The new first family could inspire some of their biggest changes within the black family itself, some say.(via reader Josh A.)
In 1965, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democratic senator from New York, warned the nation about the rise of fatherless black families. He concluded that many black families were caught in a "tangle of pathology." The pathology persists. The U.S. Census Bureau said that 69 percent of black women who gave birth in 2005 were unmarried (it was 31 percent for white mothers).
The relationship between Obama and his wife may help untangle some of that pathology, some black commentators say.
It could start with black intimacy. The American public is routinely exposed to sexually charged relationships between black men and women. "Street lit" books with titles such as "Thugs and the Women Who Love Them," and "A Project Chick" now crowd bookstores and public library shelves.
Yet the new first couple offers America an example of a black, passionate, marital relationship, says Jennifer Brea, a writer for EbonyJet.com.
"They are the most natural and accessible first couple this country has ever had," Brea says. "You see a politician give a peck on his wife's cheek after a speech and often it looks staged. When you look at them, you feel like that there's this chemistry and spark."
Several black women actually sighed as they talked about how much Obama seems to touch his wife and exchange soulful glances with her in public. They said Obama will show young black men how to treat women -- and young black women how they should be treated.
"We don't get to see black love," says Heidi Durrow, the prize-winning author of the forthcoming novel, "Low Sky Dreaming."
"But every time you see them [the Obamas] on stage, it's been super," she says. "It's an amazing image to see these dynamic, smart, progressive people just openly affectionate. I'm all for it."
Friday, January 23, 2009
Obamessiah Suck-Up of the Day