Before we get started here, this is not an "Angry Black Woman/Mad at the World/Set his clothes on Fire/Waiting to Exhale" post. As a sociologist (yeah, I do that too) and educator, this is something that I've noticed we do in our community. From the time our Black men are boys, we mother the hell out of them. Nothing wrong with mothering a young child, but when that young child grows up to be a man, it's time to stop.
As Black women, we grow up and are taught to be strong, independent, hard-working and hold down our families. Black women exemplify these attributes, while we've allowed Black men to disembody them to the point where they don't have to grow up. We allow them to run the streets while we hold down the household. We let them carry on with any female they want while we turn a blind eye. We do their dirty work for them when we should be demanding that they 'man' up.
This topic of mothering first came up as a friend and I discussed Emily B. from Love & Hip Hop. Her story is pretty tragic: she's had a child & been in a relationship for years with a man who has cheated on her behind & in front of her back and now she spends her days on television crying about said man. Now obviously, I don't know the ins & outs of Emily's relationship, but I do know that she is seemingly patiently waiting for her man to finish running the streets and decide he wants to be with her. Just as a mother would wait out a petulant child who is having a tantrum. Y'all see the connection here?
Another example: women having to hold down the household AND work while their man runs the streets. Maybe he's not out cheating, but if he's not financially, emotionally & spiritually taking care of his family, he's not doing his job. When you put that ring on her finger & a bun in her oven, your days of being a "boy" are over. There's nothing wrong with hanging out with friends & playing video games, but when that supersedes your family, it's got ta go.
As Black women, we should support our Black men. We should uplift them and build them up. We want them to be successful and realize all of their goals and dreams. Can't we do all of these things while demanding that they, in turn, be men?