"Let the Record Show" vs. "It's Handled"

It wasn’t just her sass and opulent caramel features that had so many black girls in awe, it was her grace in the midst of having it all. Yep, there was a time when black women could bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan, and it wasn’t just for her two out of wedlock children. Amidst the devastation from the economic and social strain of Reaganomics to the poor and working class people of color, there rose an angel of monumental regard. She provided an image most had never seen before; highly educated, accomplished, professional, senior careered position, MARRIED with FIVE children, oh and did I mention she was BLACK? There was actually a time when it appeared that a highly ambitious woman did not have to choose her fortitude for being a wife and mother over a career. Claire Huxtable exude a high level of femininity and sexual prowess (the five children was indicator), all the while “handling” her family and career. I am an avid fan of Olivia Pope, the story lines are like Shonda Rimes image of a roller coaster. The twists and turns of very developed characters are compelling television to watch. But I have to wonder what happened to Claire? Keep in mind Claire is not “Camille”, she isn’t married to a SCANDAL. When did women of color stop LETTING THE RECORD SHOW and begin to just HANDLE everything ourselves? There are five reasons I believe led many of us to a life of wine and popcorn and away from nape of our neck kisses by our husbands at night. So ask yourself:

1. Did the Reagan years impact your family? A lot of our immediate and extended family suffered financial hardships, trying to survive. Our country was at war (Reagan's “window of vulnerability”, eerily reaks of Trumps “make America great again”) turning our communities into battle grounds for the crack epidemic that left generations of black fatherless homes (either to incarceration or murder). In spite of the genocide, the role of head of household needed to be filled and became much more than just a tax status.

2. Did Claire feel like an anomaly? Were there women in your world who modeled the values of having a healthy romantic relationship (marriage), growing a family AND have a career? Although The Huxtable family were middle class blacks, many poor and “working” class families found this depiction (particularly Claire) as unrelatable as the Brady Brunch. If you did not believe this was normal, you may not have believed this could happen for you. As a result, you felt it was one or the other. (now) You’re unsure if you made the right decision.

3. Was your bank account as broke as your heart? Many women have elected to blame their singledom on the small percentage of; financially stable, educated, available {heterosexual} black men. I suggest many women are actually suffering from the trauma they experienced (in their earlier dating years) by choosing the wrong type of man. You elected to ignore that your values did not align because you “loved” him. So you did everything (you thought) to make his life better, and he still chose someone else. The bank account may have recovered but your heart never did.

4. Did the baby and carriage come before the house and marriage? It did for me. So for many years, I chose to only focus on my role as a mother. The love of a child can often fill the void of romantic love, but they grow up. Then what? Are you as marketable at 42 as you were at 24? Maybe. But statistically, romantic goals need the same level of effort as other life goals. You can go to college at any age, but it surely won’t get easier over time. Romance is no different.

5. Are you ashamed of your White hat? Are you making excuses, blaming others, trying to live up to your parents expectations, because you secretly NEVER wanted to be married or have children? Do you feel you will be judged by God and the world for wanting it ALL but only for yourself?

Don’t be alarmed if any of these apply, just know nothing in LIFE or LOVE will get HANDLED if you don’t let the RECORD SHOW. Translation; check your romantic vitals before labeling what type of woman you are; many of us are more layered with Claire and Olivia traits, seek understanding of who you are today and love that woman before anyone else!