Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Shifting, Chapter 9: The ABCs of Shifting

[Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America]

In chapter 9 of Shifting, Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden regard mothers as the primary educators and socializers of children. Black women have the added burden of socializing their children into a world that can be unaccepting or criminalize them without warning.

Black mothers with daughters have the additional responsibility of making their daughters secure about themselves physically and emotionally, all the while being, at times, insecure themselves in a Eurocentric world. The authors write, “The possibility of sexual victimization invokes fear in many mothers as well, particularly in a society whose popular culture continues to perpetuate the myth that Black women are promiscuous” (248).

What stood out most to you, in this chapter, about Black mothers and their daughters? Why or how so? Please provide a page number.

15 comments:

Jessica D said...

Chapter 9 had a lot of things that stood out to me, but the one that stood out the most to me was on page 250. It states that "A number of studies indicate that regardless of the family's economic situation, Black parents, and Black mothers in particular, are at least as likely as, and often more likely than, White mothers to expect their children to achieve good grades, attend college, and graduate from college. Many Black mothers see educational achievement and success as the only defense against racism and sexism." This stood out to the most to be because my mom has always been like this. She expected A's and B's while in school and expected me to attend college. Now that I'm on my own and away from she still manages to make sure I'm doing what I need to do to graduate from college. Black parents want the best for the children and tend to want them to do better than what they did.

Asher said...

"Black mothers must also offer their children primers on shifting."(pg 237)
I can certainly relate, and I'm sure many black children can too. In a society in which, being white is glorified and usually the favorite choice, my mother has always lectured me on how to behave in public. Of course, all parents teach their children how to behave, but being black, you get a certain rule book. That's because, there are already stereotypes of being black, that black mothers want their children to break those stereotypes and not adhere to them.
-Asher Denkyirah

Tayler G said...

What stood out to me the most was on page 246 where it states "Like any parent, black mothers want to spare their children from the pain that they have suffered." Living with a single mother now I can relate to this whole section of the book a lot. My mom is my ultimate provider and she makes sure me and my sisters get what we need and want. My mother has been through a lot but she doesn't let that get in her way.
Most parents do want to keep their children from harm but I take my hat off to black women. Raising African American children in todays society is a real challenge and I applaud those who make the effort.

Carlie Bibbs said...

The part of chapter 9 that stands out to me the post is on page 248-249. When I was younger my mother always taught me to carry myself in a lady-like manner, never to let any males sexualize me or use me for my body. And as I grew older, I realize how much my mother tried to reinforce these ideas in me. She always told me that I did not have to use my body or my appearance to get anyone's attention. I'm very glad she told me these things, because otherwise I probably would not have known. Another things that stood out to me in this section is how black mothers fear that their daughters will be sexually assaulted or raped. My mother has also feared the same for me and she still does. She hindered me from doing certain things that my brother was allowed to do. I assumed it was because I was female and he was not. But know I know it was because I am both African American and female. Certain risks and dangers are higher for me.

Carlie Bibbs

Ty Bruce said...

What stood out to me the most is how black women and their daughters have to have additional talks. Other than the regular sex talk or "womanhood" talk, they have to include the "you may not be accepted talk". They have to warn them about things that are likely to go wrong just living everyday life. They also have to teach them how to "shift". (237)
Ty Bruce

Persephone Cole said...

The part Chapter 9 that stood out to me the most is where it reads "The truth is that the majority of Black mothers have managed, in spite of the realities of single parenthood, poverty, prejudice, and limited opportunities, to beat the odds and raise healthy and productive young men and women."(pg 238) This quote proves that all the negative things that are said about black women aren't true. Black women are really strong and hardworking. Instead of being acknowledge and praised for all the good they do, black women are bashed for all the mistakes they make just because of the color of their skin. It’s sad that the world is stuck in such state of inequality and racism; black people should be treated the same way white people are treated. Who is anyone to say that one race is better than another?

Erica King said...

The part of Chapter 9 that stood out to me the most is on page 238 when it talked about how black women has managed to beat the odds and do an awesome job at raising strong, healthy, and productive children. This stood out to me because my mom was a single mother of three girls for a long time and she did more than enough for us, to make sure we was brought up to be responsible and respectful young ladies and mothers ourselves, and we all turned out to be wonderful women.

Jade H. said...

"It can be difficult to instill in one's daughter a sense of inner and outer beauty when the world is ignoring or actively maligning her,"(page 246). This stood out to me the most in chapter 9 because I feel like at some point in every Black girl's life we all feel this moment. Considering that the beauty of this world is white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a super model body, that point comes where Black girls question if we are even beautiful. All those insecure feelings affect how we feel about ourselves on the inside, and it takes a lot to realize that we are beautiful on the inside and out. It doesn't matter what the world's beauty is as long as we know ourselves that we are beautiful.
Jade H.

Alexis Acoff said...

The part that stood out to me the most was on page 243 when they discussed having to teach their young black boy not to touch anything in the store that they were not going to buy, if you buy something, always put it in the bag and always keep the receipt. This is something that my siblings and I have also learned when going to grocery stores or when going shopping. We learned to try to never look suspicious, keep our hands out of our pockets, and look with our eyes, not our hands to avoid any suspicions. It's sad that black kids have to learn this at a young age in order to avoid the stereotypes that have been placed on us.

Natasha said...

Pages 246 and 257 stood out to me. The quote. "Often mothers of Black girls find themselves battling the lily complex, the notion that the only way to be beautiful is to look "White." Then the following page discusses the little girl Avery and how she felt self-conscious because she was a darker skin tone than her mother. It was also interesting because when Avery was little she actually thought her mom was white. I think these pages are important because we're all different skin colors. We can be as pale as the moon or as dark as the night sky. And whatever color we are, we're beautiful. We have to stop associating "White" as more beautiful than "Black."

Kiara C said...

The part in chapter 9 that stood out to me the most is on page 240 where it speaks about how black mothers have to struggle to explain racism and the struggles face without limiting thier children and the way they look at themselves.

Kayla Daniels said...

To me, the quote, "Often mothers of Black girls find themselves battling the lily complex, the notion that the only way to be beautiful is to look "White" (246) stood out to me. My mom grew up learning that white was good and no one to tell her otherwise. Learning the truth when she was older, my mom made sure that she told my sister and I that we were beautiful. Not a different kind of beauty, the same beauty that is perceived in our Eurocentric society. And one day, I will tell my children the same thing. You don't have to be white to be beautiful. My black is beautiful.

Samiya Barber said...

The part that stood out to me the most was on page 246 and it says, "The challenge with black girls is to help the develop a secure sense of self that counters the prevailing stereotypes and messages that convey that they're unattractive, unworthy, and insignificant." This stood out the most to me because my mom used to always tell me that skin color did not matter as long as I was pleased with myself. She always told me that I was beautiful and that it should not matter what background people from because regardless we are all people.

Alona Davenport said...

What stood out to me was the fear of sexual victimization because I never experienced that fear from my mother. She never really told me of all the negative stereotypes that came with being a black women. I ended up learning all of the stereotypes from peers and the media. It's almost as if considering the stereotypes didn't negatively affect my mother in any way, she didn't want them to do it to me.
-Alona D.

Shardai J-H. said...

Page 246, "Like any Black parent, Black mothers want to spare their children from the pain they have suffered." I find that Black mothers are very particular about what they expose their children to. For example, a single mother may not encourage her daughter to date seriously until in college or even waiting until after. This may be her way of protecting her daughter, but even if she waits until after college, what's to say she still won't be a single parent. I feel at times, not so extreme as the one mentioned, parents should allow their child to learn from their own experiences. The thing is, with so much plaguing children of the Black community, a Black parent's only thing to do is worry.