Needless to say, it’s been a pretty rough road for anyone African-American and famous named Jackson lately.
Not good at all. In fact, the two families that can easily be described as the First Families of our community in the second half of the 20th century are seriously going through it right now.
Cases in point: Our First Family of Politics in the latter half of the previous century—one engaging the political system for at least the past 30 years and still active today—is dealing with some very serious issues regarding the mental health and well-being of its elected son, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Our prayers and well-wishes go out to the Congressman and his family.
Our First Family of Entertainment in the latter half of the 20th century is not faring much better. The Jacksons are reeling from infighting, those looking to exploit them, and a lack of closure regarding the death of their most famous member, Michael.
Prayers to them as well. So, I mention this today to question what it says if the two families that have symbolized and represented our community on a global scale for years are racked with serious challenges.
On one level, it’s just a reminder that despite all of their prestige, fame and fortune, these are human beings going through it and trying to work it out just like the rest of us… just more publicly.
But on another level, maybe it does appropriately symbolize our challenges regarding the state of our community, our infighting, our poor health, our lack of well-being.
Maybe we need to look at the current misfortune of these First Families as a reminder to all of us that our community is made up of just that: families, and that our community will fall apart if we don’t put our families first.
For the family, regardless of how many members it may have, is still the base of our community. This is the case whether you are a famous family of influence or a single parent living in the projects.
And for most of us, family will love us unconditionally regardless of what we are going through. If Jesse Jackson Jr. is suffering, his family is suffering as well. Right now, what matters most is not his political support, but the support of his family.
If this type of support between family members is not there in a lasting way, then when hardship or tragedy strikes, you get the sad situation we are currently getting with our First Family of Entertainment, a family under attack from external and internal forces.
That said, I am well aware that family can be hard to deal with sometimes. I get that.
But it’s essential to have someone there who loves you and knows you when things go wrong, when stuff hits the fan, when dreams get deferred, and when there’s no place to turn.
So the message today is to keep your family first.
For it’s been said: “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world."
Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.