Sunday, January 18, 2009

Michelle Obama Black Family Role Model?

By Tiffany Shorter

I look forward to Michelle Obama becoming the new First Lady in only a few days because she and her family represents not only the ideal American family, but also the ideal black American family. Historically, African American families have been weaken due to slavery making it possible for families members to be sold separately to different plantations.

Although slavery and segregation has ended, the African American community continues to struggle with building strong families ties. Over 40% of black men and women have never married and about 70 percent of children are born out of wedlock. Many black Republicans want to promote family values in Washington regardless that 2009 will bring a Democrat administration.

Black Republicans and the black community at large can benefit from the constant example of Michelle Obama who has successful balanced the demands of politics with the needs of her husband and children.

She can be the image that young black girls can aspire to other than becoming a teenage mom, which is a sad reality in our community. Although there are many successful black women such as Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Serena Williams and Mellody Hobson, none of them are married nor have children. Michelle Obama, regardless of partisanship, will be an exciting and motivating role model for black women and girls seeking to have stronger families.

Tiffany Shorter
is the editor of she has come to New York after living abroad in Belgium where she earned a Master’s degree in International Law from the Brussels School of International Studies.


Anonymous said...

You are correct that having Michelle Obama the First Lady will be a benefit for the American family. However, slavery is not the reason that African American families have been weakened. If that were true, then the single black family statistic would decrease, not increase, since emancipation. Please read Thomas Sowell's Economic Facts and Fallacies- or anything by Thomas Sowell for that matter- for more information.

Staff said...

I believe it is a combination of things, and yes slavery did reshape the black family. The argument is to what degree, Sowell and others argued that a carefree 60's value system caused the break down did not slavery. I believe that the effects of slavery combined with poverty and a 60's lifestyle had a toxic effect on blacks more so than others.

We know that slavery had an effect on the accumulation of wealth creation. As white families saved and passed there wealth on blacks were not given this chance until many years later. Common sense will tell you that the person who saves the longest will have an advantage over the person who was a former slave.

Anonymous said...

black families were weakened by the fed govt in the 60's with it's welfare state policy. Thomas Sowell documented this quite well. Slavery and racism, if anything, probably strengthened the black family because terrible events like that tend to create tighter bonds, particularly within families and communities.

Oh, and just so I am not misunderstood or taken out of context, that doesn't put ANY positive spin on slavery whatsoever.

The federal govt's policies resulted in generations of black families unable to care for themselves, and only within the last 20 years have they slowly started to come back, largely thanks to conservative, free market policies put in place by Ronald Reagan.

Unfortunately, we are returning to those failed policies with this new federal budget, not only for the black families, but for everyone now.

Anonymous said...

oh, and I do agree about Michelle Obama becoming a role model though, as long as her private life, not political, is the subject...

(I was the anonymous poster talking about Sowell)

interesting article