Urban Families and The News Media. : ThyBlackMan

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Urban Families and The News Media.

February 28, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Urban families, without exception to race, color, or ethnic persuasion are ripe with nontraditional family units or “families in transition.”  This includes but is not limited to “live-in” relationships, stepfamilies, foster families, wards of the state in temporary living arrangements, as well as homeless families.

Our communities’ institutions are designed to help families.  However, many times those who work in them are not sensitized to the mission or needs of a family in transition.  When this becomes evident, a person that should then be an asset in a time of need becomes a liability because they are not properly equipped to deal with the realities of life that plague their victims.  This will then hinder the families’ progress.  It is with great delight that we can be  reassured that, increasingly, there are members of our communities who understand how this family, (the family in transition) is different—the church (clergy), legal and judicial professionals (the courts), and teachers.

The news media plays a very important role in the era of “new technology,” including but not limited to e-mails, fax machines, color copiers, etc.  We are for the most part a more efficient society as a result of ever-changing trends for the better.  However, sometimes we miss the mark by not making technology available to the “garden variety” of students.  There is a natural tendency in the minds of non-minority viewers to compare blacks to whites under the assumption that Euro-American values are the “norm.”  When the news media submit to this premise, unwittingly, all minorities, especially blacks, become villains.  The lack of African Americans in high-ranking “media” positions point to this fact.  For example, the media is quick to point out problems prevalent in black communities (black-on-black crime, drug crimes); however, they rarely balance it with reasons for their existence.

As a society, we must learn to see ourselves as people with problems, like any other group.  We must not be afraid to investigate them in order to present a rationale to solve them.  Contrary to the black stereotypes, we see in the media that good things happen in the black community—things that often go unnoticed by those that look the other way because of economic and or political considerations.  Simply put, if you consider the problem of gang-related activity in a given school district, balance it with positives (rising test scores on standardized test) in order to give viewers a more accurate picture. 

Knowing and addressing the cause of discontent and identifying ways to overcome them will raise the expectation level of parents, thereby increasing their sense of self-worth and responsibility.  It will also send a positive message to non-minority teachers about the positive potential of the youth they teach.  To speak from a positive perspective, families in transition can profit educationally by taking advantage of the numerous educational (fiction and nonfiction) programs and articles available through the media.

While all of these external devices can positively affect the families in transition, their ability to make a difference rest with parents—the driving force for change affecting schools, courts, churches, and consequently, the overall educational process.

Parents can no longer sit silent while the institutions that affect the educational process remain in constant motion.  It should be a mission of every school administrator to help sensitize their staff to the dynamics of the educational process which is contained in their job descriptions—helping society helps “us”: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—just the way the framers of our constitution meant for it to be, right? 

Staff Writer; Stanley G. Buford

Feel free to connect with this brother via Twitter; Stanley G. and also facebook http://www.facebook.com/sgbuford.

 


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