I have struggled with this post for several days,
But since I couldnt shake it, I figured may as well put it out there,
As many of you know, most of my conversations and insights are with and come from young people,
A few days ago one of the young people in my life asked me,
"Why don't poor black folks and middle class black folks get along, even within families."
After swallowing down a lump, I said,
"There are many reasons, with I think FEAR, being one of the bigger ones..."
"Fear of what..." This child was working me....
"Fear of association, fear of judgement, fear of many things. So many middle class Black folks are only a generation and a couple of paychecks from being poor and that is what makes them afraid. Also, when negative images are splayed all over the news it makes them afraid they are going to be associated, thus the disassociation."
"Well, it sure does feel like a dis, most of the time."
"What do you mean?"
"Well at school, the upper girls look down their noses at us, and sometimes when we are out, I see the women look like that at my mom." I felt her pain down to my very bones. "Was it like that when you were young?"
"Not so much, but there were some divisions, but what helped most, was where I grew up we all basically lived in the same neighborhoods, Drs., Lawyers, Funeral home owners, lived a few houses down for postal workers, janitors and maids. So there was more of a sense of community. Now we are more divided by addresses and zip codes so it does appear more divisive."
"What stops you from being like that?"
"Like what?" I knew damn well what she meant, I was stalling.
"Baby, some would say that I am. But the simple truth is that I choose my associates by their hearts and actions not by the size of their houses, the cars they drive or clothes they wear. I tried to raise my kids the same way. Not only that but my family runs the gamut, some have much and always have, others have less and always will, and to disassociate myself would in many ways mean to not be with my family, that isnt an option for me. I will say, however, that I don't tolerate nonsense and don't buy into victimization."
"What brought this on?"
"I was just thinking about it. I see both sides. I live in the hood, around mostly poor folks, some good, some not so good. At school, I am around more uppers, some good and some not so good. And I know that it's a person by person thing."
"You are absolutely right and as long as you keep that in mind, you should be okay when you become all upper." Smiling at me, she nodded.
Out of the mouths of babes...
Love and Blessings,
Angelia Vernon Menchan
Angelia Vernon Menchan is an author, publisher and public speaker who owns two publishing companies, MAMM Productions and Honorable Menchan Media. Mrs. Menchan is also a Budget Officer and former Job Corps Counselor. To date she has published eighteen books of her own work, both fiction and non-fiction and more than forty ebook novellas on amazon.com. You can access her bibliography on www.amazon.com search words: Angelia Vernon Menchan
Menchan has also published the work of seven other authors to date and has several publishing projects upcoming in 2013 to include a children's book, Little Wing by biologist, Erin Gawera, Honorable Menchan Poets 2013 by Dictator, Genesis and Creammy Mocha and a breast cancer memoir by Lena Jordan.
She is becoming a sought after speaker for young women audiences because she speaks honestly, straight and open to the issues that plague them such as teen pregnancy, the importance of education and making life impacting choices.
Kim Floyd of Real Mommies Read, a part of the Spartanburg Public Library says:
Angelia's ability to help our teen moms see themselves as she did was a special gift. She instilled within them a desire to make better choices, take control of their bodies and their lives. They realized their pasts didn't have to determine their futures. Angelia let them know their worth.
Mrs. Menchan is available for speaking engagements; book signings and discussions. She resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and graphic designer, Maurice Menchan
Phone numbers: 904 714 2272 904 303 2679