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Recapturing Black Family Strengths

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Attitudes are Basic - They Shade Our Actions

Fatalistic attitudes breed failure. They thrive on hopelessness. If the majority of Black people believe the Black Family is in crisis and accepts that statement as the knockout blow, we deny God’s plan, purpose, and power in his creation of family: “I am come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:106.

Conversely, if the majority of us are driven daily by the hope and trust in God’s attitude -- Lord Jesus Christ -- our hope; we release the so-called Black Family in crisis from our thought pattern; thus freeing us to prayerfully invite him to show us, guide us and walk with us and we with him through the abundant myriad of opportunities, that we may, indeed, have life more abundantly -- a reward of fully embracing his hope and love for us.

God desires to walk the walk with us. Do we really desire this walk? Deliverance, foremost, from the absence of the essential father in our families stands to be a mighty blessing.

Speaking of our strengths, the Black Family has an unparalled and unique legacy of endurance, overcoming and achievement against tremendous odds. “Given the obstacles we have had to overcome, we are truly an amazing people.

Despite many devastating handicaps imposed on us, we have achieved excellence in many fields of endeavor. We have our great humanitarians, our great athletes, our great entertainers, our great professionals, and our great religious leaders” (Hank Allen - The Black Family 1991).

One of the greatest assurances of family stability is the presence of the essential father -- his provision, protection and guidance to family members. This absence, this void poses the greatest threat ever to recapturing the faith and strength that have gotten us over and to where we are today.

The trend must be reversed or else family dissolution, despair and discord will eventually consume us.

Consequently, an entire generation of boys is growing up, some without the faintest idea of what it means to be a man. The essential father in the home is the beginning point.

The church, in particular, where families are intact could well ask questions of itself of how we may draw more on this strength as an example of how Christians in the African-American community can work together to provide knowledge, wisdom and how-tos on biblical family life.

The Institute for Black Family Development believes and documents that some of the solutions to recapturing our strengths are being generated by the Black community itself. To that end the institute has identified individuals and Christian organizations nationwide who are dealing with the problem of the Black family in imaginative and innovative ways.

These successful self help activities and models are rooted in the premise that solutions can be by capitalizing on the strengths and success within our community. All is not gloom and doom -- another attitude we cannot allow to prevail.

Recapturing those strengths in our legacy of overcoming anyhow, is a distinct opportunity in the midst of the so-called crisis and all the bemoaning. What is needed -- man in the home whose full-time occupation is to be the essential father, but a carpenter or whatever to pay expenses.

Minister Hugh Jackson and his wife help African American young males by teaching them the dynamics of becoming men and succeeding at it, empowering them to lead families, helping build communities from a foundation that is spiritually rooted -- raising up a generation of 21st century men who will take the Black family to the next level.

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