The Issue Is Bigger Than Keyshia Cole

keyshia-cole-328[1]The experiences that I have had in my lifetime have inevitably helped shape the perspective that I have in life today. A perspective that is not so critical. A perspective that is apprehensive about being condescending and judgmental toward others. Too often, I find that some people are so quick to offer up criticism to certain issues, but yet, they fail to offer up any real solutions to help possibly rectify those issues. Thus instead of becoming part of the solution, they remain part of the problem.

Having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers has existed well before it was discovered that Keyshia Cole was pregnant. This issue can be seen across color lines, although I must admit that this issue does disproportionately affect the Black community. There’s no denying that having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers have become the norm and not the exception in today society, but I’m not sure how referring to Keyshia Cole as being stupid or degrading her by calling her a “hood rat” helps change those facts.

Having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers is an issue that needs to desperately be address and dealt with within our community. If we truly care about becoming part of the solution to help rectify this issue, then we have to be willing to be part of an open dialogue that has more to offer than criticism and personal attacks against women such as Keyshia Cole.

The dynamics of the Black family throughout the years has undeniably changed. The idea of the institution of marriage has changed as well. It often baffles me when I think about how our community has been on such a downward slope since the “The Civil Rights Era.” An era where Black people had a sense of solidarity, an era where we demanded equality, and an era where family and family values was deemed important. Those days has come and gone, but as you know, we are a people full of resilience and hope, and we are a people who has a track record of solving problems and rectifying issues.

So, if you want to be part of solution to rectifying the issue of women having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers, I think you should first be less critical of other women and remember that at the end of the day, we all have fallen short.

Make a commitment to yourself that you won’t have children until you are married. Make a commitment to yourself to have protected sex or refrain from having sex until you are married. Start with your daughter. Help build-up her self-esteem. Help her become aware of her self-worth. Let her know that she is already validated, and that she doesn’t need to seek validation from no one. Start with your son. Teach him what it means to be a man, a father, and a provider. Promote the institution of marriage in your own family and in your own community. Be a mentor to someone. Be a positive role model in someone’s life.

Do something more productive instead of referring to people as stupid and referring to people as “hood rats.”

There are sistas who visit Brown Sista on a regular basis that may have had a child out of wedlock and who are unwed mothers. I wouldn’t dare call these women stupid and degrade them by calling them a “hood rat.”

Words are powerful and it’s important to bring up issues that affect our community, but it’s more important to do it in a way that it doesn’t further demean our sistas. I think we have been demeaned enough throughout history.

14 Comments

  1. Wow this is a HUGE thing isn’t it? As long as they both love and take care of the child, and teach him/her right from wrong it’s ok but I really don’t want her ending up like her mother of her sister.

  2. WOW! Keyshia getting pregnant out of wedlock was never an issue to me.

    The issue to me (Which we can use to educate young women) is the period of time these two indivisuals have known each other and already she has a tattoo of the mans name, and is pregnant.

    With the pregnacy, one thing sticks out the most to me. The fact that (not only with keyshia) but us not protecting ourselves.

    Look at Christina Millian, Nivea, Lauren London, just to name a few. Where is the protection????? There are a lot of more problems that can come along with not using a condom than getting pregnant! (Do I need to start listing the different STD’s out there?)

    Not using a condom while having any form of sex SHOULD be a big step in a relationship. But it’s not! These women are making it look like it’s normal and that pregnacy is the “IN” thing.

    I mean Sh!# where are your standards? A few months is not long enough to know a person. Damn sure not enough time to trust a person with your life like that.

    That’s my issue. I try not to be to critical on people but stupidity is what it is. Sex is good but it’s not worth risking yout lives for.

    I am 34 years old and I have one child that I had when I was twenty-eight years old. I was with her father for three years or more before I trusted him enough to remove the condom. And two years and an engagement after that I stopped taking birth control. I had standards.

    Im not saying I am a saint because I had my college years and boy what a time that was but I always used condoms, and birth control pills. I was no fool.

    These women need to step back into reality.

    Keyshia is making BIG decisions in a short amount of time. That’s why I say she’s stupid. I never called her a “hoodrat” or anything like that. But coming from where she’s from she could and should be wiser.

    <3 Peace
    "This is my opinion!!!!"

  3. My mom was a single parent, as I was born out of wedlock myself.
    Having said that, now as any adult I see the truth of the matter. The truth is that like everything else in life, it’s all about the choices we make. Period.
    Society(=white males) has reduced having a baby to something much less than the spactacular, amazing event it actually is. And since the woman is the sole bearer of this wonderous event, by proxy, she too has been reduced in her regard for the God-given ability to bear children.
    African-American woman are unique though, in that they are probably suffering from some effect of slavery in which they not only had to bear the next generation of slaves but in some cases also had to bear the children of the slave masters, and many not by choice. That would account for the high percentage of such cases in our community I think. I hope.

    We need to be smarter about the choices we make for our lives and the lives of our children.
    For the childern are truly the future.

  4. Quick Story: My uncle was with his “baby mama” for 23 years never got married. She was “fine” with it because it “worked for them” they didn’t need a “paper” to say they were committed. He paid her rent took care of their children etc. He met the next woman and married her in less than one year BOUGHT HER A HOUSE (not paying rent) and has been married for 5 years now. OF COURSE my aunt was PISSED but at who. No one but herself because she allowed HIM to convince her of that bull. A man only go as far as you allow them to. As a result,

    I feel it doesnt matter how long you are with someone ESPECIALLY when both parties end up in the same boat…..SINGLE. Now Im not saying everyone should run off and get married, or rush to commit to someone you barely know BUT we’ve seen men be with their “baby mothers” for years and move on to the next one. My mom always told me “Babies dont keep men and if it did their wouldn’t be so many single mothers MARRIED and not married” One famous example has 3 baby mothers. And yes the last one is getting all of the perks and bags and fancy diamond rings but he was with the first one for a longer time period and had 2 children by her and look where she is. IDK something scares me about a man who has multiple baby mamas. Its a clear indication that children is not a sign of commitment for that person. We have to teach women that regardless of years always uphold certain standards. Ive always thought that having a baby is alot more of a commitment than marriage. I get confused when I hear people say its ok to wait for marriage because its a SERIOUS commitment but lets have a whole bunch of babies as if that isnt. Thats backwards to me.
    My husband told me “I don’t want you to just be my baby mama or my girlfriend. You deserve more than that and I want you as my wife.” And THATS how he proposed married two years no kids (no baby mama drama here) still enjoying our marriage. And we were together for only 10 months.Its not going to take a man 5 years to realize whether or not he wants to marry you. They determine that within the FIRST year and treat you accordingly to their decision. If only MORE men approached the situation like that and MORE WOMEN demanded that respect. Now marriage is not the answer to all problems because some people are in MISERABLE marriages but the people we choose to commit to thats where the problem lies. We have to make better choices as Mr. Vee stated. We as women need to stop trying to fit that circle peg in that square hole and realize the situations we go through for what it is.

    AND WOMEN REMEMBER: That inconsiderate no good man WILL BE An inconsiderate no good BABY DADDY OR HUSBAND! Once we figure this out we will save ourselves alot of drama and heartache

  5. @SUMMER RAINE- Totally agree but I hate when you always say “my opinion” you don’t have to tell them/us that your entitled to it.

  6. This post is totally on point. We ALL have fallen short but some of us just happen to get caught up.

    I am a person that has fallen short and everyone knew it b/c I was pregnant as a teenager. Everyone at my school laughed, pointed, and called me every kind of name imaginable but these were the same females that told me that they’d slept with someone the night before and a totally different guy a week before that.

    My life after that experience and I realized that I was not the mistake that I made. I decide to keep my daughter and not end up in that situation EVER again. Thankfully it’s been 13 years and I’ve been married for 5 of those years and out of that union my husband and I produced a child.

    Everyone should take responsibility for their actions and realize that it is never “COOL” to have a child and not be able to care for them properly (i.e. giving them a loving/stable home where they can witness for themselves what real love, devotion, compassion, and integrity truly is).

    Be blessed everyone and have a great week!!!!!

  7. Lets get back on track!!!!!!lol..To each its own. But remember having a baby does not keep a man!

  8. At the end of the day, its her hole (literally) & not anyone elses. I said that in the other posts. Its really not our business what she does. If her relationship fails, thats her business.

    You all take these stats to the next level like the world is gonna end.

  9. Having a baby does not keep a man and sometimes neither does marriage. A lot of the women that have somuch to say about the perks of marriage etc have never been married and assume that its always a desirable situation. A child born into an unhappy 2 parent home is not better off than a child raised by a happy and responsible single mother.

    I think part of the reason why so many women are miserable is because we assume a lot of things about people’s situations. Focus on YOU and learn from YOUR mistakes. Keyshia’s story is no one’s business but her own. As a woman that is married, I can tell u that a lot of married women speak about how miserable their lives are but they just dont have the guts to leave. Love you and do the ebst you can do in your situation- with or without a husband/baby daddy

  10. For the record when you are in the public eye and you want people to buy your records and support your career endeavors this comes with the territory. First, you would need to understand exactly what that means: To be in the public eye is a phrase or an expression which indicates being of great interest to the common public. It is an idiom. It means publicity or public attention and scrutiny. It is to be a focal point of public curiosity and interest. It can also be described as being in the limelight or spotlight. It is a situation that is frequently being seen in the public for good or bad reasons and be widely publicized or well known. These celebrities killed me once they have made thier millions they want to become private and not share any of their business…that is some bogus bullcrap!! It’s ironic when they was struggling and did not have two cents to buy a happy meal they want the world to know there struggles. I will say this God made us all with imperfections none of us are perfect and when you play with GOD its a dangerous game. When we use God as our own mind of understanding,….meaning we do what we want and then proclaim this great relationship with GOD its living a carnal life.

    For the person who quoted its none of our business you are right. However we are all entitle to Freedom of speech..ALL

  11. I have a 14 yr old daugther. I was with her father 3 yr before i had her. We not together no more. But we both get along as long we both be on the same page. It all good. We do things together and it work out really well.

    We just had agreement as far raising r daugther and it working.

    As far as keisha im not going to judge because im not married either. I think they have agreement. I doubt it if she going to be like her mother and sister.

    Now between her mother and sister they created like 12 kids. Now they need to get talk about lol.

    But leave her alone she living life. Just like the rest of us that in her situation.

  12. Our community needs to communicate and educate each other. We need to rebuild conviction within our community. Until we hold each other accountable and provide positive examples we will always be in square one. We need to offer constructive criticism versus destructive criticism. No one will respond to negativity. The good in such situations is that they are having angels (little babies) from heaven. Remember, suffer not little children…..

    Where do we begin to reconstruct the institution of family in our community? Not just the lip service but the actual action.

  13. I just think that if a man REALLY loves you, he will marry you. Point black period.

    When you are living together and having babies together why not get married? You already make joint decision why not get married? Anyone who thinks taking vows will ruin your relationship don’t need to be together in the first place!

    Why not have that security for you and your child so if you do break up you don’t have to fight for “rights” and support like a wife would?

    Beyond the security part, a man who wants to marry you and open his entire life up to you has to be commended. Yes, we have Tiger Woods who married a woman, yet clearly has no respect or regard for her. But guess what, she will be ok because she knows she has rights as a wife. And she knows he is looking like the scum of the earth right now for breaking his vows. If they were just co-habitating, she couldn’t even say he “cheated.” Like they say, if you are NOT married, you are SINGLE.

    Who knows if I want to get married, but if I didn’t, I would not live with the guys are have kids with him. If he wants the whole package deal he better make a LEGAL and HOLY commitment to me.

  14. When it comes to “regular” women I would say there are certain issues in our communities that need to be addressed in order to eliminate the contributing factors to single mother epidemic and the stigma of black female sexuality.
    -While the article goes hard on critical sistas for judging those who get pregnant- it missed the mark on the most detrimental critics of all. Black men having been abandoning Black women at an escalated rate since the 1940’s due to war, drugs, jail, or other women. Each situation is different but, often time’s brothers are not excepting personal responsibility for their actions and behaviors- you only need to look at our culture today to recognize that self-esteem, anger and entitlement issues are very prevalent in our men.
    -There’s also no mention of the blind faithfulness to religious institutions that historically have been in line with portraying women (black women in particular) as loose, immoral, idiots who would wonder the earth naked and starving without their guidance. A lot of the judgments the article speaks of directly correlate with church and mosque teachings. Society looses its mind when they find out that a black female had sex for pleasure and not to service her “husband”- this is the root of these judgments. Notice how it’s considered glamorous, en vogue, or having a good time when it’s the Kardassians, Angelina Jolie, or a girl’s gone wild event. I could go on, but since we’re focusing on solutions I have six pieces of advice for young sisters.
    1. Get your education- College, Trade School, Apprenticeships, etc.
    2. Take care of your health- this means everything from your weight, blood pressure, who you sleep with, medications that you take, friends you keep, family members you entertain, religious organizations that you patronize, depression you may suffer from, or anger management issues.
    3. If you have a child understand that everything that you do for the next 18 to 20 years should be done for the sole purpose of raising a productive and healthy adult. This includes taking extra special care of YOURSELF (see # 1 & 2). Make sure that you hold the father of the child responsible for his part in child rearing (finances).
    4. Learn to recognize what a man is- employment is just the minimum. A real man doesn’t need you to mother him, he will have no need to hold you back or get jealous of your success, and he will respect and love you. There are still a lot of good brothas out their but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to just them.
    5. Do not base your self-worth, happiness, or financial security on a relationship; a loving relationship is a good thing, but there is no higher spiritual virtue than the love, acceptance, and admiration that you hold for yourself.
    6. Ease up on yourself and others. You had sex (its natural), your pregnant (it happens every day), you’re not married (like marrying will change the situation). Most of the women criticizing can be split into one of two groups, the first are haters and should be avoided. The second are sisters who mask their concern for you, the baby, and the situation by lashing out. Remember that those of us who “got a little something” are first generation “upper middle class”-memories of mama, grandma, auntie, or cousins struggling are not that distant of a memory. Sometimes the critiques are constructive and their meant with good intentions; they just sound harsh because they come from a place of genuine concern and fear.

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