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Showing posts with label Michelle Obama Grandmother Marian Robinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michelle Obama Grandmother Marian Robinson. Show all posts

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The African-American GrandMother.

We in the African-American community has always looked to the grandmother as the caregiver and conveyor of traditional values in the African-American family. Through slavery it was the grandmother that set standards for suitable behavior throughout the family. That's why I am not surprise that Michelle ask her mother to come aboard and help watch Malia and Sasha. Grand mothers were considered by African tradition the guardians of the generations. While the black family has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades, the one thing that has remained constant has been the role of grandmothers to enrich lives, generation by generation. They remain an important source of knowledge and stability in Black families. Grandmothers help us understand the past and encourage us to hope for the future. They preserve and strengthen the values we hold most dear - compassion and generosity; responsibility and tradition. I remember the song Bill Withers had called “Grandma’s Hands." Hands that picked, taught and praised. I don’t have Grandma anymore, but I have a lifetime of memories. When I get to heaven I’ll look for Grandma’s hands.

But the traditional African-American grandmothers role has change alot through the years. For many different reasons culture, HIV/AIDS, street violence and drug addiction. To most of our grandmothers today it's a burden and it's beginning to show. The traditional grandmother role is coming to an end. I remember going to visit my granny every Sunday after church. My grandmother role was not my caregiver she was my granny. Her house is were you got to spend the night and get some granny love. This role for many African-American grandmothers has move from the giver of love to caregiver and provider of social and emotional support.

The single parent home, is adding to the end of the traditional grandmother role. In my opinion a grandmother is the life support system that every working mother needs and they are reliable. My grandmother raise 2 of my cousins because their mother died when they were babies. Grandmothers today suffer more stress and health issues because of more and more dependence on them. Some grandmothers are still being mothers to their own children. Today younger grandmothers may not play the traditional role in their family for years down the road. Because of their age, employment and an active social life which could keep them from being the traditional grandmother that many children need. So, I think Malia and Sasha has gotten a great deal an old fashion grand mother.