Article: The Myth of the Black Matriarchy

“The Myth of the Black Matriarchy Megan Brown Ivy Tech Community College Author Robert Staples, of the article, “The Myth of the Black Matriarchy,” opens his writing with a very powerful statement that sets the tone for the entire piece. In dealing with the question of the role of the black woman in the black struggle one must ultimately encounter the assertion that the black community is organized along matriarchal lines, that the domineering black female has been placed in a subordinate position in the family by the historical vicissitudes of slavery, and that ere ascendancy to power has resulted in the psychological castration of the black male and produced a host of other negative results that include low educational achievement, personality disorders, Juvenile delinquency, etc” (p. 8).

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Although Staples never addresses the majority of these said results, he did make a few good points throughout the article that got me thinking a bit. The author helped shed light on the male and female roles of the black culture during the years of slavery. He even explained that white owners would sometimes not allow the black male to influence he parenting styles inside the black home. Slave masters would even sell off male slaves in order to separate them from them their wives and children (Staples, 1970). This only helped reinforce my thoughts about black matriarchy.

Women had no choice but to take the reins of their home and lead themselves and their children in the best direction she saw fit. Referring back to Staples’ quote and the top of his article, he seems to think that the black woman is responsible for the unsuccessfully of the black male. I could not help but take offense to this ideology. I do not believe that the black woman is reacting rebelliously when assuming her responsibilities in the family. However, bills need paid, food needs to be purchased and prepared, laundry needs to be done, kids need taking care of, etc.

Is she supposed to wait around for her man to return to the home in order to share some of the load? On the contrary, she does whatever it is that needs to be done in order to writings that I thought was an interesting viewpoint. “This writer submits that it has been functional for the white ruling class, through its ideological apparatus, to create internal antagonisms in the black community between black men and black women to divide them and to ward off effective attacks on the external system of white racism” (p. 5). I do not think this to be true at all. In fact, the idea saddens me. I want nothing more than to see men and women, in every race, come together to “do life” together effectively and successfully. Both sexes need to find their Mitch in the home and find out what works uniquely to their situation. References Staples, R. (1970). The Myth of the Black Matriarchy. The Black Scholar, 1(3/4), 8-16. Retrieved from http://www. Astor. Org/stable/4116341 5

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