I spent the morning Googling positive black family images as a test. No surprise the first few links were to the Cosby show, then articles of “Favorite Black TV Families”. After that came the doom & gloom articles from NY TIMES, LA TIMES, etc on the harsh reality facing black families. Within the first two pages of my search, there was absolutely nothing of substance or value on the positive black families.
This is a problem. In the eyes of the media (and most Americans), the majority of black families are struggling economically and come from broken homes. While we aren’t all able to be well of financially, I fail to see how such blanket statements are applied to our entire race, while many other groups are not.
I made me think of why we created Grits & Grace. I have become so disgusted with everyone else speaking out on behalf of black mothers and fathers, telling their versions of our stories. The wholesome black family image was only afforded to those with the pedigree of Ivy League graduate parents and Jack and Jill sponsorships. Tasha and I, know this is not everyone’s reality. As mothers, with a voice and a platform we decided that we would take on the task of reimaging the black family narrative in media to fit todays black family. All of them. Not just the ones with feel good stories.
I will be the first to admit the black community as a whole has suffered severe disadvantages from institutional racism, lack of economic privilege and so on; but black families are not worse off than other race. By shining the spotlight on us, and pointing out the negative attributes that stemmed from said institutional policies, it lessens the capability of the majority.
It’s no secret that identity for large groups is formed by what others think of you. Representation in media is important because it shapes how others view you as a group. We started Grits & Grace as a way to showcase positive black families and our issues.
Reimaging the Black Family Narrative
The narrative presented about our community matters. It’s time we take the responsibility to craft a narrative that focuses on positive imagery for the black family and black community as a whole. We should no longer allow others to write our stories for us, as we can see, this method has harmed us over the years. And it’s getting worse.
Let’s show our children we have pride in who we are.
Let’s take our power back.
For so long we have had our stories written by others, or we have required others to speak on our behalf because mainstream won’t listen otherwise. It’s our turn to create media that represents the black family in positive ways. Positive racial identity in children is key to helping them develop and grow into healthy, well-adjusted individuals.
When it comes to children we need a place that can help black parents when it comes to issues related to racial identity attitudes, self-esteem and lower internalizing behaviors including depression, anxiety and anger management. While there are plenty of articles that speak to these issues from a parenting standpoint, our young black boys and girls need more. Guiding parents in how to help children to make positive self-statements and affirmations around self-identity, self-efficacy and academic achievement, requires more than “a, b, c” for many black families.
Creating a space tailored specifically for the needs of African American parents what we need.
There are more black families:
- cloth diapering
- off the grid
then you know. It’s time a community was created just for that purpose.
Grits & Grace Reimagines the Black Family Narrative
That’s why we created Grits & Grace. We were all raised differently. Parenting styles, behaviors, characteristics and strengths of the African-American family should be celebrated in a way that we all can relate to. There will be unpopular opinions, but that’s the beauty of it all.
To cultivate and promote positive narratives for the black community that inspires and supports parents and families in all areas and levels.
PASSION & PURPOSE:
Cultivate positive relationships and communities through an online community of like-minded individuals.
- Because we deserve to have our stories told.
- Because the world deserves to see us in all of our glory.
- Because focusing on kindness and love of the black family enhances amazing experiences for all and helps lessen’s life’s challenges when you’re able to relate to others.
- We want a community that seeks to lift and inspire.
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Water, melanin, bones, blood. In route to death, while I’m here, might as well get shit accomplished.
Photographer, fitness enthusiast, blogger, and mother of two.