Article: Written by Renee L. Richardson

When Did We Become Enemies?

Through many years of observation and failed relationships, I have become interested and dedicated to studying human interactions on an intimate level. Because I am an African American female, I spent countless amounts of time trying to figure out where the break in the level of respect originated between the Black Man and the Black Woman. I began to research the attitudes and roles of Men and Women within African tribes in the attempt to gain a clear perspective of which to compare the negative attitudes and roles of the Black Man and Black Women toward one another in modern society.

I read the scholarly research of Black authors such as Shahrazod Ali’s Message to the Black Woman and Dr. Joy Degru’s Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome to name a few. Such research afforded the opportunity of better understanding how the negative outlooks between Black man and woman came into formation. After my enlightening experience with reading The Message to the Black woman and Post Traumatic slave syndrome, I continued to observe the interactions/relations between the Black man and Woman dissipate unpremeditatedly; such disappointment gave rebirth to my original questions. Who placed the ill tastes in the Black Man and Woman’s mouths in regard to one another? How did such ill perceptions of one another develop? Where did it first develop? And when did it develop?

In light of paying homage to Dr. Degru’s Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, I was inclined to further study the ways of which slavery has and continues to take its toll on African Americans in modern America. First, allow me the opportunity to express that African American Slavery was and still is the most inhuman act committed against a people and was responsible for more than the estimated amount of 30-60 million lives taken during capture. In addition, due to such an estimated/approximated number, I was further moved to consider how the Black Woman might have been feeling while watching inhumane acts being committed against her- the African woman, the African man, and African children during the times of slavery.

The Role of the Black Man in Africa: The contradiction during slavery

According to Mbiti (2002), there is an old African proverb that states: “A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it”. The African proverb suggesting that the husband is the protector of his beautiful wife. If we can agree upon such an interpretation, then we can agree that the enslaved wives were looking to receive some sort of protection from their husbands when they were being captured, tortured and raped while being snatched from familiarity and while being enslaved.

It is possible that the African man’s warrior-like behaviors and characteristics were shattered when the African man could not deliver such protection as he lost his royal armor when the African woman bore witness to him being devalued and reduced to a slave. This is not to state that the African woman did not understand the severity of what was occurring or she was unable to comprehend that there was an attack on a people but somewhere in her very soul she would lay there night after night, waiting to be rescued, protected and even avenged by her former Knight in Shining Armor. To add, the African woman then witnessed the mortality, the very human weaknesses of her protector and it was there that her silent resentment against him could’ve been born.

How did such resentment reach modern Black women?

Can you remember playing the game of “Telephone” back in grade school? The game consisted of a leader whispering something into the ear of a person and then the whispering would continue until it reached the person standing/sitting at the end of the line. Well, if you can recall playing, when the last person yelled out what was whispered into his ear, it is nothing like what was initially whispered. Somewhere along the line, the message became distorted, twisted, or deliberately altered.

Where/when did the Black Man’s Resentment for the Black Woman Originate?

In light of writing another article, I will explore some of the ways in which the Black man’s resentment for the Black woman may have come into formation; all in the attempt to formulate a foundation by which can be used as a means to understanding the ill relationship between Black man and woman. In order to begin to create strategies of which will dent the surface of issues between Black man and Black woman, we must first strive to acknowledge where the break in the mutual respect first occurred. In addition, such an understanding will serve as a clear lens by which we are then better suited to strategize adequate approaches to redeveloping a respect between the two; once mutual respect has been restored, it will then become possible to work toward reestablishing the close knit bond of which sustains intimacy between man and woman. Restablishing, rebuilding and implementation can serve as the foundation needed to create and foster effectiveness within the Black family.

further articles by Mental Health Expert Renee L Richardson and others go to:

Author's Bio: 

Author's Bio:
Renee L. Richardson has always possessed a passion for learning and attempting to understand people. In addition, she has a profound respect for utilizing every experience whether positive or negative as teachable moments.
Growing up in a low socio economic environment, she has defied physics so to speak with her dynamic approaches to wellness as she reflects on her past experiences as a tool of guidance. In addition, Renee has a BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology, a MA in Education and is currently seeking a Phd in Counseling Psychology; all of which are considered bonuses to her natural talent when interacting with individuals as she assists them in appraoches and methods to foster psycholgical growth.
Renee has also written two books of which is scheduled to be published in 2012. The first book written is a semi-autobiography of which explains the childhood abuse that she endured. The book reveals the tools and methods of which concluded as successful as she encountered and balanced her extremely toxic relationships throughout childhood and well into her adult life.
As a full time teacher, adjunct professor, and motivational speaker, Renee welcomes the challenges of speaking out at public events in the attempt to touch at least one person. Her relentless efforts to spread a positive word whether in person or via the written word, she welcomes the challenges in regard to promoting change.