I read an interesting commentary from Fannie Flono, Associate Editor for the Charlotte Observer titled Black moms, my mom and Michelle Obama. She talks about the image of black moms and specifically Michelle Obama. Considering that mainstream media and some black media have pretty much shown images of black women as lazy welfare queens, video vixens and teenage single moms, Michelle Obama is a much needed refreshing change. Yes I know some folks are sick of seeing and hearing about Michelle Obama but after decades of negativity about black women or treating normal, non stereotypical black women like we’re invisible, I enjoy reading about Michelle Obama. I’m sure the media circus surrounding the FLOTUS will slow down eventually.
By FANNIE FLONO
What I’m liking most about Michelle Obama being first lady is this: She puts on public display an image of black women and black mothers that many African-Americans can identify with, but that others have viewed as an anomaly. I’m not talking about her being a Harvard-educated lawyer or dressing in designer clothes or personally knowing Oprah. That sets her apart from most of us.
But her loving relationship with her husband and her devotion to her children are familiar to many of us who have grown up in black households. It’s the stereotype of the wild-haired, bedraggled-looking “welfare queens” or booty-shaking, single teen moms that gives us pause.
Sure, those people exist. But they’re not who most black women are. The last census showed 62 percent of black women worked for a living (as opposed to 60 percent of white women). The census also showed that 79 percent of blacks and 89 percent of whites earned at least a high school diploma. Nearly 30 percent of each group had some college education. For blacks, the majority of both were women.
It is true that 65 percent of black births were to unwed mothers. But that’s not the same as saying 65 percent of black single women had children. The census shows 39 percent of black women are childless, and 43 percent of black families are married couples.
So the idea of a Michelle Obama-like black mom is not a fairy tale, not the exception. It is the heart-warming reality a lot of us know.
Check out the entire article here.