The Black community has some of the highest rates in single-parent households. For folks who are active online, there is continuous gender warring. If the social climate of Black relationships is any indication of the future of the Black community, then things are looking very bleak.
Black females and Black males are currently in flux when it comes to having healthy relationships. If we are to be honest, things are very scary in the relationship category.
We are very aware that there are not many constructive relationships represented in the media. However, think about your own life and how many constructive or healthy relationships you see on a daily basis where both partners are African American.
Yes, every relationship has its ups and its downs. When you’re in an intimate relationship, people do struggle. There are various methods people utilize to get through the rough times. In the Black community, collectively, it seems as though the rough times have been going on for an extended period of time.
The ABCs of a healthy relationship
Before we can utilize the ABCs, you need to have the building blocks of the ABCs: communication, trust and respect. These are the keys to a healthy relationship and are at the base of the ABCs.
1) Be able to have open and honest communication of what you want and what your needs are.
2) Trust yourself first. If it does not feel right, more than likely it is not.
3) Respect is a must. Self-respect is the most important. Do not allow yourself to be mistreated. Be with someone who deserves to be with you. Self-respect is more powerful than a nuclear bomb.
The concept of legacy
Black females and males must have a concept of longevity and legacy. The current understanding on Black relationships is based on short-term benefits. However, to move forward we must think about how the current state is going to affect our children. Right now, the thing we pass down best to our children is emotional pain and trauma.
Developing healthy relationships will provide a foundation for the offspring produced in this union. Once this union is developed and maintained, it allows the offspring to replicate models on how to interact constructively within a family and community.
This foundation sets up the offspring to achieve more academically and build a better capacity to generate wealth. The advancement of the Black community is dependent on the health of our intimate relationships.
Conclusion: Build on the ABCs
If we, as a community, want to have relationships that are vibrant and healthy, you must start them in your own life. The ABCs are what everyone learns as the basics to beginning our understanding of communication.
As a community, we need to get back to the basics of what healthy relationships look like. In order for our community to have wellness, the relationships must be built on a strong foundation. With Awareness, Balance, and Conscious Choices, we will begin to produce relationships that build wellness for the future of the Black community.
This project is supported by Grant No. 2013-CY-AX-K008 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The authors welcome reader questions or comments to SSimmons@thefamilypartnership.org.