Wow. My words are all in the jumbled up in my stomach. Before I continue allow me to insert who I am. I am a black woman, born in the United States, born of meager means that lives a life of privilege, yet I’m still impoverished. I have a deep concern and interest in black urban communities as it relates to religion, systematic oppression and simply put, all of everyday life. Therefore, I tend to be very critical of reality television. I’m leery of the truthfulness being hindered in order to promote a laugh at the cost of my brothers or a reduction in the image and character of my sisters.
I was asked 18hrs ago to watch a video and comment on it. The video entitled, “The Real Baby Mommas of Richmond.” Oh my! Immediately, I said what have we gotten ourselves into? Yes, I’m included because I think and have always thought that we are a reflection of each other. When an African American Woman doesn’t fit American standards, I’ve always measured myself asking do I fit. Fortunately, I’ve moved past that knowing that it’s very likely I will not fit and never fit because I was not designed to fit. So then, when one of my sisters allows her light to shine and benefit the community then I believe she sets an example for others like us.
So, I began to watch and listen to the introduction music. The lyrics were not filled with degrading lyrics, not full of drama, rather an affirmation of sorts- Baby Mamas have something to say. They are claiming their voice that is filled with an experience that is a source of wisdom and insight. The black female creator of the show is an entrepreneur, a woman of her environment wanting to tell real stories of real women and the real issues that we encounter. While I do not have children these are my issues too, because I am woman and I am black. But not only were issues highlighted but the essentials of the family unit, education, respect, struggles and owning our culture.
Media along with negative thinking friends have told us that “man ain’t no count” or “you can’t trust them.” This film seems to naturally highlight without intention the strength and courageousness of black men, ones who stand by their women helping them fulfill dreams. Dreams of creating a positive show about baby mommas; Fathers who do want to be and are good fathers, just unable to be with the mothers for whatever the reason.
And some of these reasons are not just because the black women are deemed crazy but because there is a world and culture out there that do not correlate. While this show as aimed to discuss the diversity of woman who have children in a positive way, the women did not leave out the men. Men are rarely if ever intentionally excluded from the family unit and in this episode men were able to speak to other men encouraging them.
Men like women need encouraging. It does no one any good to deny the struggles found in society and within self. This show reality show I would support because it aims to be authentic, people speak in the language and jargon of its own culture and compassion is shared.
Just a few topics touched on or discussed in length:
Incarceration, marriage, women,
Good women are over-looked, divorce, lack of pay in jobs, lack of healthcare or costly healthcare, cost of childcare.
The community often names us
Negotiating children within lesbian couples
Moving with nothing to nothing and finding something worth being proud of
Manipulation of parents
Responsibility of taking care of parents
Parents teaching children responsibility
Lack of self care
Death of a child who has a child
(FYI, I only watched about half of the show)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14YEGC74Sp8