Many of us grew up hearing our parents say things like "because I said so" or being told they were hitting us out of love. Not all of us realize, however, that these parenting practices actually come from white supremacy, and we don't have to keep parenting this way!
For generations, Black parents often parented from a place of survival or fear due to racism. As a form of protection, violence-based practices like whoopings became a primary form of parenting for many.
But a more ethical way of parenting based on understanding, empathy, and respect could be beneficial for us.
Some are working their way back to parenting before colonization, because violence against children was NOT a habit of West African societies – which held children in high regard, believing they were holy or reincarnated ancestors.
While earlier generations may not have had the resources or capacity to implement gentle parenting, many parents today do. Black "momfluencers" are building online platforms offering advice and strategies for others, too.
While systemic racism remains a concern for Black parents today, we can't continue passing on harm through unhealthy parenting. To thrive, we must be committed to building strong Black families as the foundation of our liberation.