, stable and capable of functioning effectively under
the stress of a racist society. The very dynamic that produces the
pathological situation wherein children attempt to have and rear children
is designed to ensure Black functional inferiority. Yet, 25% of all Black
children born today in the U.S. are born to Black teenagers. This means
that, at the very least, 25% of all Black children will suffer in terms of
their development and will be impaired in their potential to function
effectively under the stress of racism. I refer to the failure to ensure the
maximal development of the genetic potential of all Black children, as
well as the ultimate waste of this genetic potential, as Black genocide.

During the American slave era, Black teenage females were forced to
breed baby after baby and were prevented from actively caring for the
development of these slave babies. There was no concern for these human
beings reaching maximal levels of their genetic potential. This lack of
concern for the development of these young human beings was enforced
by racist slavemasters and slavemistresses. Today, just as in the slave
society, Black teenage girls are caught up in a similar destructive dynamic:
producing human beings who subsequently are subjected to low-level
development and treated in inhuman ways.

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The more complex a social system becomes, the higher the level of
emotional maturity and formal education needed to negotiate that system
successfully. Often, the ultimate level of functioning reached by children
is correlated with the level of emotional maturity achieved by the parent(s)
prior to the birth of the child. In brief, emotionally immature and poorly
educated parents raise children who are more likely to fail than children
of emotionally mature and well-educated parents. Although income is an
important factor, it is a less important factor than emotional maturity in
successfully rearing a child–particularly a non-white child living under
the conditions of white supremacy.

The following comments have been made to me by Black teenagers
who either already have become parents or are contemplating becoming
parents:

1) “Dr. Welsing, I’m sixteen, I know I’m grown.”
2) “Dr. Welsing, I’m gonna have my baby. Nobody’s gonna take my
baby from me. I’m not going to let those doctors kill my baby. I’m not
gonna have no abortion.”
3) “Dr. Welsing, all of my friends have babies; I want something of
my own too. I’m not going to have an abortion. I’m going to love my
baby.”
4) “Dr. Welsing, my baby’s gonna love me. I want somebody to love
me. My mother and father don’t love me. Nobody loves me. My
parents act like teenagers, they don’t know what they are doing.”
5) “Dr. Welsing, I know I can take care of a baby!”
6) “No, Dr. Welsing, my boyfriend doesn’t have any job, but he’s
gonna take care of me and my baby. He says he can. He’s 17. He’s
gonna get us an apartment. No, we didn’t finish school; we don’t go to
school anymore. I mean we go, but we don’t go to no classes.”
7) “Dr. Welsing, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have no baby
when I’m young. I just didn’t know no better.”
8) “Dr. Welsing, my boyfriend, he’s gone. I thought he wanted the
baby too.”

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9) “Dr. Welsing, l’m 19. My boyfriend, he’s 19. He gets mad at my
baby- it’s our baby- when he cries. He hit the baby one time. Some
times I feel like hitting the baby, too.”
10) “Dr. Welsing, I just didn’t know how to be no father. I never had
my own father at home.”
11) “Dr. Welsing, my girlfriend can take care of that baby by herself
with the welfare.”
12) “Dr. Welsing, my mother had me when she was fifteen. I don’t
see why she’s telling me I don’t want my baby. I don’t see why I can’t
do what she did.”

All of the above statements have been made by teenage children. These
are not unusual statements. Teachers, social workers, doctors and coun
selors working with young people have heard similar comments as they
talk to Black teenagers in the U.S., where the incidence of Black children
parenting children has reached epidemic proportions.

Elaborate programs are being established to counsel teenage parents
(especially teenage mothers); special education and prenatal, obstetric and
gynecological programs are being established to assist the child-mothers;
classes on nutrition are being organized; courses on sex, anatomy and
physiology are given. And, while all this is happening, no one is raising
the most critical question: “Can Black children (teenagers) be effective
mothers and fathers to persons who must function in a highly complex,
technological society that is extremely racist and oppressive to Black and
other non-white peoples?” Another critical question that has not been
answered is: “Why are so many teenage children engaging in this high
degree of sexual activity and producing children for whom they are unable
to provide sufficient care?” Is there an underlying social dynamic that is
forcing on children this pattern of destructive behavior that borders on
homicide- most certainly, emotional and psychological homicide? If so,
what is it? What are the implications for future generations if this pattern
of behavior continues? Are we prepared to reap the whirlwind?

In my clinical view, having functioned as a psychiatrist for adults and
children for the past decade, I have found that there is an absolute

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difference between simply having a child (being able to give birth as a
female and being able to initiate the reproductive process as a male) and
possessing the developed concrete ability to socialize a new human being
for high-level functioning in a complex social system. Based upon my
experience in public mental health centers and as a psychiatric consultant
in the system of welfare services to families and children in a large
metropolitan area, I believe it is impossible in the late 20th century for a
Black teenager to be an adequate parent (mother or father). Further, if
Black people are ever to evolutionize their situation from oppression to
justice and liberation, they will have to shift their present patterns of
behavior radically such that marriage will not be considered before the
age of 30. In keeping with this approach, childbearing should not be
considered before the age of 32 to 35. This will provide both parents
sufficient opportunity to maximize levels of emotional maturity and to
work to overcome deficits experienced in emotional development during
their own early years.

There is an African proverb that states, “the hand that rocks the cradle
rules the nation.” I will paraphrase it: “The level of emotional maturity
in the hand that rocks the cradle determines the fate of the nation.” A
people on their sojourn through time (history) are somewhat like a ship
on the ocean. If many people aboard the ship have extensive knowledge
of the sea and navigation, that ship will have an excellent chance of
reaching the desired destination. On the other hand, when the people
aboard a ship lack knowledge of the sea and navigation, more than likely
the ship — should the sea become at all rough — will flounder into
destruction.

Black people in the U.S. are in a parallel condition. The critical
decisions that Black people make now about Black children becoming the
parents of other Black children will determine whether the ship reaches
its destination intact or flounders off course and sinks, bringing almost
certain death to all. If present conditions persist, history will record that
Black people living in the U.S. failed to survive the 20th century A.D.
This failure will occur, not simply because they were a captured and

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oppressed people, but because they permitted themselves to become a
blind people without any social vision or understanding. History may
record that Black elders, fathers and mothers had no vision, and therefore
the Black children became stupid, thinking that they could nurture some-
thing as precious as the life of a new human being. As a result of all this,
Black people perished.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the prophet Isaiah says, “Where
there is no vision, the people will perish.” Vision means the ability to
understand the present in its totality and to organize one’s behavior in the
present to meet successfully the challenge of circumstance, present and
future. A people that does not understand, and thus fails to teach each
generation that potential mothers and fathers must be able to carry out
certain basic functions (going far beyond mere material provisions) in
relationships with their children is a people without vision. A people
amongst whom just anyone produces a child, at anytime, without any
serious thought or consideration, without any group recognized standard
for parenthood, is a people on the brink of disaster. Black people in the
U.S. are at such a crisis point.

Many Black people’s understanding of the roles of mother and father
is limited to the view of mothers as females who simply give birth to
children and fathers as males who simply impregnate women. The act of
creating new life is taken so lightly that school children sing and joke
about it, being provided such songs by their elders. Record companies
make millions of dollars playing cheap songs about what fun it is to bring
a child into the world, when this should be the most highly respected
exchange between a man and a woman.

Yet, for us as a people, the definition of a parent is becoming limited
to a person who has participated in producing an offspring, even though
many of these persons are unprepared to participate fully in the develop-
ment of those offspring. In effect, no real progress has been made from
the time when we formally were considered as breeders of human beings
who were viewed as having no true human worth, merely things to be
used and misused. Thus a Black mother can be a 10-, 12- or 16-year-old
female. A Black father can then be a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old male.

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The following statistics are reflective of the extent to which these
limited definitions are operative amongst large numbers of Blacks.
Teenage mothers account for about half of the out-of-wedlock children
born to both Blacks and whites in 1976. Approximately 25% of all Black
children are being born to teenage mothers. Virtually all unwed teenage
mothers (93%) keep their babies. Twenty-five percent of teenage mothers
get pregnant again within a year after their first baby and 15% within the
second year. This tendency of repetition condemns many girls to a life of
poverty, poor education and welfare. In all too many cases, teenage
mothers do not finish high school, and they find it more difficult to get
jobs. Their children also are condemned to lives of poverty and stress.

Teenage motherhood presents many serious complications. Large
numbers of these teenage mothers are poor and ignorant of medical needs.
They do not receive adequate prenatal medical care or nutrition. Those
girls in their early teens who become mothers are not physically fully
developed and, therefore, they are less able to bear the physical strains of
having a baby. According to recent figures from the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare, teenage mothers have higher death rates,
more anemia, more toxemia, more hemorrhage and lower-weight babies
than women in their twenties. Also, the babies of teenage mothers
are more likely to be born with birth defects than those of women in their
twenties. The above statistics must be viewed in the context of what is
happening to Black children irrespective of the age of their mothers. For
example, more than half of the Black children born in the U.S. during
1976 were born to unmarried women, according to a new report by the
National Center for Health Statistics. Just 13 years ago, 26% of all Black
children were born to unmarried women. Today, 40% of all Black
children live in families headed by women, compared to about 12% for
white children. Six years ago, the figures for Blacks was 30%. Female-
headed households now have become the new poverty group in the U.S.
Almost 33% of all Black children now receive benefits from Aid to
Families with Dependent Children.

Another indicator of the magnitude of the problem facing Black people
is reflected in the facts that follow. The District of Columbia has a higher

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percentage of Black citizens than any other major political unit in America
today. It has a Black mayor and a city council that is predominantly Black
It has the highest percentage of educated Black people of any city in the
world; it has a university that is referred to by some as “the capstone of
Black education,” and it has the major Black medical center and Black
college of medicine in the world; it has all of the highest level elected
Black officials in all of the U.S. working every day. Yet, this same city
has the highest rate of infant mortality of any state in the country. Even
the state of Mississippi has a lower rate of infant mortality. Further, there
is a wide disparity in Washington, D.C. between Black and white infant
mortality; 27.7 Black babies die for every 1,000 born, while there are
only 7.5 white infant deaths per 1,000 births. This high number of infant
deaths is not caused by teenage pregnancies alone. However, they do
contribute.

The point of this discussion about teenage parenthood is not to imply
that teenage people engaging in sexual activity are dirty or immoral or
that sex is dirty or immoral. This discussion is concerned with questioning
whether Black children are capable of fully understanding and carrying
forth effective parenthood. Particularly, are Black children prepared to
function together as mothers and fathers under the conditions of racism,
which is exceedingly complex and creates high-level stress for non-white
people?

Greater insight into this question is provided by the following con
clusions: 1) Examining numerous case histories of current Black teenage
parents, I have noted one major common denominator- a great percentage
of the mothers of the current teenage mothers were themselves teenagers
when their first children were born, just as their own mothers were
teenagers when they were born. In other words, the prior generations
consisted of child-parents. Many believe that parenthood, when it occurs
in childhood, causes the child-mother to achieve emotional maturity
rapidly. 2) In actuality, the child-mother’s emotional development stops
progressing when she becomes responsible for another life. It may not
resume until the child-mother is relieved of all responsibility for parenting
and can continue her own maturation with the guidance and support of

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mature adults outside of the family circle. If this burden is not removed,
there even may be emotional regression due to the overwhelming sense
of frustration brought on by the responsibility and stress for which the
child-parent is unprepared. The child-parent may begin to act more
immature than she did prior to the delivery. Any level of responsibility
towards the newborn then becomes too great for the child-parent to
handle. Some child-parents show a very short period of seeming respon-
sibility towards the newborn child, only to collapse after 6 to 12 months
of “imposed” responsibility. Many of these child-mothers begin to
develop resentment, anger and hatred towards their children. The
children are aware of these negative feelings, although they are unable to
articulate their experiences of emotional rejection and deprivation.
The impact of this rejection and deprivation soon is displayed in the
children’s disturbed behavioral patterns, particularly in the school setting,
where attention and behavioral controls are required. Eating problems,
extreme temper tantrums, stubbornness, excessive activity and excessive
crying may manifest before these children reach the age of school atten-
dance. This vicious cycle begins when the mothers, due to their own lack
of emotional maturity, fail to meet the dependency and emotional
demands of their newborn children. In 10 to 14 years, the new emotion-
ally starved children begin to act out sexually, attempting to have these
long-standing dependency needs met via sexual intercourse. If it is a
female child, very shortly thereafter she becomes pregnant. She blindly
believes she needs and wants a baby to satisfy her needs. As a result,
another generation of emotional starvation is set in motion. Another
generation is prevented from achieving emotional growth and maturity.
Often, the emotionally starved male child turns to drugs, frequently
heroin. The penis in the vagina for the female child and the heroin needle
in the vein of the male child are both symbolic substitutes for the desired
breast or bottle in the mouth that failed to take place sufficiently in early
infancy and childhood. When these methods fail, often the young person
turns to alcohol. Sometimes alcohol is used from the beginning. All of
these symbolic substitutes for the mother’s care are destructive.

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Beyond these activities, the child who eventually is abandoned by the
child-mother becomes convinced that he/she is worthless and not worthy
of deep “mother-love.” The child concludes that something must have
been wrong with him/her from birth for the mother to have abandoned
him/her. Either the mother released the baby to the care of relatives, the
welfare agency, the adoption agency or foster parents. The child is not
able to understand that the mother was too emotionally immature to
become a parent. The child only recognizes that 1) he/she was given away
by the mother, 2) the mother could not provide him/her adequate care or
3) the mother physically abused him/her (or allowed a boyfriend to do so).
The child summarizes it all as “I must not be worth anything.” All the
substitute care in the world by grandparents and others does not remove
this wound and deep-seated doubt about the self that remains with the
child for the length of his/her life, producing a severe distrust of and
alienation from others. This is one of the major reasons that many persons
enter psychotherapy as adults, primarily with symptoms of depression.
Children must enter psychotherapy because of the same problem but the
depression is masked by disturbed patterns of behavior.

The emotional and psychological underdevelopment of an entire
people can become chronic and permanent once this dynamic effects a
sufficient percentage of the population. As I have previously stated, 25%
of Black children being born in the U.S. are a part of this cycle of
emotional underdevelopment- the basis for functional inferiority. Blacks
would be horrified if anyone suggested the outright slaughtering of 25%
of Black children. Again, Blacks scream genocide when outspoken white
supremacists suggest sterilization of 25% or more of the Black population.
Yet, the aforementioned pattern of child-parenting, presently widespread
in the Black population, achieves exactly the same results. The only
difference is that with Black child-parents, the Black child’s death is more
painful and drawn out- a living death. It is a living death in this highly
complex society to be left unable to sit still in school and achieve
academically because of incorrect socialization. It is a living death for a
child to be shifted repeatedly from one foster home to another. It is a
living death for a child to walk the streets addicted to drugs or alcohol. It

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is a living death to be a school drop-out. It is a living death to walk the
streets as a prostitute. It is a living death to sneak around the street as a
thief. It is a living death to suffer the depression of unemployment
because you are uneducated and unskilled. It is a living death for a child
to be attacked by teachers and others for being “bad,” meaning his/her
behavior is unsocialized. It is a living death for a child to be confined to
a psychiatric hospital. It is a living death to spend. a lifetime locked up
behind the bars of a juvenile detention center or a prison cell. Depression
that results from not having had sufficient, patient and confident mother-
ing is also a living death. Many of these syndromes of living death lead
to forms of actual death such as suicide, drug overdose and homicide.
More often than not, these deaths are the direct result of children parenting
children.

All of the above are related directly and indirectly to the dynamic of
white supremacy, which necessitates Black functional inferiority. How-
ever, many of the above patterns of living death can be controlled,
countered and combated effectively only if the Black community – the
entire Black collective – is determined to re-program its individual and
collective knowledge, understanding and behavior toward the total
elimination
of Black child-parents. This re-thinking will increase the
educational and emotional maturity levels of all Black parents maximally,
first by elevating the acceptable (meaning, acceptable to Black people)
chronological age of Black parents for first births. In this way, Black
people consciously can start to neutralize the emotional and psychological
basis of Black functional inferiority that can begin as early emotional
deprivation based on parental emotional immaturity. By solving the
emotional and psychological basis of Black functional inferiority, we will
be placing ourselves in the best possible position to solve the sociopoliti-
cal
basis of Black functional inferiority- racism. By first consciously
controlling the emotional and psychological basis of functional in-
feriority, Blacks can begin to consciously and scientifically control and
determine the future of the Black collective.

All age groups in the Black population must understand that the most
critical factor in the development of a child is the level of emotional

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maturity achieved by the parents prior to the year of birth of the first child.
This level of emotional maturity is proven by the parents’ mastery over
the external conditions of racism, as expressed through patterns of be-
havior that are self- and group-supporting in all areas of people activity.

The levels of emotional maturity of the mother and father, coupled with
their levels of functional respect for and cooperation with each other
provides the foundation upon which emotional and psychological
development occurs in the child. The level of emotional maturity in the
mother determines the degree of sustained patience with which she can
relate to the infant. The level of emotional maturity achieved by the father
prior to the birth of the child determines the level of emotional support he
is able to give the mother so that in the first several years of life she can
give high-level emotional support and attention to the child. This support
will allow the mother to meet the child’s dependency demands complete-
ly. Also, it is important that the father is capable of exercising patience
with the child and capable of meeting the child’s dependency demands.

For example, oftentimes a person 14 to 18 years of age has achieved
only three or fewer years of emotional maturity, particularly in the Black
population where there have been many child-parents in previous genera-
tions and where many single mothers must leave young children in poor
care in order to go to work. In the event that the mother is emotionally
Immature, she will be incapable of meeting the dependency demands of
the child. Similarly, if the father is emotionally immature, he will ex-
perience the child’s dependency demands as an irritation and will find
himself competing with the infant child for the mother/wife’s attention.
These two immature parents often place inordinate demands upon one
another, as each is looking (unconsciously) to the other to be the idealized
mother that he/she never had. These demands cannot be met, and thus
these two child-persons end up with extreme frustrations and irritation
towards one another. Not only were they unable to provide emotional
support for one another at mature levels, but they were unable to provide
a basis for the emotional and psychological growth of the new generation.

If the parents lack the emotional maturity needed to meet the depend-
ency demands of the newborn child throughout its early years of develop-

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ment, when the child becomes of sufficient age to move outside of the
home, he/she will search the environment for a sense of closeness and
human warmth in an attempt to make up for the areas in which the parents
failed or were lacking. Soon, similarly emotionally deprived male and
female children will find one another. Having long ago discovered their
genitals, they will begin to seek physical closeness with one another.
They will do this through sex, not for the purpose of creating and caring
for new human life, but because it seems to them that they have found the
means for satisfying their long-standing hunger for emotional warmth,
security and the desire to be close to another human being. Mother could
not give this sense of prolonged closeness–either because she was too
immature and impatient or too busy working. Father could not give this
sense of closeness because hew as too emotionally immature, impatient,
tired or overwhelmed. And grandmother, also, became tired and
overwhelmed. So, unconsciously the children seek to gratify this need
for warmth through sexual contact with one another. But this does not
work because they are emotionally starved children who lack the emo-
tional development, stability and maturity to remain stable, emotionally
supporting partners for one another. Often the resulting pattern is that the
teenage male leaves the teenage female in search of another playmate.
The girl has a baby, believing that the baby will be something of her own
to hold on to, to be close to. Or, she believes that the baby will make the
teenage male stay — or return. When the baby fails to provide the
child-mother with a sense of belonging (because babies cannot give; they
can only demand) and fails to make the child-father stay or return, the
unconscious search for dependency-need-gratification and human close-
ness begins all over again. The result is another pregnancy. The cycle
continues.

These children who have become parent-children are in search of
mature, patient and quiet maternal and paternal love, warmth, instruc-
tion that they have not had from adults. Much of the difficulty adults have
in relating to these young persons comes from the anger they have
developed towards a whole society and world of disappointing adults who
failed to provide them with what they needed as dependent children. A

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child’s need for emotional sustenance from mature adults cannot be
satisfied with material purchases and provisions. It must be given directly
to the child through mature and patient support and understanding. It must
be given tot he child consistently over a sufficiently extended period of
time, such that the child gradually weans himself or herself from the need
for high-level support and need-gratification.

The ability of parents to provide high-level emotional support for a
child cannot be obtained from anyone’s crash course designed to prepare
the already pregnant teenage mother and father for their new respon-
sibility. These highly complex tasks cannot be prepared for by course
work or book-reading alone. These tasks must be learned through the
child’s own development experience over a period of years. It is a sham
to allow these teenagers to believe that they can somehow learn to be
long-term, effective parents when they are only emotionally immature
children. Teenage children who become parents know absolutely nothing
about meeting the emotional and developmental needs of a child. They
are looking to have their own needs gratified, needs that never were
gratified fully when they were infants and small children.

It is imperative that all Black persons in leadership positions fully
understand the emotional and psychological basis for sustained achieve-
ment in individuals. Early dependency-need-gratification during the first
six years of life is the essential foundation upon which all other stages of
emotional and psychological development (such as self-confidence, in-
itiative, sustained school achievement, sustained work achievement and
self- and family-support) are built.

All of the well-intentioned demands for excellence in school achieve-
ment and performance will be for naught if this critical factor of early
dependency-need-gratification is ignored in early infancy and childhood.
A child whose dependence needs have not been gratified is a child who
will be unable to learn, even if a school breakfast has been provided on a
plastic plate. The large percentages of Black children who attend public
schools in urban centers, unprepared to sit quietly and allow the teacher
to begin academic instruction, are in many instances the offspring of
parents who were teenage children when they attempted to begin parent-

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ing. No teacher, no matter how highly motivated, can meet the unmet
dependency demands of a classroom one quarter full of children who have
been parented by children. Yet, these dependency demands must be met
if the children are to pay full attention and learn.

Further, it is the exceptional child-parent who can help a child with
his/her homework patiently or encourage that child to be patient while
he/she learns to read, write or do mathematics. And, it is the rare
child-parent who is able to sacrifice personal desires in order to attend
PTA meetings so that teachers and parents can work together in helping
children to learn. The immature child-parents will find it far easier to get
lost in the fantasies of television, drugs, alcohol or in the rhythmic beat
of rock and roll music- the “rock” music being used, I am certain, in the
attempt to make up for the mother’s failure to hold, cuddle and rock the
child in infancy and childhood. Child-parents, in general, are concerned
with the normal interest of most children – simply fun and games and
parties. Also, child-parents who have their own unmet dependency
needs, often will find themselves too preoccupied with having these needs
met through constant sexual activity. They are then useless for meeting
the continuing needs of young children.

Blacks, as a people, must understand that Black child-parenting under
the stress of racism is group-destructive behavior, and as such it cannot
be condoned by the people; it must be controlled. Only older Black
persons can parent and instruct Black children toward success under the
stress of racism. In others words, correct behavior for Black people
attempting to end their oppression under racism is to prevent, by all
possible means, children from giving birth to, or parenting, children.

When the Black collective begins to understand that power is directly
related not to money but to correct behavior pattern organization, behavior
discipline and behavior control on the part of the individual and the
collective, the Black collective will be well on its way towards a new level
of political understanding (power) and maturity. These attempts to evolve
correct patterns of behavior under the specific circumstance of racism
become the tactics and strategies in all areas of life activity to achieve the
ultimate goal of liberation and justice.

(273)

It is incumbent on every Black person to begin to see the long- and
short-range implications of all patterns of behavior in which Black in-
dividuals and the collective engage. This recognition is necessary in
order to evaluate accurately whether the given pattern of conduct aids or
detracts from the goal of Black liberation. If the behavior detracts from
the long-range objective, it must be eliminated. If the behavior enhances
the achievement of the ultimate goal, it must be reinforced among the
people by their own individual willpower.

The Black collective must find ways to surround all Black children and
young people with sufficient emotional support, warmth, encourage-
ment and constructive activity. When this is done, they will not have to
abuse the act of self-reproduction, and they will mature to the point that
they eventually will be able to dignify the birth of every Black child and
lead those children toward full development. If Black people wait for
grant funds to become available for this to be achieved, all will be lost.
We should take it upon ourselves to establish a five-year plan for the
total elimination of Black child-parenting, so that by the year 1984 there
will be no Black child-parents in the U.S. Simultaneously, we should
take it upon ourselves as a collective to decrease Black infant mortality
and Black maternal illness and death drastically. We cannot say that we
respect ourselves until such fundamental objectives have been achieved
as they constitute the basis for developing a future for the collective. We
cannot state that we have reached maturity as a people until we are ready,
willing and able to take 100% internal responsibility for achieving our
articulated goal of libertaion and justice. We cannot teach the children a
level of maturity and responsibility that we, as older persons, have failed
to achieve.

3 thoughts on “Black Child-Parents: The New Factor in Black Genocide (1979?)

  1. Intellectual Maroon

    Excellent work! I’ll be using this for a men’s group that I will facilitate in the fall.

    Reply

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