Ipoh Society, Africa, JAY discussed on Black History Year


Way of being is very, very harmful. So I don't see any redemption in that kind of individualism because what it ultimately puts forward. I mean, there can be healthy competition, but I think it puts forward toxic competition. And at some point, you are going to need support and aid from someone else. And so aggressive gross individualism will eventually turn in on itself for the person who is operating in that fashion. You mentioned this idea of the nuclear family and how that was not necessarily an African way of approaching family structure. So I'm curious in your research, what's your understanding of the different ways that family structures have looked and could look in a way that's beneficial to our condition today? So first of all, people have many mothers and many fathers. I think that's really, really powerful. And it's hard for us in the west to wrap our minds around that. I mean, I've talked to African people who said, when I was young, I kind of didn't even fully know who my real mother was. So in polygamous households, for example, or even just in households where there might not be any kind of poor marriages being practiced, your own biological mothers, sisters, they're your mothers. They're your mothers, your biological mothers, siblings, children. They are your siblings. They are not cousins. They are your siblings. So just think about what a sibling means versus a cousin typically. And it kind of western arranged family structures. And what a mother is. Just think about having many mothers and fathers. That's powerful already as a structure. And then you often had compound structures where oftentimes there was a period where there was the mother child unit. I know this is true for the ipoh society, which is, which is what I've learned from iffy yamato's work. Her book reconstructing Africa is just a powerful, powerful piece, and her book male daughter's female husbands is another great one. So the mother child unit where the mother provided for her children. It wasn't like they were sitting there waiting for the husband to go out and make all the money and provide everything. No, the mother, she farmed, she cultivated. She provided for her children as well. So there's that close kind of embrace what the mother, right? The mattress focal unit was such an important part of the family unit. And so also extended kin, which were just skin, right? What we would consider extended kin living around and being around in the family, different age groups, right? So multiple age groups of children for children to have older children and younger children to be in relationship with. That teaches that teaches children a lot, right? To not just be an only child or to not. So to have a family structure where they're learning from the older children and they're also modeling something for the younger children. Those kinds of structures, you know, I read something about western women, women in the United States in particular, having trouble in nursing their children, breastfeeding, and they were comparing women here to African women in this particular study. It was an extensive study. And what they found interestingly enough, you know, people have this idea, oh, it's so natural to African women. Even that is kind of a stereotypical way of questioning African women's womanhood or humanity kind of animal African women. Like, oh, just pull out a breast and everything is just working fine. And what the researchers found was that African women have as much trouble. Breastfeeding as western women. They have the, but they fix it more quickly, more efficiently, you know why Jay because their mothers who are oftentimes still young enough to really help out come and stay with them for an extensive period of time and teach them exactly what they need to do to get that baby to latch on to the breast. Do you know what I mean? So it's that kind of support, you know, people have to go to lactation specialists and but no, they have the same problems, but they have that community of support. It is a given that mom is going to come and she's going to stay for months, right? Things like that. So it is. A value system where people in the family unit. First of all, the family unit is large. It's extensive. People who are part of the family don't always live in the same household because of maybe cultural expectations because of labor, you know, their work, their profession. They don't always live in the same household. But other family members might live in that household. So there's a lot of flexibility, a lot of fluidity. There might also be visitors that become part of the family structure, so to speak. People visiting people passing through, people on their way. So what I would argue is that we brought those kinship structures with us. When I read about how black families after slavery, particularly those who acquired wide swaths of land, how they organized themselves, the historians are showing us that they organized themselves in very flexible ways, sometimes metric focal households, sometimes large extended kin. They were, they were continuing to practice those ways of being family. And that was demonized, especially with the morning hand report in 1965. That was demonized. What is wrong with black people? Why are they so poor? Why can't we overcome this poverty gap? How can we do a study to make the case that we need some sort of remedial program or programs to overcome this rather than address and attack the issue from the beginning, the anti black racism, the reduction of black people, two property, and the stolen wealth of black people, the unwillingness of this nation to allow black people to exercise their citizenship rights as even after slavery, right? When they actually became formal citizens and the terrorism that actual share terrorizing of black people for over.

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