by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Rapper Lil Boosie’s release from prison has some celebrating as if he were Nelson Mandela reincarnated. While it’s debatable that the celebration was warranted, one thing that is not debatable is that the mainstream media is always happy to highlight black dysfunctionality whenever possible.
So, in typical media tradition, Boosie’s baby’s mamas are getting their own reality show, at least a pilot. According to TMZ, Walnita, Tracey, Trivia, and Gerlissa have been working on the pilot while he was in prison. These four women have had seven kids with the rapper (aka Torrence Hatch), all aged between 4 and 11. He might have had more kids if prison hadn’t slowed him down.
One of the mothers, Walnita, was arrested for trying to smuggle drugs into jail for Boosie back in 2010.
The show doesn’t yet have a home, but producers are shopping it. This is the second rapper/baby mama reality show to be pushed forward, since Oxygen tried to air “All My Baby’s Mamas” featuring the rapper Shawty Lo last year.
Financial Juneteenth lessons from this story:
1) One of the quickest keys to staying broke is poor family planning. Men who have a lot of kids with a lot of women have a consistent drain on their resources, especially celebrities, who often create an unsustainable number of steep financial obligations that they typically cannot maintain once their spotlight has dimmed. It’s hard to expect that Boosie is going to become or remain financially secure in the future.
2) The mothers and their children are also victims of broken family structures as well. The stress of raising a child alone, along with the financial struggles that come with it, are among the root causes of chronic undiagnosed depression among black women and children. Also, not having a father in the home leaves children unprotected, which is the source of a great deal of child abuse, much of it at the hands of men that are dating the mother of the child. I have a friend who once led the Crimes against Children unit in a major police force, and he says that he sees cases like this every single day.
3) Media loves to highlight black broken families but doesn’t find much excitement or profitability in presenting images that are more stable (say, for example, the images presented on BlackAndMarriedwithKids.com). These depictions sink into the collective subconscious of young black children, not only making these relationships appear to be acceptable, but even glorifying them to the point of being desirable. In that way, mainstream media is largely responsible for maintaining the economic and psychological despair of the African American community. In other words, ignorance is winning.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.