Archive for Black Family

Can Women Really Have it All…Can Men?

        After practising for more than a decade, I decided to give up chasing one of my dreams of being this hot-shot attorney, settling for being one amongst many in the Big Apple.  Although I always had plans on having a family of my own, the concept alone was not enough.  I had to actually put my plan into action and that meant giving up my very demanding career or at least downsizing my dream.  I did not lament about it at all, no, on the contrary I am anxious and excited about realizing one of the most important dreams of my existence.  You see, I am one of the few professional women I know that believes that there is no way I can be an excellent mother, superb attorney and great wife.  As I recently mentioned to my SO, when I am on my death-bed I doubt strongly that any of my last words will  have anything to do with how my professional life turned out, but I am sure that my role as a mother will be one of my major concerns. 

     I have been representing women, men and children in family law related matters for a good portion of my career and I must say I have learned quite a bit about what it takes to be even a good parent, let alone an exceptional one.  And one consistent theme is that the best mothers are not the CEO’s, CFO’s nor partner,  hell they are not even the top-level manager, they are the ones that get to see their child take their first step, ride their first bicycle and have their first role in the school play.  It does not matter if the parents are professional, working class or middle class, spending more time at work than nurturing family usually results some sort of dysfunction.  As progressive as we would all like to think we have become, there are still some ideals that remain intact, we are the nurturers responsible for providing the love, support and comfort in the home.   And there is no way to do that when spending 10-14 hour days at work takes precedence.

     For men, the same is true to some extent.  We know that fathers who are not involved, or have minimal interaction, in their children’s lives, more often than not have delinquent sons and premature sexually active daughters.  Although men have historically been responsible for providing for their family, spending more time at work than at home nurturing family has deleterious effects.  Even as far as the relationship, men cannot contribute to a healthy and loving relationship if he  cannot balance career with her personal aspirations. 

     So we can have it all if family is not at interest.  Don’t get me wrong I do understand that some things work for some families that would not work for others, but then one needs to examine the sustainability or the substantive strength of that family.  The joy and freedom in having a spouse or SO that spends most of his or her time at work is not equated with the joy of nurturing a strong bond and tight-knit family. 

     Let me know what you think?

16 and Pregnant…..and Black

      I am addicted to this tv series on MTY, 16 and Pregnant, that is! I watch for several reasons:  1) it amazes me how these young people are disillusioned by the demands of parenthood at such a young age; 2) it actually enlightens me because young people tell it like it is, no sugarcoating anything and since I am anticipating motherhood and 3)  the teens profiled are typically rural or suburban, white teens whose whole outlook on their future is different from the teen moms I know!

     I remember when I was 16, I think 25% of my friends either had an abortion, miscarriage or actually delivered a baby.  That was back in the 80’s when teen pregnancy was on the rise, before the decline in the early 90’s only to increase somewhere around 2002.  I mean when I think about those friends, particularly the ones that had a baby by the time they were 19, they all have something in common.  The most significant commonalities are that they all came from single parent households, they all dropped out of school (and did not go back for a diploma or GED) and to date, are living below or at poverty.   Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part many of them, including the ones that the elders in the neighborhood believed had the most potential, just did not go far economically, geographically or professionally.  The statistics pretty much substantiate what I experienced myself, see http://www.familyfirstaid.org/teen-pregnancy.html.

     It was not until I started handling cases in Family Court in New York that I realized that what I always believed to be a myth is actually a truth, teenage pregnancy is typically generational.  That is, typically the mother (or father for that matter) of a teenage parent was a teenage parent his or herself.  Despite the fact that I have a large number of mid 30’s-early 40’s year old friends who are grandparents, I never actually realized that their child was pretty much destined to follow the same path.  See I have always been an optimist, thinking that cycles can be broken with effort and diligence and so some things like, preventing teenage pregnancy,was certainly one that required minimal effort on part of the teenager’s parent(s).  But even the most remarkable parents, and I have seen many parents who were teen moms do exceptional jobs with their children, have to acknowledge the proclivity of their child to make the same decisions and choices that result in parenthood at an early age.  Many of these parents fail to appreciate that admonitions and incessant lecturing is not enough.   In fact, many of the same warnings that are effective with teens whose moms were much older do not work with children of teen moms, a little more is definitely necessary. 

     One major deterrent is a teen who has a strong emotional bond with both parents whether they are in the same home or not, this teen is much more likely to engage in sex at a much later age, to be more knowledgeable about and have access to contraception and in many instances, when faced with a pregnancy will make decisions based on their future aspirations.  Many still think the notion of having a strong attachment to two parents who are no longer together is asinine.  On the contrary, mature, responsible and emotionally balance parents can do a superb job raising children despite the dissolution of their relationship. 

      What does teen pregnancy have to do with the Black family?  Well, depending on the source, Black teens still lead the overall population in teen births.  (See guttmacher.org and their recent studies)  Whether this is true or not, the problem is that the Black family is on a continual path of destruction if we continue to allow the rate to increase even slightly.  Regardless of all the financial ramifications, the societal burdens, yadda, yadda, yadda!on us all, Black families will become a heightened misnomer if we do not become proactive in prevention.  Parent.family involvement, sex education, conflict resolution are just are few places to start.

Raising Black Girls to Become a Wife/Mother:The Impact of Fatherlessness

     There is rarely a shortage on research data on how fatherlessness affects Black boy or adult Black men.  However, when it comes to the impact of absentee fathers on Black girls, well, let’s just say that I am still looking for solid data on the topic.  But let’s at what is out there (in addition to personal experiences) and discuss the correlation with the single Black woman.  In my group of female friends, about 75% of us grew up in fatherless homes and it was not until my early 30’s did I realize our differences.  I am at the point now where I can tell if a woman grew up in a two-parent household or if she was raised by her single mother.  When I say two-parent, I mean both biological or a step-parent who raised her from early on, as opposed to a cohabitating couple.  My friends that come from the two-parent homes were typically much more confident, they were much more expressive and they typically maintained steady relationships.  The women that, like me, came from a single-parent/mother raised home almost always had self-esteem, image and self-worth issues.  Most of us had problems dealing with conflict, understanding our roles and boundaries and choosing partners based on our intentions (in other words we were more likely to attract the men who wanted something completely different.)

     Research indicates that women who come from fatherless homes tend to become sexually active, and many promiscuity is common; mature physiologically a lot quicker; lag behind other women academically and fail to achieve their goals in many aspects of their lives.  Of course, all of these differences are in addition to the ones I myself have noted.  The one study that I found most interesting is the one where the finding was that teenage girls who grew up in a two-parent home actually started puberty later than girls that grew up in a single parent or step parent home.  According to the Institute for American Values, the emotional affect of the family environment is directly correlated to the girls’ biological functioning.  (The belief is that the production of the hormone, pheromone is delayed when the biological father is in the home.) 

     The reality is that many of these girls, now women, are still maladjusted in the love/relationship department.  Between the issues of trust, self-value, fear of abandonment, amongst the many other issues prolific in the Black community, the desire to be in a loving, committed and meaningful relationship is a major feat.  All the more reason for Black women to do some self exploring if they see having a family of their own a real dream of theirs.  The easy way out is to look at someone else and point the finger at them, blaming them for your current predicament.   I had to face my own demons and look in the mirror, no music, no television, no adornments, no NOTHING! just me!  I was a long, painful and arduous task (to some extent I am still going through it) but certainly necessary.  I cried, I laughed, I rejoiced but at my climax I accepted who I really was, without blaming anyone else.  I think this was the impetus for my new-found relationship not only with myself but with my significant other.

Black Marriage Day: A Celebration Of Black Marriages

I think this is awesome! a day to celebrate, acknowledge and highlight the Black married couples throughout the country.  This is a concept we need to spread like wild flowers, let everyone you know so they can tell somebody and so on and so on and so on…March 28th, 2010.  The founder of Wedded Bliss Foundation, Nisa I. Muhammad founded this day eight years ago to celebrate Black marriage within our community. (go to http://www.blackmarriageday.org and weddedblissinc.com)

The statistics indicate that marriage in the Black community is at an all time low, approximately 32%, less than half of what it was back in the 1970’s.  Furthermore, almost 70% of Black children born in single parent homes, most of them headed by single women.  To make matters even worse, younger couples within the Black community prefer to cohabit over marriage, also opting for having children out of wedlock.  Many believe that Black marriage is not the “trend” anymore speculating that it is more of a “White folks” thing.  These propagandists blame the media, rap music and lack of spirituality for this predicament.  Not that there is no validity to this, I believe that the media certainly plays a major role, but I also think many of us are to blame.  Black women blame Black men for their plight, Black men will not accept responsibility for what ails our community and so many of them run, and so the cycle goes on.

We need to talk long, hard and often about what the benefits of marriage are and why we should encourage our youngsters, our single, professional Black women, our Black men and unmarried parents to consider marriage as a viable option.  Although a  fairly recent Gallup poll, indicates that many Blacks between the ages 19-35, would like to get married and consider marriage to be a very significant part of life there are far too many who “shack up” instead with their “baby mama” or ‘baby daddy”.  So all hope is not gone, we can spread the word now and keep it going.  According the the Institute for American Values (www.americanvalues.org), some of the benefits of marriage include:

-increased financial and economic status, since both spouses are more likely to work as opposed to their White counterparts;

-Black men in particular seem to improve in health, physically and psychologically, when they marry;

-Black children tend to benefit more from marriage, even moreso than cohabitating parents, since married parents tend to take the health, education and psychological well-being of their children much seriously than non-married parents

-Black male offspring tend to be more confident, do better in school and have minimal behavioral issues leading to delinquency when they live within a home where their parents are married

-married Black couples are more likely to be supportive of each other, their children and their community

These benefits, plus many that we can see for ourselves we do not need a study to confirm for us, i.e. that it encourages Black men to remain productive members of society, that it serves as an example and encouragement for young Blacks to see marriage as a viable option and that it serves to minimize many of the negative stereotypes society has placed on us, can be used as selling points to all Blacks young and old as to why we should marriage should be the chosen path for long-term relationships.  I say long-term because we don’t want young people getting married just for the sake of having a party to show off the ring, dresses, etc.  Because just as the number of Black marriages decreased within the Black community, divorces within our community has increased to an astronomical degree.

We can all do something, we can tell everybody we know about the celebrations that are being held on March 28th all over the country to celebrate Black Marriage Day; we can get on board and promote, get active and support the initiatives being made by the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (www.aahmi.org) as well the local efforts being made; most importantly we can support each other and appreciate what we can do to change our attitudes about each other.   I think once we start to listen to each other, respect our differences and move past them to actually do something about it we will inspire change.

Dear SBF: Looking for a Potential Mate…Go to Prison and/or School

Wait, wait, wait!  Before you get your panties all in a bunch let me explain.  I don’t know if many of you have been keeping an eye on the recent bills being considered in Congress regarding the federal sentencing guidelines reform for crack vs. cocaine (the Fair Sentencing Act) or the bills concerning the disenfranchisement of felons (the Democracy Restoration Act of 2009) but these are currently before the legislative bodies, both nationally and locally for a number of reasons.   First off, roughly 35% (and higher if you consider the federal prisons) of the prison population is made up of Black men, where Black men make up only 12% of the overall population.   Okay, you don’t have to be even remotely mathematically savvy to see that these numbers are highly disproportionate.  This is a huge problem, economically, culturally and psychologically, for our community but more so for the Black family.   When more Black women than Black men are graduating from college, although almost 50% more Black women enroll there is an even wider gap in the number that graduates, this just compounds the problems.  To make matters worse, up to 60% of Black men have a criminal record (that number may be a lot higher for some cities like Chicago) and are limited in going anywhere but back to prison or the welfare rolls.

This is the problem, and hence where you come in at SBF, because many of these young Black men are unfairly targeted, unfairly penalized and unfairly disenfranchised upon release.  We don’t have to feed into “their” hype. As Michelle Alexander describes it, in her book “The New Jim Crow:Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness“, (www.newjimcrow)  this is modern day slavery.  Ms. Alexander highlights the fact that there are not only more Blacks imprisoned than there were slaves in 1850, but that there is a huge inequity in the drop in the crime rate since the 1980’s while the number of convictions soared since that time.  She further mentions that more Blacks are disenfranchised in 2004, than before the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified which prohibited the denial of the right to vote on the basis of race.  This is no coincidence, Black men are being enslaved in a covert, yet pernicious way.  I practice criminal defense in New York City, where the incarceration of young Black is a whopping four times more than the number of Blacks that occupy the city.  It’s not hard to tell when I enter the courthouse in any borough and the courtroom is so overwhelmingly filled with Blacks, that I occasionally get mistaken for being a defendant.  As a criminal attorney, it didn’t take long for me to realize the number of potential clients coming to my office were unfairly stopped (clear violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments), illegally detained, were the subject of “evidence planting” and were forced to take pleas or wrongfully convicted (especially when they insisted on proving their innocence by rejecting any pleas, opting to have a jury decide their fate instead).  It is unfathomable how blatant and ubiquitous police officers, prosecutors, judges, etc. are with their total disregard for the truth and for doing what they all pledged they would do under the Constitution.  Not every man in prison, or with a criminal record, did in fact commit a crime-many of them happen to be a victim of an inherent racist justice system.

So SBF, another alternative is to direct your attention to the schools.  The School to Prison Pipeline (http://www.nyclu.org/node/1323) supports what many Black parents are already aware of, the education system is just another ploy to direct our young Black men to the prisons.   Black students (particularly Black boys) are expelled at an alarming rate, 34%, making it more likely to be held back a grade; Black students (again mainly Black boys) are more likely to be placed in special education, minimizing the likelihood of them graduating from high school; and Black boys are more likely to be arrested in school for minor infractions than any other race, thereby establishing a relationship with the penal system a lot earlier in life than what can be justified.

So you see, SBF, the moral of the story is that we can do something.  We can effect change legislatively (go to www.sentencingproject.org), we can mentor Black children (especially Black boys) through the schools, community organizations, churches or one on one or we can merely support our Black men in any way we can.  We may not find our soulmate in any of these places, but we can certainly increase the pool of potentials for someone else.

For further reading, go to http://www.lawsch.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/57racism.html

Since We’re on the Topic, Let’s Talk Blacks and Adoption of Black Boys

     I recently read somewhere that Sapphire, the author of “Push”,  is working on another book that highlights the crisis regarding the over abundance of black boys in foster care.  It really hit me because, as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, I represent (well I used to anyway) children in the foster care system as an attorney in New York.  And what was troubling for me as their attorney, was not only the unbelievable number of Black children that filled the foster homes but the fact that the agencies were so unjustifiably willing to take these children from their homes, disrupting and destroying an otherwise functional family.  And no, the child protective workers were not always “just doing their jobs”, nor were they “erring on the side of caution” (given the fact that the federal statute requires that such agencies MUST implement “services” to the families to avoid removal).  Read my related blog post from my firm’s website, http://www.traceyabloodsaw.com/blog/2008/allegations-of-child-abuse-when-is-removal-of-the-child-justifiedMany of them were just puppets on a string, doing what the system is designed to do, destroy these families, and yes, particularly Black families.

     Regardless of the reasoning, justification or legitimacy the end result is a foster care system, not just in New York, that is overwhelmed by its population, mainly Black population.  My recent post about Blacks being the only ones who should be adopting Black children, prompted several responses here (and on other blogs, Facebook, etc.) about the lack of interest Blacks have in adopting Black children.  This, as many were emphatic in stating, leads to many Black children unfairly being left in loveless, sub par, inadequate foster homes if it were not for Whites adopting them.  Well, my response to this was  1) adoptive/foster parents abuse and neglect these children too (I have seen these cases firsthand) and 2) the motive or intentions of these adoptive parents is “suspect” to me, particularly because they choose to adopt abroad and because Black girls are chosen way more than Black boys. 

     So Sapphire got it right!  There is a crisis going on right now, concerning the proliferation of Black boys in the foster care system.  Let’s look at some data:

-although Black children make up only 15% of the national population, they make up almost 40% of the foster care system population (US Dept of Health and Human Services), while in states like D.C., Maryland and Illinois that number is doubled

-depending on the state, Black boys  make up more than half of the foster care population (see childwelfare.gov factsheets)

And although, according to Adoption.com, Blacks are allegedly more interested in adopting than Whites, 45% and 36% respectively, whether they actually adopt is a different story.  Not to mention, I believe this number varies depending on the source, which is supported by another article published on their site.  (http://library.adoption.com/articles/the-colors-of-adoption-black-vs.-white.html

     The issue is this:  We all know that the odds of a child getting the love, attention and nurture he so desperately needs being  in a foster home, versus being with an adopted family, are minimal, why aren’t we doing anything about it.  What is stopping YOU, single Black women, single Black man or Black couple,  from rescuing these children from this disastrous circumstance?

Only Blacks Should Adopt Black Children

     Recently ABC World News edition did a segment called “Race and Adoption” on the moral question of whether White people should be adopting Black children.   There was a Black man on the segment, Phil Bertelson, who was adopted by a White family and was discussing how he felt as a child being the “outsider” in the relatively large family, which was mainly White.  In addition, the National Association of Black Social Workers’s Sonia Batiste Roberts expressed her concerns with this not so recent trend, stating that Blacks deserve to be placed with families who “look like them”, share common culture and who can relate to them.  Well, of course this ignited a debate, although not a massive one, at least amongst the hosts and guest co-host of ABC’s The View.  Host Joy Behar and guest co-host Vanessa Williams somewhat agreed with Ms. Roberts’ view while the rest of the panel of hosts saw the humanity element in the interracial adoptions and dismissed any criticism of interracial adoptions.

    We can all agree that ideally, any child living in a home remiss of love, nurture and stability should not be deprived of the possibility of getting all of these merely because of race.  However, first off, I would like to personally mention that there are some adoptive/foster parents who are abusive and neglectful too.  I have represented several adopted children, in Family Court in New York, on cases ranging from child support non-payment to child abuse or neglect and the circumstances were just as egregious as the ones that were with their biological families.   Not to minimize the magnanimity in taking in a child that you have no blood ties to, whether bound culturally, ethically or racially or not, but these adoptive parents do not always have good intentions.  But for me it goes along the same line of interracial marriages, I don’t think it does anything to strengthen our lineage or our community, let alone one’s sense of self and sense of pride to condone miscegenation.   It’s enough that we live in a world where education, the media, the arts, news, etc. are mainly from a White perspective, I don’t trust that a White family would make every effort to expose a Black child to their own cultural perspectives on the real world.  Now, you may not see the need for having a sense of belonging or identifying, when faced with the horrific option of living without love or the basis needs to sustain.  However, it is exactly the lack of confidence, low self-esteem and feeling of isolation that perpetuates this “self-hate” that is replete in our community as manifests itself in poverty, poor health, sub-par education and destruction of Black family.  Only we know what we need and only we will ensure that we get it!

     Furthermore, today on CNN there was a segment titled “Pregnancy and Deaths” which mentioned the number of pregnancy associated deaths and how that number has soared in the past decade.   The problem is not just the fact that there are now 9.5 deaths per 1,000, but the fact that that number almost quadruples for Black women to 32.7 deaths per 1,000 is more troubling.   The reasons mentioned are the increase in C-section births, but the reasons that are most pertinent to Black women is the rise in late age pregnancies and diabetic women having babies.   Although these numbers may not be that alarming, we’re talking a mere 3%, however it is when you consider the fact that according to Amnesty International (http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/knock-on-congress-door-to-stop-pregnancy-related-deaths/) half of these deaths are preventable.  I say this to say, that not only do Black women have other issues (which we will address on later posts) that interfere with their desire to become a mother, there is the not so popular option of adoption.  For some reason it’s a thought furthest from many Black women’s minds to consider adoption when they are trying to start a family.  I can assume that costs, eligibility or stigma can be some of the concerns.  But in today’s society, these concerns may not matter as much as they used too.  For instance, I know that although there are some costs associated with adoption, those costs are, in some instances, nominal.  As a family law attorney I know for a fact that some adoptions are actually subsidized by the government and go a lot smoother than one might think.

     The bottom line is that there is always a way to become proactive.  I don’t believe in just bringing up the problem, I pride myself in being part of the solution.

Little to No Traffic for Online Search of “Black Family”

     I know we have been inundated with news reports, articles, blogs, etc. about  Black family, Black love, Black marriage and Black relationships/dating, in the past few months.  Topics ranged from the negative images, the paucity of any images, on the these issues in the media or the arts; the regressive or dysfunctional state of the Black community; the recent trends, studies, data and statistics regarding these-and the list goes on and on.  The point is, everyone and their Mama has spoken a word or two about what is going on with the Black family

     The thing I found most interesting is that I have been doing some extensive research on the internet recently and guess what!  there is little to absolutely NONE traffic on these very topics.  I mean I used every tool available to do a keyword analysis, web traffic analytics and other such mechanisms and apparently not many people care to know what is going on with the Black family.  Well, I should say that not many people in the world of Google, Yahoo or other major search engines, care to know.  This is alarming, no wait….it’s downright a travesty!  How can this be?  I mean with Monique winning an Oscar for partaking in the portrayal of a matriarch in the most dysfunctional Black family, while Sandra Bullock is regaled for playing the White mother who saves a wayward Black kid, if nothing else this should have sparked some more interest.  I mean the Black family is on perpetual attack and no one cares!  Am I the only one who feel like a pandemic is plagued our community?  Does anyone else care that if we do not infiltrate the media sources with our concerns, our demands, our downright insistence that we change the direction that the Black family and therefore the Black community will become extinct?  We are an endangered species do you have any idea what this means?

“The Conversation”

     I recently read Hill Harper’s “The Conversation”.   Although I would have appreciated more of an in-depth analysis of the problems and more insightful solutions I really appreciated the overall premise.  I too think that many of our social, economic and spiritual ills can be addressed by talking openly and honestly to each other and thus encourage that approach to eradicating the prejudices, the negative stereotypes and the chasm that exists between Black men and Black women.  However, I believe that the best way to get someone to listen is to appeal to issues most sensitive to them and reading the book I did not quite understand who he was targeting, Black men, Black women or both.  I kept trying to read it from a Black man’s point of view, thinking that he was trying to reach them but could not help but internalize his points from a Black woman’s perspective.   Not to say that he could not be speaking to both, I was just hoping he was not jumping on that “let me speak to you desperate Black women, ready to pull out all stops to get your Black man” bandwagon!  I mean if you surf the web, turn on the television or strike up a conversation at the hair salon everyone is talking about the plight of single Black women.  I think it’s imperative, that Black men reach out to Black men.  Black women can harmoniously sing the “we need our Black men to step up and commit to us” song, but obviously they are hearing us. 

     Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Black women don’t have a responsibility in getting Black men to hear us and move in the direction of healing, restoring and reclaiming our families and relationships.  On the contrary, I think Black women should accept some of the blame in the discord that currently exists between us.  But I think our problems are, although part and parcel of the larger issues, are somewhat distinct and therefore should be dealt with differently.  The common denominator is our lack of trust, respect, appreciation and candor for each other, but our reasoning or rationale diverges.  So although we can confront our common issues, concomitantly, we don’t necessarily have to use the same strategy.  So I appreciate the Hill Harpers trying to reach the masses, but I believe in tailoring the solutions based on the interests of the target, not the “one size fits all” approach.  Hill was very insightful, he has a plethora of female friends and some good natured dudes in his circle who were all instrumental in his getting the message across, but I would have loved to if he had narrowed the focus. 

     Overall, it is clear that we need to start this conversation.  We need to be able to communicate openly and honestly about our respective insecurities, fears, doubts, etc. and begin to work toward healing.  I mean we desperately need to open our hearts, open our minds and talk TO each other and not AT each other.  I must admit, my head was spinning with all the platforms from which we can spring board  these conversations but we must take baby steps.

Black Single Mother Household Worth Millions to Advertisers

     Last night the 2010 Superbowl aired and it made tv history by having the most viewers ever!  There were several tv ads, many of them were Frito-Lays where they advertised Doritos.  One of the Doritos commercials, which was actually rated as one of the favorites by Superbowl viewers, was very controversial to many of us!  Yes, it was the one where there was a Black single mother whose son slapped her Black male date for checking out his mother as she walked across the room.   These depictions have been proliferating in the media, in musical lyrics, movie scripts, television scenes, etc. and now television commericals.   And this was not just any Doritos commercial, but a Superbowl ad that Frito-Lays paid millions to air with several million viewers watching.   This is what these marketers are subconsciously engraining in society’s psyche, that Black single mothers is the “norm”. 

     We all know that data and statistics indicate that only 1 out of every 3 Black children born, as 2002, are born to married couples, the other 2 of 3 are born to single mothers, allegedly more than double that of White children.  However, the reality is that there are more White single mothers than Black single mothers, the difference is that many of those White single mothers are divorced whereas many of the Black single mothers were never married.  Furthermore, Black boys raised by single mothers  are more inclined to go to prison, drop out of school, live in poverty and become dependent on drugs/alcohol as opposed to White boys raised by their single mothers.  The Black single mothers have a much tougher time rearing their sons because of their limited resources and limited support system, non-preferential treatment by state/local governments, sex discrimination by employers and negative societal expectations whereas their White counterparts do not have half of these obstacles to deal with.  This only goes to support my stance that our children need both parents, whether it be in the home or as an active parent in their lives. We are going to perpetuate the destruction of our children’s lives, and therefore the future of our community, if we allow this image to become so acceptable and so mainstream that it’s replete in music. television and movies.  We all have a duty to end it NOW!

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