Monday, September 27

Take the Target Pledge!

photo by bizior
Reading has always been a great escape for me. I remember going to the library as a child and being so excited about picking out new books. I loved Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew and many more. When you read to a child you spark their imagination! I believe every child should be exposed to the wonderful world of reading.

Target has pledged to donate a book for every adult who pledges to read 15 minutes a day to a child in their lives, giving me one more reason to love this store!
Take the Target pledge with me!
Find out how here:


Wednesday, September 22

A Call to A.R.M.S.

The structure of the African American family is in crisis. Over seventy-two percent of our children are growing up in single parent homes. More than half of our children grow up without the nurturing and guidance of a father. Sadly, this growing epidemic of broken homes, unwed pregnancies and non-existent fathers is expected and accepted as the norm.

We can no longer sit back and continue to watch the crumbling foundation of the family unit which has affected every aspect of our community. We must sound a battle cry; a call to A.R.M.S., if we intend to save what should be most dear: Our families.

The first step to working on this multi-layered problem is to admit a problem exists within the African American community because of the structural collapse of our families. The psychological, emotional, and financial benefits of children raised within a stable loving two parent home environment have been well documented. This is not a slam against single parenting. So many single parents work hard to raise and provide for their children, but kids benefit from having both mom and dad in the home.

Loving committed parents serve as positive role models for our children. How can we expect our young boys to grow up, respect, honor, love and marry a woman when so many have never witnessed such behavior themselves? How can we expect our sons to respect and revere the responsibility of supporting his family when all he sees is a mother who works?

How can we expect our young girls to grow up, respect, honor, and love themselves and accept nothing less from a man when so many have witnessed their mother's doing whatever it takes and accepting any behavior a man doles out? How can we expect our daughters to understand the partnership of a loving relationship or marriage without one modeled?

Way too many of our youth do not appreciate or recognize healthy loving relationships, let alone marriages. Sadly, sex and intimacy in today's generation does not require either one. Somehow, we've got to restore the sanctity of sex and the purpose and respect of relationships/marriage. No small feat, I realize and I don't have a perfect solution.

I do believe modeling healthy behaviors and relationships is the most effective way to impact our youth whether you are single, married or divorced.

Although the statistics are bleak, there are many strong, healthy, loving African American families in America. There are even more individuals wanting to see a change from the growing trend of broken homes. All of us dedicated to stopping this crisis must be willing to speak out against unwed pregnancies and fathers abandoning their children. We must make it our duty to educate, mentor and support the young people in our lives whether they are family or not.

There are no easy answers to quickly solve this gaping wound bleeding the lifeblood from our community. We must stop pointing fingers, assigning blame and passing judgment and admit a great majority of our children are at a disadvantage emotionally and financially as a result of unwed pregnancies and absent fathers. We must work to restore the sacredness of sex within a loving, committed healthy marriage and model these behaviors for our youth.

Some say salvaging the African American family is hopeless, but we are a people capable of holding onto hope in the darkest of times. Our history has proven when we lift our voices together we can affect change. Now is the time to sound the battle cry, a call to arms to save the crumbling foundation of our culture.

~Angela Nichelle Bradley

Saturday, September 18

No Wedding No Womb Launch Campaign PSA

Founded by Christelyn Karazin, No Wedding, No Womb is a new initiative that will be used to help empower African American women to take responsibility for their bodies and say no to unwanted pregnancies through education and awareness. Broken homes contributes to many social epidemics including domestic violence. The campaign will help address many social issues, particularly in the African American community. The campaign launches September 22, 2010 with the support of approximately 100 bloggers across the internet.

I'm excited and honored to be one of the 100 bloggers taking part in this online movement to speak out about this crisis affecting African American children. Look for my written contribution on September 22nd!

~Angela Nichelle