She should feel guilty. Her reasoning amounts to laziness and copping out voluntarily. It’s not hard to change the narrative for your life. It’s not hard to be dedicated to an Afrikan centered life, including; values, ideals, and mixed media. There is many more options out there to choose from, more than just the Cosby Show. In order to achieve, one must first try.
When dealing with issues of self-identity, Afrikans don’t have the luxury of whining. Know thyself, it’s as simple as that. My advice to her is to stop being tired and stop making excuses. Your children deserve more.
And in the end I feel guilt. After all, I am a collaborator. My husband and I are the ones who take our son to the movies, read him the books and buy him the costumes. But it’s so hard to live any other way. As a child, my favorite book was “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and reading it to my own child, and watching the old film version starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, was a parenting high point for me. I was passing along a story I loved, but I was also passing along racially biased messages I abhor.
Yes, just as my mom did, my husband and I try to provide black cultural images for my son. We look for the books, find DVDs and tell stories. There’s just not enough out there. Really, how many times can a child watch a “Cosby Show” DVD? And what images we provide are inevitably diluted by the tidal wave of American culture cast in white. I could try to raise an Afrocentric child — to create a black world for him — but the reality is I’m not really an Afrocentric adult. I’m just a parent tired of making changes on the fringes just so my son can catch a glimpse of himself in the world. It’s time for the world to change.