by S.A. Prince
“This is my son. He is my King.” I often hear single mothers use this or a similar phrase. Sometimes if you’re on Facebook you’ll see it captioned under their photos. King (insert child’s name here). It’s something that is regularly done, and is done so subconsciously without any thought as to why single mothers call their young sons, King.
It’s a cry for male leadership, something that is in lack within the black community who has a (and I’m low-balling) 70% illegitimacy rate. This means 70% of homes in the black community don’t have a father, a King, and of the 30% of the ones that do, how many of those homes are filled with men that delegate their responsibility (Simps)? The black community is an extreme example, but it doesn’t look that much different from the rest of the country.
I’m sure you have some women who are reading this and they’re saying, “I don’t need male leadership and I don’t need a man.” However, many of you do call your son “king.” To prove my point, let’s get away from the son and look at the daughter.
How often have you heard a woman refer to her daughter as her “Queen,” and not in a facetious manner? I’ll wait…
You will rarely, if ever, see a single mother refer to her daughter as the Queen. You know why? Because there can only be one Queen, and that is the mother! If King is just a name and not a cry for male leadership, then why do mothers not do the same to their daughters? It’s obvious that within the mother-daughter existence there is no need for feminine leadership, because the mother is that feminine leader and wouldn’t allow herself to be second to her daughter.
Why then would a single mother allow herself to be second to her son by giving him the moniker “King?” Many single mothers may disagree that they are doing this, but a King is the ruler of the kingdom and second to none.
There is power in our words. We must understand this. When a single mother calls a son, King, she puts him in a position that he cannot possibly fill. But the single mother is correct in her unconscious plea. There is a need for male leadership. We do need Kings, but where are they going to come from? Where will the men rise up from to lead the family?
You know where they’re most likely not coming from? Leaders aren’t coming from the homes of single mothers that marginalize the need for men. It would be a rarity to see a male leader emerge from a home where the idea of masculinity is emasculated. Those homes that disregard the value of male leadership create soft and weak boys.
Please note: I’m not saying that you have to go out and be with a man. I am saying that as a single mother raising a boy you have to value male leadership and cannot emasculate the image of masculinity. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want your son to be a “King,” but that is a title that must be earned over time, and cannot be earned while a child is under your roof. A King forges their own path. Lastly, I’m not saying that as a woman you’re doing a bad job raising boys. What I am saying is that you need a man to help raise a boy.
And that’s the issue. We need men to raise these boys. Look around. There aren’t a lot of capable men or women capable of finding the capable men. As a single mother you have to be mindful of the male image. If you emasculate it, then you will hurt your son in the long run. You must find Kings and get them to mentor your son. Are you listening? You have to actively seek male figures to help raise your son, and then move out of the way and let them do it, also while not emasculating the male image. It is possible to turn you sons into Kings, but it’s going to take a lot of help and assistance that you can’t give. But, the first step in the process is the admittance of that truth.
…and stop calling your son a King.