As I devoured the pages Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I had a pseudo-divine revelation…I’M NOT CRAZY NOR A DESPOT IN AN APRON. Like me, she thinks highly of her daughters. What mother doesn’t want her daughters to be top-notch? Let’s be real, mediocre just won’t cut it…especially not if you are a black woman or girl. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why do black women have to take two steps forward when others only need one step?’ It’s not fair that such a burden is placed on us.’ Think about those two steps for a moment. Now ask yourself why we shouldn’t take two steps ahead of others. If we are ahead then we can essentially come out on top. And no, I don’t buy the notion that we must work harder to be equal. We must rid ourselves of that way of looking at society. After all, whites may be in power but which group is viewed as the most intelligent? It’s not the white race. This positive stereotype provides them with a much wider acceptance and opportunities.
That brings us to a way that black women can improve their station in society. We must strive to become the elite. We should set high expectations for our daughters. Don’t be content with a report card full of B’s or even B+’s. Teach them to work for and achieve the A’s. Let’s be clear about one thing; we should not simply tell them to get high grades but show them that we have the confidence that they can do it. We should also model the work ethic that we want to instill in them. We can do that by going to work on time and limiting the number of days we miss work. A conversation about your routine at work just might do the trick. That way, they will get an idea of how you efficiently complete your task. Letting her tag along to work with you for a day during winter, spring, or summer recess would be even better. In other words, we can’t expect them to do what we say if they don’t have the model.
Just imagine if black girls were known primarily as the studious high achieving ones.