Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jill Scott Baby Daddy Break Up: Why Can’t Conscious Sisters Keep their Men or a Happy Home?

Today I was reading Essence online and saw that Philly phenom, Jill Scott is no longer with her fiancé and baby daddy, Lil’ John Roberts. Their son, Jett Hamilton is only a couple of months old, and the relationship has dwindled. I also recall a photo of a tattoo that Jill etched on her neck with his name, and he vice-versa. Now it is a wrap!

I think about E. Badu, who just ended it with baby daddy number three, and L. Boogie, who keeps having babies with a guy who is too generous with his ganja stick. Then, I look at all of the women I have known, old, young, fresh, broke down, and all those in between, including myself, and wonder what in the hell is going on. Why can we not have happy homes, including a mate?

Don’t get me wrong. Happy homes do not mean a strict definition of a two-parent family, a happy home means balance. Male energy or males in the structure of rearing a child does not have to be physically in the home. Many societies it is not. And truly, this close intimacy is a recent phenomenon. A child was always reared by extended family and the extended community. The onus of a child never solely fell on a nucleus family. That is so Euro-Christian-American. Yeah T.D. Jakes, back the eff up on that bS you be spewing. Anyway, the stress of rearing a child, and in this time, needs to be village-like. But damn, are villages are crumbling.

However, I know the mainstream question is, “You know all this African ish and you a baby mama? That’s a contradiction?” Though I like Badu’s response who told people that criticized her having her third child with the third rapper that they could “kiss her placenta,” we really need to look at this thing going on here. I know it is hard to live your life like a normal human in front of the camera’s eye, but unfortunately, this truth that we are seeing in Scott, Badu and Hill needs to be an introspective and reflective juncture in family and culture.

I think about this because family pasts do play a part in the blueprint. For example, Lauryn was reared in a two-parent home and she still is married, though many say it is a bizarre, unhappy union that they hope would end. Then you have Jill and Erykah who pay ode to the rearing of them by their mothers, and who are raising their children as single mothers, excuse me co-parents is the politically correct version. Is there a trend that we can't stop?

So let me dig a little deeper and use me as the focal point. I come from a household where my parents reared 6 children and are still married. Like all families, we’ve seen absolutely sunshine filled days, and then we’ve had our nightmares. But we are still loving, fusing and cussin’ it out together. And hey, sometimes we don't talk to each other at all. I am 33 years old and in a long-term relationship of 4 years, but it took me a llloooooonnnnnnnnggggggggggg series of quick, passionate flops to achieve this goal.

I would say that people describe me as “conscious.” I hate the word “conscious” because it has this funky, ass, ill-informed stigma, but for the argument, I will use the word conscious to indicate that I strive to be aware of myself, my ancestry, the world, the world around me, my spiritual growth, and overall development. It has manifested and taken me down many paths. And yes, I do wear my hair natural. Was raised in the braids, will die with a fade (or locks).

Okay, so what happened to me? First love affair, like many, I was a teen who wanted to be loved and felt lust and passion. Damn it hit me hard. Love. I didn’t care that he was a 19-year old middle-school drop out with cracked parents and serious issues he never worked through, but was manipulative as hell. He was beautiful, so complex, I thought. When I woke up I saw that the insanity of him and the blindness of me created a mixture of TNT. That ended.

Afterwards, I was in college and just did the college thing. I dated and had fun. That was forgettable...well, some of it. Of course, I was looking for the one, but nothing fit. And my father told me never to settle. So after many dances with the dirt at the bottom of the sea I thought that I’d give the foam on top a try.

Then when I thought I finally found HIM, he married another woman. I mourned and really pushed to find me. I began reading and doing more African dance. Going to lectures, and refining my artistic self. Spirituality and Iyanla Vanzant tapes. Do you remember those days when black women were really attempting to better ourselves and we got let down? Anyway. I was getting into me, some of me, but I thought I was whole and finished most of the task. Hah, I was wrong!

But the guys I met were for the most part were jokes. They were horrible Huey P. Newton throwbacks, sketches of what they thought “conscious” was, and all the stereotypes to go with it. Most of them never moved me so I went the international route, around the African Diaspora in six years. After traveling the world I came home empty handed.

By this time, relinquishing my personal freedom was not an option. However, I craved companionship. In many cases, I probably was seen as too tainted, too deadly, too spoiled, too Afro-bourgeois, or an untouchable. After tossing and turning, and playing with the hot-burning stove, I decided that what I really wanted was some calm. When I got calm, I accepted the now of being alone, and embraced the possibilities of sharing love. He is cool, but we are still working it out because relationships are a constant, everchanging dynamic that has you turning, tossing, yelling, and cooing.

Overall, this dating thing is for the birds. We all hope for a fairytale endings, but always get stuck with the horror films. Though my parents have been together for almost 40-years, the formula for staying together and making it work have changed, or at the very least, do not apply anymore. Unfortunately, few of us have found one that works. Though we want to hold “conscious” people as a standard, our framework for “consciousness” needs to be tweaked as well; especially, when it comes to relationships, starting with self.

For example, I was on the train and this guy was referring to his girlfriend as a "bitch". I was like "Really, are you for real?" And he was like, "yup." Damn, dude. We got so much work to do.

Let me leave you with this thought, like the diversity of people, awareness, and being aware have varied shades. At the same time, there are varied dimensions. In that, we must understand that being aware of the problem does not mean we have solved it. Blog on...kns

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