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From an intensive week of broadcasting on Milwaukee's inner core city within a city w AJ at the University of Wisconsin he presents a discussion of the problems of the negro male in his efforts to be a man. Discussing the difficulties of a man maintaining his pride in masculinity in what can be an essentially Mitri Arkle family. I too intercity homemakers and Mr. Ralph Johnson production manager for station WAGA the matriarchal Negro family. And the emasculation of the negro male. Here a couple of terms that have become almost cliches. Today I'm going to talk with a couple of ladies who live in the inner core of Milwaukee. And can speak from firsthand experience about this kind of situation. This is Julia Rogers and this is Olivia. Julia what do you have to say about the American American negro male. As a family man. Well I find that I have an experience of being married to one. I sort of become a shorty on the subject.
New Girl meal. In this day society is completed with a lot of problems. That is that he is steady. Stressing his role in the home. And in his social activities on the job and he's going to fund it with a lot of problems. One is basically is it being accepted. Is it being stepped up by his wife is it being accepted by his children. And and so on. Generally he becomes very frustrated in this role. Because more and more. As we see the new woman coming into the industry. And he feels he's competing with her. When I see her I speak of his wife. Which takes away. A lot of his role as the head of the household. This has caused so much friction it's caused people to go to divorce courts
separations and those that do manage to live together under these circumstances find that. They don't really like each other too much. The woman doesn't have this man that she's going to look up to and she bases his journey by. The news media TV the movies and he just doesn't fit in. You know as she visualized her husband should be and again the negro male has been brainwashed to think that he has to play you know the Tab Hunter type of person. And he knows he's being a failure at doing this. So I believe that Royce he feels again that he's being rejected. You know and. This is caused him a lot of unhappiness. One of the reasons I think is that he and she have not faced up to what is basically expected of them. They don't take up the time to look back in their own history to see what has caused this situation to be as it is.
And the new woman. I'm sort of caught up in the middle. That is if she doesn't become a spiritual sponge for a husband she is frustrated and she only six were divorced because once of yours are they based on hearsay or do you have friends or neighbors or have you had personal experience in this sort of situation. A little of both personal experience with friends coming up in the society something that we are accustomed to. We don't bother to analyze why are we out of accepted it. For instance I know a lot of families a lot of young women they had did not have fathers. Our meal of the house hold it at the hostel. I myself was a victim of this situation and this is sort of common as it is common enough for a new woman know that she's going to have to get out and get a job or keep her job.
She sort of grows accustomed to this. I think this is that of a situation where we as Negros have accepted to this point that we will have to work and sometimes do the job of raising the children and earning the Brit so to speak. The same token and so many of us are affected by this but I don't think we have the basic answers for it at this time. I love you and I'm talking to earlier that you didn't personally have this kind of problem but you know many people know this very well yes I have talked to ladies there. Has the same type of problem that Ms Rogers just mentioned. Basically myself. I haven't been faced with such problems. But I do know the average Negro Women prefer to work. In fact most less have to. Languish Rogers say I agree with her again where she said that the male
feel that he's been neglected wise wise or been neglected in society in so many ways his job. Maybe he has the ability to be promoted in a job and he can't get it get the promotion and a lot of time is taken out on the family one way or the other. The wife or the children are his self. He can't get discussed today they say. Because he feels he should be the mayor of the house make the most money and have the bell jar. But then when his wife get into this middle class idea where she can get a better job seen living here this can make your flattery to Andy and she has to keep working because maybe he can't keep or may be laid off or maybe queer. Maybe get fired because he Thank you should have a better position than an employer dismissed him or something like that. But me my ass they have my lives a little bit different and I thank God for another day.
Save the most fortunate one but so far so good. You have to live this kind of life you live in to this sort of thing. Because when your little girl you live that life when you get to be a married woman there from now on when you become a widow That's another one. And a divorce the debt deal another one I believe and I have free will. That's really what happens when a working wife. When I put it this way it gets into the middle class and the husband does not. Does this cause additional problems. Yes I would say I have to say he is working as a laborer and he is exposed to. The general talk or associating with the laboring class. And his wife has a job in the office. She works just up to a secretary or something of this nature
and there she is in another world. She's in another completely different world. When they get home and he wanted to talk about what has transpired on the day they find out they have very little in common. She's talking with women. From a different background culturally and what have you. And she begins to accept their way of thinking you know. She may even add well. One of the girls at work told me that her husband takes her purse shopping for groceries and then on Sunday she takes. He takes them all out to the zoo. You know why don't you do these type of things here. So he's often put under the microscope. He is studied by her in any set of studies himself. He feels that now maybe she's becoming brainwashed you know like people are brainwashed to such extent now she's bugging me about this. And then this causes a lot of conflict because she looks at him as not being a whole
man and she makes these statements around the children the children are also going to feel that he's not a whole man. What does. What's the result of those divorce separation I would tell you. Mostly And a lot of hostilities. It still stands that one doesn't understand the other. That is that the new woman. Has been. Accepted. More so by white industry into the white world. Going back to the job situation maybe she was invited out by some of the white coworkers. This will cause a conflict at home or maybe both parties were invited to the home. He may not want to go. He might have thought that he could communicate with people and in her communicating more and more where those on the right were up. She doesn't communicate very well with him anymore. And so what happens when you have a lack of communication and a family breakdown.
When this happens for a living do you know what is a parent generally what does a man do if he is divorced or separated. Well not from experience but from just hear other ladies speak about it. They find their wife. Like you did there. Good communication with other people and really work in an office and want to visit with the people that she worked with and want them to go along and he don't want to go because he don't know Liam and don't associate with the construction worker and they have white collar jobs are just gone period. Maybe feel. Guitar playing cards start drinking you know. Sometimes this leads to more drinking and more staying away from home to to be with somebody else in his category more. He feels but if he just go on with his wife he'll come on up to the part too. But to keep from coming to this because the fear that she's pulling him
he'll go out with this buddies and his friends and it leads to drinking and staying away from home more because you don't have the communication as you have it. Last time this is fun because if you come along and do like he say pang might work good for it. Perhaps the most tragic part of the moment would be the children what happens to their current joy. Well. I believe I'm experiencing some of what could have happened to the children of a family their lack of our. Meal. In the house. It's dangerous really when you think about the outcome. Because here they're identifying themselves they're boys in the identifying themselves are trying to identify themselves with some meal. And if there is not a meal to dinner but himself with them they're sort of confused and. Become very very unhappy because again they resort to looking at television
programs where there is a father in the mother you know story books but they look around their own world it's all female you know female telling them what to do. Female It has a female teacher maybe a female school principal. Their whole world emote around females. This isn't good because. When they become older and say they are to decide to get married there's no groundwork for the bases of being a husband as we think of a husband you know a good provider and what have you. And. Though females can do a very good job in a lot of areas. When it comes to raising children. I don't think their female has all the answers you know and she may be strong enough to bring them through some of their critical areas but it's been a fact that a known fact that children are coming up in a home where it's just female dominance. They're more likely to get into trouble to become juvenile
delinquents and they resent and resent and resent. So. The real answer to this. Is that the female that's found herself in that position. Is to try to seek outside help either through the church or maybe through other relatives a good uncle you know someone that this child or children can look up to. And this is again where the community could play a very. Profound role here in that they could provide them like Big Brother organizations or if there is a person in the neighborhood there would be good for organizing a Little League clubs for children that didn't have a father. They have to have someone. And it's got to be a meal that generates. Or demonstrates responsibility where they have to have this companionship and they're being cheated out of a very valuable experience.
Both of you live in the inner core of Milwaukee and you've seen this kind of situation many times and talked with people who you know first in this situation and like you just mail to these boards and. Somebody they can have confidence in even though there are scouts there's good and gone to the boys club. And this real good article this I've experienced is really good. That will just take over and take the boys hunting fishing camp and so on like this happens in my family. Is it more important for the little boys than the girls to have this male father. Yes it's more important for the ball because I say this because the girls and the mother can be mother and daughter so easily and get along and kind of work things out. Yeah it is nice to have a father don't get me wrong period. You know but if you just had to have. One it would best be for the boy because the mother can always manage I feel with the girls
because they can always be mother and daughter but that boy and that may be all over him. For him to feel secure. And even when he becomes. The age of marriage are teenage he have somebody he can talk to just like a dyke into them and I feel that they should do his thing. I know this happens in my family very often and I know by my brother and brother so he knew what I was getting at was or. It would seem obvious that a young man would benefit from having a father in the house as something to emulate. To to. Look for that I would be a big man and someday but I was thinking in terms of the gross. To something perhaps happened as far as they're looking forward to relationships with boys with men later on if they don't have a father in the home in which ones are going in ways it does because they think of marriage bride
friend husband you know and when they see how their father acts. Why is this real good because it helped them to pick a husband to you know is both for the book Sex yes for the girls and the boys. But just beacon. Basically the boys need a big brother. Of father somebody they can rely on to Dalian cause the girl she can kind of work from the brother a lot more than the boy came from the sister because he don't want to find out as much to their sister as the sister would. Down to the brother you know. She let him go for his all the time and half of their most respect and honor of doing things but bore a man and a bore on me and don't want to really come down under that to me so that's why I say if the boy need the father more than the daughter so have you seen
boys or girls who have been in this situation and have not heard anyone who has a strong male. Image and something that's happened to them. You know this from personal experience. Oh yes. You sort of grew up with this thing in your own neighborhood before you think about getting married. You see family you know hit that. Children used to joke about. Who would be their father if they had a father who they pick. You know you do your playmates talk about this type of thing. And then of course my own personal experience coming up without a male image in the home raised by a grandmother and a mother. I'm inclined to believe Livia says now that a girl sort of varies it through more so than a boy probably if I had been a boy I might have been you know really being a delinquent but of course it does have its bad affects you know a girl needs a father quite a bit too.
Getting back Bill to the effects of children I come from a household without a meal. Chances are I think to cystic screw this chances are that they do not exceed. They do not excel nearly as much so from a balance home and show you wow what a big difference it makes I know of a family where the father had raised four children three boys and one girl. He was awarded children through a divorce suit and everyone thought oh how in the world you are going to raise these children alone. But it worked out very well they all went to college. You know the daughter I think at this time suffered more so because she wanted a mother to talk with. I think at this time the thing she sought out the Sisters of the Catholic school. So this helped out but what I'm saying is that basically you did probably a better job in raising this family than if he had been a woman trying to raise them. You see he laid down certain fundamentals and children just seem to take more attention to what the meal has to
say more so than what the female says. But I think the rate if someone made a direct survey on the situation of what transpires after the children leave the home where is the male dominant what happens to him you know if there was some follow up research on this. Basically they end up in Wales or Oregon and a lot of other places because this woman doesn't have that good of control on them once they get out of there. Say the grade school age bracket let us out of disregard what she's saying to them you know this is why it's so important she seeks out help immediately. Children are smart. The church or the school will exert itself and our peoples not to believe that now. I've gotten a good control but what's going to happen when they get to be teens and I tell me have to be in by 11 and they know well she's not going to do too much about this but if there were a father there they'd be home at 11. You see there's a
difference. Did you phone from your own experience for instance in school did you pay more attention to male teachers female teachers. Oh yes. Principal that happened to be a male. I listen to it so you know. Music teachers and what have you they were males. I enjoyed much more. Being in history teachers I didn't have too many male teachers but I was always able to compere them in that. I would often say I'm learning more from them and never analyze really why except that he had better control over the classroom situation. Well let's face it this is a man's world you know. And we're trying to live in it. Well listen I want to. Have you had have you had a similar experience and score another situation Kyra like you did in school that male teacher really here are willing to do and my prayers are the same. We had lady teachers too but male teachers seemed like when he say sounds like a father he stuck his foot the words and
the whatever it was was done that's the way it was meant in school too and that's another thing I think about the children when they get teenagers they don't listen to their father when he's They sat and he was also until they came up with always you know I remember the face for a minute and I'll tell you and the kids will do much better you know because they know their father really mean business because he's the man. And we've always accepted I mean as a you know us and I think that's what he's really I mean that. All my life that way because my father was so strong There's a reason I get here. Is there a particular age at which this sort of logic would be very critical. There seems to be an agent for instance in which children are learning in school either do well or they'll go start going downhill it seems to be somewhere around a third grade I think is a similar age in which the lack of a father would be particularly
bad. Yeah I think it's more noticeable by the child at that age you know. He's observing you know everything at this point and he's trying to relate to it and you know if the home life is such where is causing confusion in the Father is being B rated or downbeat and he was observing this and this is really at the age where he is aware of racial tensions in the in the world in his own world say he's going to be particular attention to how it's affecting his parents. He's going to pay particular attention to the separation if there's any Our divorce if it comes to this. I mean I've discussed it so much but it will come out in other behavior patterns you know anger and. Disobedience and this type of thing. And basically what he's trying to say is that you know I need both of you. What is what's happening to
me. You know and someone ticked some attention to me at this point and really at the third fourth grade this these factors really come out more so then when they're little younger. After you get maybe to the fifth or sixth grade he's getting used to the idea of whatever's happening in his home life and his school life to becoming to in the area of acceptance of the situation whereas before he is very disturbed about in Journey comes out where I teach I don't know what's happening to this kid. You know it was really good last semester but this year he seems like he's disturbed about something and then the pair probably service at home you know. And this was around 8 8 9 years old. They really started noticing what's going on around them. I'm sure that the things which see the larger community could do to alleviate some of these problems are obvious to everyone. But what can
the what the wives of Negro husbands living in this kind of situation what can they do to help build up their husbands we go to help hold a family together. What sorts of things does one try. Well one first tries to understand. That the group period the ethnic group that they come from one should know one's history not just something that someone has told them. They really understand what has happened to the negro male from the time you get off the boat up to this time. What progress has he made. How is he a better. Husband Father and I believe things are getting better. I don't believe that. I think the negro male now is really trying very hard but he's got to play catch up. Mind you he's been in this bag for many many years. Where is the white male have medically accepted the role of responsibility and husband.
What makes a good has been a bad husband. Where the negro male really was never taught this. We knew a woman has a couple problems as she's well issues that she should keep in mind one. I am getting ready to marry Camille or I married to Nico Mele. How can I best help this man and my marriage and myself. At the same time I mean this is really three issues because it's three things really involved and I would say well what difference would it make if two new girls were marrying into an ally couple was a big difference. First of all she's living in a society that has not completely accepted her husband or her boyfriend. She's got to help him overcome a lot of her insecurities and this is going to take place at home because he's not going to feel very secure and in society as it is now. But he can
lean on her quite a bit now depends on her shoulders. And can she be the spiritual Spawn's and everybody can't. I couldn't be and I know a lot of other women couldn't and then we have a. I have a sort of saying well he's really no good he's like you know what I've always heard about Negro males. I basically don't believe that you know better. But you know really able to cope with the situation. And I think it's like rioters or sociologist can either you know a lot of research but they haven't as you don't want to lump sum that he will mail to. That he's just a poor slob that maybe another 50 years will come out of it. But we can't we 50 years what happens to our children what happens to the society period depends on how we want to improve it. I will really know that we've gone through this that situationally wars with our children alone. Can we help someone else. Are can we help our own children or can we just work in the community in general. I think one of the answers would be knowing your history and your history.
The church could play a very good role here you know if they would. All religions whatever religion it is to help strengthen these family ties and be realistic in obeying the church to the homes to the home going to the church. These are some just some of the answers that I could see being of a great help. But basically the negro woman has to recognize what she's getting herself into and be very realistic about it. That is not a fairy tale love story. So she went out to confession which is watching down to reprogram because she's not gonna read. You know she's her and she's faced with financial problems and on top of it with a meal that has been frustrated most of his life. Now if she's willing to accept this and they're both willing to work at it he may have success with marriage. Well you know some of the end of that I could repeat one thing to you the church but if those were I
mean no that be again Mary realized defend me and take it. I think marriage is real serious thing to go into and it's sacred. And I think the church should be the next step and then when these kids come and as they grow up with the help of the church I think when I see change you can have a good marriage and raise a family here. Yet something may go wrong but then you will say it's because I'm married to who I married. It just happened. But if you first realized the church I think about the people I got together they used. To live here leave and this is Julia Rogers My thanks for your insights and your honesty. You overheard a conversation between Ralph Johnson and the two inner city homemakers as they discussed the problems of the negro male and his efforts to be a man.
This program was originally heard over w AJ at the University of Wisconsin as part of that station's intensive week of broadcasting on Milwaukee's inner core city within a city can oust speaking this is the national educational radio network.
The inner core: City within a city
To Be a Man
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3596. This prog.: To Be a Man. Two inner city homemakers discuss problems of the Negro male in his role as family man and his search to maintain his pride and masculinity in what can be an essentially matriarchal family.
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-34-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:48
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Chicago: “The inner core: City within a city; To Be a Man,” 1968-09-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “The inner core: City within a city; To Be a Man.” 1968-09-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: The inner core: City within a city; To Be a Man. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from