Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Love and Hip Hop’s Mimi Faust is not the true representative of the black single mother
By Rachel Miller-Bradshaw

Black social media is on fire right now!  The release of +VH1's super trailer has plenty of ratchet (slang word meaning outrageous ghetto behaviour) story lines. But the most disturbing story line is the degrading and unbelievable behaviour of single mother +Mimi Faust, who has gone from an entrepreneur to an adult entertainment star in a matter of months.  In the +VH1 trailer Mimi says while shedding plenty of rehearsed tears, during a +Vivid Entertainment meeting that “she has a daughter.”  Interesting statement since she should have remembered this before she let her current boyfriend Nikko, a struggling rapper, press record on the camera.

Let’s be clear Ms. Faust is a single mother due to her choice in men.  Her child’s father, formerly successful producer,  Stevie J, is most known for his own leaked sex tape with rapper/actor Eve.  Despite his antics Mimi’s been dating him for over 15 years and in this time he has fathered 5 children by several women.  Not to mention during the first season of the show it is revealed that he is sleeping with his artist, Joseline, who later reveals to Mimi that she is pregnant with his baby that she later aborts.  By the end of season 2 Mimi is no longer with Stevie J and hooks back up with Nikko, her ex boyfriend, whom many speculate is an opportunist.  That’s all but proven now.   Ironically, Mimi ridiculed Joseline for her stripper past but she is now married to Stevie J and has never stooped as low as to enter into the porn world.

The one person that loses out in this situation the most is Faust’s five-year old daughter who will soon be taunted about her mother's sex tape by her schoolmates and judged by educators who have the job of teaching her.   Mimi has sent a negative message to her daughter.  Her actions have taught her daughter that she can exploit her body for profit, have men denigrate her, and easy income trumps achieving academic success.  Faust, a woman in her 40s, has also taught her daughter that she is not worthy of marriage.  Faust comes from her own broken family.   Her mother abandoned her when she was 13 years old to dedicate herself to her religion.

Let’s be clear if Faust was married or professionally accomplished she would not be making sex tapes.  This single mother’s behaviour doesn’t help in eradicating negative images of black single mothers.  That’s for sure.  Faust is not the average black single mother.  In the documentary ON MY OWN, premiering the end of April, the three mothers featured struggled to get their college degrees, worked hard, and accomplished material gains the dignified way.  They are the faces of the average black single mother, not women like Mimi Faust, who many corporate media entities keep projecting out to viewers. 

The bottom line is this.  Young girls get their value from their fathers.  
As long as we continue to raise young girls in situations where their fathers are inactive in their lives, there will continue to be women like Mimi Faust with low self-worth.   These young girls grow up, start to date, and choose men that don’t have their best interest at heart.  The end result is more single mothers, who unless they get a parental intervention, continue the cycle by executing Mimi’s Faust mistakes with men in particular, and then the low self worth materializes in the daughters they raise.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Black Women Opting out of early motherhood will help with stabilizing the Black Family

By Rachel Miller-Bradshaw
In the early 90s young black women would rush like it was their duty to birth children in their late teens or early twenties.   Many African American women were socialized to value the mothering role above anything else.  Times have changed and women of other cultures are focusing more on their careers and enjoying their lives.  However for black women the mindset of early motherhood still lingers. 

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative 60% of non marital births are to women in their twenties.  70% of African American women between the ages of 25-29 have never been married.  These two statistics indicates something quite telling, and reveals what could be one major solution to the high percentage of single parent, female-headed households, a rising epidemic in the Black community. If black women could engage in responsible and thoughtful dating, using contraception and practice abstinence till age 30 the number of out of wedlock black births will decrease.

The current economic instability and the many social issues affecting black males in particular, such as high unemployment, mass incarceration, and significant high school dropouts’ rates, have all affected the number of eligible mates available to black women. Most of the black males affected by the aforementioned issues don’t regain their footing until their thirties and forties.  Also men are socialized to believe that their primary role is to provide financially for their families and most will refrain from marrying until they feel they can support a family.  Research also proves that married fathers are more likely than unmarried fathers to parent their children. 

These aforementioned cause and their effects on black males suggests that black women may want to give their black male counterparts time to catch up.  There is also a maturity and psychological element to this discussion that must not be omitted.  Young women in their twenties are still trying to find themselves and figure out who they are and their purpose in life.  This is a journey one must figure out alone before marrying, which could arguably be the most important decision of one’s life.  People in their thirties are more stable emotionally and financially and are more mature in handling interacting with a spouse and children on a daily basis.  Other cultures seem to understand this and don’t subscribe to the “I still want to be young when my children are in their twenties” mentality that really has contributed to the black community’s issues, specifically high non marital births for women in their twenties.

In their 30s African American women are better equipped with a higher likelihood of marriage, financial stability, and youth now coupled with some experience will guarantee higher successes of accomplishing traditional family structures.   It’s a win-win situation. Black women can still continue to value the “mother” role while also valuing the “wife” role, and even the “career woman” role.