Black Childhood

Not every childhood is filled with love and happiness. Sometimes it can be a nightmare. Abuse. Absurd corporal punishment rites. Because I had such a childhood I am interested, if artists create compositions, which can be bridges of understanding and empathy leading into such a dark world. Following three examples:
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1 – Luigi Mirto: “Story of a tear”
Storia di una lacrima - Story of a tear
photo by Luigi Mirto, Italy; title: “Storia di una lacrima – Story of a tear”

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2 – Joan Barrett: “A Look of Warning”
A Look of Warning
photo by just jb / Joan Barrett; title=”A Look of Warning”

3 – Michael Haneke: “The White Ribbon”
The author and film maker Michael Haneke created the movie “The white ribbon” (German: Das weiße Band), Golden Palm 2009 in Cannes; he analyzes the connection between rude education-principles of the East German high society in the year 1913 – short before Germany started two world wars. What are the reasons, that such a society agreed to follow their leaders in such inhuman years of bestiality? It started via the legal principles of education, therefore all became cruel, of course the children too …

related:
corporal punishment, wikipedia article
view there the map about the legality of corporal punishment in Europe and the USA
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0359734/
http://programm.ard.de/TV/daserste/2011/10/03/das-weisse-band/eid_281066825558881?list=main

P.S.
(developed in the comments / dialogs):
born 1945 I was immediately given into an orphanage. adopted three years later I did not enter a paradise. my ex-Nazi father liked to repeat and practice physical punishment rites (every evening 7 p.m.) he had seen in the concentration camps of the world war II. also I usually in the night was locked in the basement where it was dark. similar locked doors metaphorically I had to discover getting overwhelmed by youth gangs, religious groups, inhuman military discipline etc. – it was a long way into liberty fixed in the post-war post-Nazi German society. I have to thank for support: my wife Barbara and friends. of course I tried not to hurt my own children in the same way. changed the principles of education radically…
P.S.:
I was surprised, looking at the wikipedia map, in how many countries it is still allowed to beat children. Germany and Spain after all those years of Fascism did learn. Scandinavia a paradise – but what is happening in many other countries?
1953 - storytelling

related:
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Søren Kierkegaard
me, adopted
me, adopted at least by two beasts …

About frizztext

websites: 1 - my daily wordpress blog "flickrcomments" at FLICKRCOMMENTS, 2 - photo pool at frizztext, 3 - flickr group BLOG IT!, 4 - twitter, 5 - my guitar, 6 - about.me

40 responses to “Black Childhood

  1. It is saddenin to learn about your absuive childhood, no one shoiuld ever go through that, although I cannot full understand your feelings, as i have been fortunate to not go through physical abuse in my childhood. I hope you found your closure in life, and are a better parent to your kids in return :)

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    • thank you Kamakshi!
      born 1945 I was immediately given into an orphanage. adopted three years later I did not enter a paradise. my ex-Nazi father liked to repeat and practice physical punishment rites (every evening 7 p.m.) he had seen in the concentration camps of the world war II. also I usually in the night was locked in the basement where it was dark. similar locked doors metaphorically I had to discover getting overwhelmed by youth gangs, religious groups, inhuman military discipline etc. – it was a long way into liberty fixed in the post-war post-Nazi German society. I have to thank for support: my wife Barbara and friends. of course I tried not to hurt my own children in the same way. changed the principles of education radically…
      P.S.:
      I was surprised, looking at the wikipedia map, in how many countries it is still allowed to beat children. Germany and Spain after all those years of Fascism did learn. Scandinavia a paradise – but what is happening in many other countries?
      1953 - storytelling

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  2. There are many people here who still believe in corporal punishment for little ones and moves towards having it brought back into schools. For me, it defies comprehension that Australia can think that way at all.

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  3. Pingback: BLOG 2C : Black Childhood « Flickr Comments by FrizzText « METHINKS SHE DOTH PROTEST

  4. Many of my students do not live with love and happiness in their lives-

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  5. me about Michel Foucault – in German:
    http://blogfrizz.wordpress.com/foucault-de/
    - mit einigen autobiografischen Ergänzungen
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    “Überwachen und Strafen”
    meine amazon buch rezension:
    http://www.amazon.de/review/R3FSO2LN8BWCEN/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=3518277847&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

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  6. bat

    hallo dietmar

    one says “it is never too late to have a happy childhood” …(which even is a title of a book as far as I remember)
    for me that sounds both: interesting and sarcastic as well…
    I suppose that one should not compare different upbringings nor the results of it –
    and we should always keep in mind that getting a happy childhood is a PRESENT – while building or reconstructing something similiar means hard WORK
    -unfortunately not everybody survives that job – in fact – most of the victims are so deeply injured that they don’t have the power or cannot find the thrust in themselves to change their own history on their own
    but if….they need any possible help…and it should be up to us ALL (each one of us who has something to give- and each one has..!) to offer our help and to share…

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  7. Oh, I don’t know what I should say.Hope children’s smile.

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    • dear Coco,
      many parents are doing a lot for children (like you). it is dangerous, if parents are influenced too ideological – like the Amish People on the second picture etc. – I am glad about this photo by Joan Barrett, New York: since I saw that “LOOK OF WARNING” it became a great symbol for me not to forget what I call “black childhood” …
      your frizz, Germany

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  8. I don’t know what to say either. Those are terrible struggles to have experienced.

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  9. thirdhandart

    Thank you for being brave enough to write about such a sensitive subject. I’m so sorry that you had to struggle through such a horrific childhood.
    Just because it’s quick, cheap and deters unruliness in the short run, I do not think that corporal punishment should be used on small children. There are more ethical ways to discipline children: time outs in a designated, safe spot; withholding privileges; praise and rewards for good behavior; etc.). Albeit they take a little more time and effort, but I think they are worth it.
    According to Wikipedia, “The American Psychological Association opposes the use of corporal punishment in schools, juvenile facilities, child care nurseries, and all other institutions, public or private, where children are cared for or educated. It claims that corporal punishment is violent and unnecessary, may lower self-esteem, and is liable to instill hostility and rage without reducing the undesired behavior. The APA also states that corporal punishment is likely to train children to use physical violence.”
    Kudos for not using physical violence to discipline your children FrizzText. Congratulations on breaking the cycle of child abuse that could have occurred!

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    • yes, thirdhandart / Theresa,
      corporal punishment is violent and unnecessary,
      lowers self-esteem,
      and is liable to instill hostility and rage …
      +
      P.S.:
      at a certain point of suffering I discovered in my life, that only rage could set me free…
      +
      I had to smile, as I watched the Arabian youth revolt this year – good luck to them -
      and bye bye cruel dictatorship. Syria is not solved …

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  10. A fundamental mistake in bringing up children: to be punished and not to have an understanding of what you have done wrong, to be punished for being rather that welcome into the world, ultimately indentifying with a childish minor nonconsequential mistake, and coming to believe that you, yourself are a mistake! (I like the phylosophy Dr. John Brandshaw has on the subject of disfunctional family). I think you will enjoy watching some of his videos on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PjAXINemG4. He opened my eyes on life, and help me grow, in very interesting ways. Everybody should have access to it, I hope you can watch them. Thanks!

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    • yes, it was a gesture of YOU ARE NOT WELCOME in the world – the daily punishments at 7 p.m. a rite of featuring an animal who is not worth to live. the man who adopted me (Erwin was his name) loved that evening rites in the concentration camps. 20 Jewish prisoners in a line, hundreds as forced audience. beaten in public. nowadays in Arabia Taliban still have similar rites. the man who adopted me said: I would not be worth living, coming from an orphanage. my favorite song? Josh White, singing: THERE’S A MAN GOING ‘ROUND TAKIN’ NAMES – about slavery. this Erwin tried to rob my identity and self respect. it took a while to find some. and every kind dialog even in internet is a support. thank you George-B…

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      • I cannot understand, why adopt a child in the first place? There could have been so many ways that he could’ve gotten rid of his frustration? I cant or rather dont even want to get into his mind, let alone meet a person like him…(Sorry for getting this angry, but i am getting very pissed at your father reading this!)

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  11. I am really touched by your post. I had my own black childhood, not through punishment but my mother was ill with depression, and I also became ill, then had to be sent away from home to the country to live. I suffered abuse and neglect because my parents could not care for me, but it did create some strength and understanding in me. It is strange that I have coped better with adult life than my siblings who remained at home. Wishing you love and strength in your journey, xxx

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  12. I found an interesting factor when researching domestic violence Dietmar. I found that in most countries, even in Europe and the U.S., wife beating was permitted by law till less than a 100 years ago, and this was because a wife was seen as a man’s property!! I think the same logic applies but has never been challenged for children. Women fought back, to their right and dignity as human beings, but who is fighting for the children. What gives a parent the right to beat and abuse a child. In India, as in other countries that you mention, people say, that is only to discipline the child. But the same argument was given to beat wives!! I think it is the ultimate form of human rights violation Dietmar. In India, thousands of parents kill their baby girls within 6 years of birth. Often when parents kill their baby girl the court lets them go free from jail, because they say they have other children to look after. But if parents killed other people, say a neighbor, they will still have to go to jail, even if they have children!! What this means is the court sees children as property. You can kill your child, like you can destroy your own property, but you cannot destroy another’s property. That is the logic here.

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    • yes, Rita, that seems to be the point! in past centuries the wife was property of man. he could beat a wife or destroy via other methods. children also were used like property. they have to work for the family even if they are very young. India is an example of child-work. Latin America too. feminism made some victories in the last decades (not in every country). but who fights for children? yes, many. but the result still is not very satisfying in some countries. sometimes it seems, that only a human being armed with weapons has the power to defend his human rights. no moral rules are existing to give human dignity automatically to everyone. they have to fight for. workers vs. the owners of a industry. women vs. men. children vs. everyone, especially vs. children. the dream of Immanuel KANT still is only a dream: that every human being feels inside, what is O.K. and what not not. http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/immanuel-kant-1724-1804/

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      • and related to your thoughts, RITA in Calcutta, about property and the dowry death femicide, the killing of young girls in INDIA: a double handicap: ONLY a woman and ONLY a child. nearly on the level of an animal. by the way the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, that the level of the civilization of a nation is ranking related to the way they treat … animals. A long way to solve that problem …

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  13. Nel

    Your choice to deviate from the path of living your present to somehow avenge your past is admirable.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. :)

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    • yes avenge / revenge / rage etc. is reaction on the same level of brutality. we should try to react on a higher level: changing the laws of a country, discussing in public, using the internet, if printed paper or TV-channels refuse support. once a TV-channel invited me to discuss child abuse. the moderator of the TV-show, the famous German bible man Jürgen Fliege, wanted me to agree to his final climax: he gives me a bible as a present and the advice to pray to God. as I replied, no bible please, it is a subject of politics and social sciences he blocked further dialogs with me. my flight tickets to the TV channel were canceled.
      https://twitter.com/#!/search/J%C3%BCrgen%20Fliege

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  14. Pingback: Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

  15. Pajarillo57

    In my opinion it fully depends of the intellectual level of an adult. If it is low a person may think that this is a good way of treating children. That’s because he/she can’t find any arguments to convince a child not to behave (or do something) bad. An Intellectual person would never hit a child. Unfortunately, there are too many people who see the only way to establish themselves laying low the others. To hit a child is a crime.

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    • I know, that you, dear Pajarillo / Andrey = a classical concert guitarist, would no one hit with your guitar like a heavy metal punk rock guitarist. but I saw in Television that automobile drivers hit each other in rage on the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg. very often happens! yes, I know, you are not from Russia, you are from Ukraine :-)

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  16. I’m so sorry to read this; even though you have hinted at it before, each time I read it, it saddens me. Yet, the remarkable thing is that your own pain and suffering made you a compassionate, caring person… You are blessed. TY for revisiting that place and be healed.
    E

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  17. I’m still catching up on blog comments…TY! :-( :-)

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  18. Pingback: Kierkegaard’s Courage « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

  19. This is such an insightful story. Your pain and suffering is sad. I feel for you. I was seriously abused with physical and mental punishment. It is something very difficult to overcome. As adults we pray that we do not offend our own famlilies in any of those ways. I do have some of that pain in my writings. I try to write about the thingd I had wished I had had instead. It makes my psotings less intense. Your story contained a bit of history which I had not known in such detail. It is a brave thing to reveal your heartache. May you continue to heal and see that this was never who you are.
    Thank you for posting.
    Namaste,
    Isadora

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  20. there’s a man (Erwin, the man who adopted me)
    going ’round
    taking names
    (my name was Beckmann,
    but that was extinguished a long time…)

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  21. Pingback: the C archive « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

  22. Pingback: Story Challenge: Letter “C” « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

  23. Frizz, now I begin to understand why my photo has resonated so profoundly and deeply with you. Just to know what horrors you have endured saddens me. Yet, you have come through unspeakable abuse with a love for life and a creative, beautiful spirit. May I call you my friend?

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