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Monday
Jul132009

Picking Up Where Gina Left Off: Society Doesn't Actively Support Single Motherhood (The Black "Community" Does)

This is Faith blog host of Acts of Faith In Love & Life reporting for blogging duty! I've got my Wellies on so let's get to it shall we? This is being cross-posted at my blog as well.



 

A few people didn't agree with my last post where I was critical of the Raising Him Alone organization. This is no dig at single mothers. I am all for providing training classes, parenting classes, financial classes, job skills, whatever the mother needs. Again just as with my posts about DBR (damaged beyond repair)-ism last week I got a lot of heat from people who felt uncomfortable with the subject matter. I pose my blog posts as conversations. These are conversations we NEED to be having but so many would prefer to avoid them. If we NEVER discuss the challenging and yes, painful aspects of pathologies we are doomed to repeat them. 


The OOW (out of wedlock) birth rate has increased by 300% across the board since the 1970's but is highest for black women at around 80%. Other groups of women are struggling with this as well but as we all know there's that added heaping of difficulty with blacks. Whatever people are doing it is NOT working and behavior MUST be modified. No one wants to admit the Anything Goes philosophy is literally killing black women (highest HIV rates) and lowering their quality of life across the board. Instead obfuscation tactics have been deployed. Trust me I understand. I used to get upset watching Suze Orman talk about being prepared financially for the pending economic downturn. She mentioned it 3.5 years ago. What she said made perfect sense but I didn't want to believe what she was saying because it would mean that I'd have to make changes. 


I am not a single mother. I am not a mother at all. That was a conscious choice on my part and I have guarded my reproductive choices fiercely. That does not in any way invalidate my observations. I could've easily gotten pregnant any number of times. Trust me the women in my family are typically very fertile. I'm the eldest of six! I decided I would not have any children unless and until I was happily married to a man who provided for and protected me. I didn't always use that language specifically but that's what I've always intended. 


Being married alone is not enough though. Lots of women are married to men who cheat on them or are perpetually unemployed. So it is all about CALIBER. We have to be very discerning in how we evaluate a potential mate. We may have to use judgment other than our own as well. That single decision of who we chose to mate with will alter the course of our entire life. It can be the difference between life and death. Do you want you and your children living with more hardships than necessary? 


Some women don't want children at all. Some want children under very specific situations. Sometimes life happens and we have to live with the choices we've already made. We can still move forward but ONLY if we are willing to do a stone-cold accurate assessment of where we stand. The truth must be spoken. For example I know I could be married right now but if I want to attract the highest caliber mate I have to make some adjustments in my life. So until and unless I do that work single is what I shall remain, but I don't have a lot of time to be playing around. If you are already a single or never-married woman with child(ren) you have some work to do. Unless you want to remain single or never-married, Raising Him Alone.  


Well that's not my wish for you and I'd hope you'd want more for yourself. My only wish is that all the young girls out there are able to make informed decisions fully invested in what they're doing before their lives are altered forever. Nobody is warning them, helping them or giving them adequate facts before hand and they end up suffering unnecessarily. Keeping up appearances is more important! Does this mean I have to share personal information? Not happening!!! 



Actually I will share this. Both my maternal grandmother and mother had their first children at the age of 18. I had decided at the age of eight that I was moving to NYC to attend college and proudly told my family so. My having a child as a teenager was not part of my life's plan so I'd already decided I would not be engaging in any sexual activity before graduating high school. I was going to move away and live my own life. Oh I was curious as any normally developed female would be but I drew a line in the sand and stated it publicly. I had no idea how radical that is for the average black girl whose life has increasingly become dodging mortar shells and white phosphorus assaults. Of course for many families this is the norm and expected, but for others girls the cycle of abandonment, financial struggle and exploitation is the norm.


I'll use an example. 


I know a single mother who's now in her 30's. She got pregnant at 14. She was being raised by a recently widowed mother. They had been financially unprepared for the death. The woman's mother had to take a job where she worked 12 hour shifts, some of them overnight. The woman was left alone as a young girl with even younger siblings. That young girl was allowed to have a boyfriend who was 17. The young girl's mother did not say one word to her about evaluating the quality of this boy, about making a decision about exercising her budding sexuality and definitely received no advice about using birth control. When the young girl found out she was pregnant, the boy promptly abandoned her and their child for the next five years. 


By the time I'd heard she'd been allowed to have a boyfriend and my immediate thought was, get this girl to Planned Parenthood no questions asked, it was already too late.  I discussed all of the options available to her and she chose to bring the pregnancy to term and raise her child. The more I thought about it the more I grew to see how the mother's neglect was contemptible and deliberate. Who lets their 14 y.o date and be left alone unsupervised with a boy who was almost 18?  The idea that a mother would allow her own child to suffer is a harsh one isn't it?  


She has friends who have been through similar situations who have gone on to have more children with different men and remain unmarried as well. There's this resigned acceptance that marriage is for other women. That's a lie. Black women are being told their identity is all about how many people they sacrifice for, how many children they have and to wait for the black man to "come home". LIES. LIES. LIES. 



I know other women who've had four or more children with different men hoping that, This time this one will be it. They're usually involved with a black male. Who has other children. Who has not committed to them. Who is an inadequate father. Oh he may try and may be sincere in his efforts, but is still not able to be fully functioning. Or he's the guy got that one woman pregnant, moved on and married someone else. Lots of conflicts ensue from some unresolved anger aboutthat. As long as that woman that was left behind is still holding on she cannot move forward.


Black women have been self-sacrificing for far too long. Many have come to expect their life of struggle is also normal because it's been reinforced and accepted by other people in their "community". If you tell them the majority of other women of other groups, even other black women of different ethnicities do NOT live their lives like that, no one wants to believe this. It is ABNORMAL for 80% of black women to have out of wedlock births. The mentality has to change.


Black women are still being indoctrinated by and accepting the lie of the mythical "black community". We are being set up to perpetuate a cycle where we will never be free to live their own lives on our own terms. Everything is couched in this "community" talk. There IS no community. There are exceptions. There are individuals who will succeed but not the collective. Just like the Moynihan Report stated. A community is a place of safety and refuge. You are respected. Your community member looks out for you and yours. You don't get gunned down in a community. You don't go hungry in a community. You don't allow for 50% of your females to be raped or molested in a community. You certainly don't pretend none of this isn't happening!


Organizations like Raising Him Alone say they're giving help to single black female mothers and even if they do offer something, ultimately they are like a cancer. They are STILL perpetuating the lie. If they are not actively promoting a strong, intact, healthy family structure they are just using these mothers to create some ad hoc snake oil salesman pipe dream organization. Where are they getting their funding?


It's not okay for women to raise children ALONE. Even when you dear reader are the mother! Even when you are the most fabulous creature that ever walked the earth. Children want parents. They notice when something's missing even if they never say anything.  Other people think throwing mass amounts of capital will solve this. If people had housing, jobs and discretionary income everything would be solved. Tried and failed I'm afraid.


This isn't about demonizing the mother who's been left with the responsibility if she decides to keep the child after birth. What about (y)our daughters? I don't see RHA offering a seminar on how to avoid a male predator as we know most young black girls are being impregnated by GROWN MEN who are usually at LEAST 10 years older. Are the going to send a group of the "good black men" to police these war zones where the women live while Raising Him Alone? Are they going to set up a pilot program for adoption and mental health services for these abandoned children?  


I have not yet discussed the foster care system. The article I've linked to has a list of rather disheartening stats and questions of their own. They don't understand the high percentage of abuse, the disproportionality of black children and other things they don't consider to be the NORM. The majority of children are the products of black fathers who've also abandoned their children. I say fathers because the mothers are not all black. So this RHA group has an audience to address of black women only because many black women decided to stick it out - alone. Of course the abortion rate is 30% for black women but these are often women who already have at least one child. 


I can't imagine how many more fatherless children would be around. I'm not condoning or vilifying, but when things are this out of control I do NOT understand why only CERTAIN aspects of this MAJOR PROBLEM is being addressed and all the others are being ignored? How is reinforcing the dysfunction with group-think going to CHANGE anything? Do people prefer to feel justified in their decisions or do they want to adapt the correct thinking necessary to not only survive but thrive? 


I have also not talked about child development and many other areas I am not equipped to discuss but if you look at the STATS it's bad news for children in this scenario. That doesn't mean it's hopeless, but people have got to assess these situations with their eyes wide open! Those who are their primary care givers are going to have their hands full to say the least. We've discussed many of these situations here at WAOD. One of my readers reminded me of this casethat resulted in the premature death of Dr. Betty Shabazz.


Now I am sorry if this pains some of you reading all of this but you cannot afford to invest in rainbows and unicorns. You will need to double, no quadruple your efforts. You will need all the extra hands you can get to give that child that you love a fighting chance at a healthy life. That child that will grow to adulthood is not shown statistically speaking to have a good chance at a quality life. No it is not fair, but life isn't fair. So do what you've gotta go but don't stick your head in the sand or claim you're choices are being attacked because you don't want to face reality. That Moynihan Report was very clear in assessing the weakened family structure as the cause for all of the dysfunction and chaos. There is your answer. 


Rebuild the family structure and most of these problems are solved. 


That does not mean rebuilding it exclusively with two black parents in mind. It should be the best partners whatever their race or ethnicity (or orientation). This is why Marriage Equality is being fought for so hard by the LGBT leadership. Most of us already have the right to marry and we throw it away like it's nothing. Don't justify women in raising their children alone when they can be supported in creating intact families. That doesn't necessarily mean it has to be with the man who left or presents no value. You can teach sex education but you cannot teach someone to feel loved when they know they've been rejected by the one that helped create them or the ones that look like them. 


Certainly there is something very deviant in these black males that have this mass dysfunction on such a grand scale. Why are black females not connecting the dots? The "black community" is a lie. You know that phrase. "He's just not that into you." The majority of black men are NOT into black women. Otherwise they wouldn't be gone. They wouldn't be ridiculing the darker-skinned women. They wouldn't be flaunting their plantation fantasies in your face. They wouldn't be telling you that what you want is asking for too much. They wouldn't make fun of your African features. They wouldn't be leeching you for every resources you have. Oh sure they want to keep a few of us set aside to use but they're not honoring or cherishing black women the way we saw with our parents or grandparents. Even then it was sometimes questionable. 


So the continued answer to that question is to tell as many black girls as possible to expand their options. The RHA organization is not seeking to empower young girls when by definition they are focused on mothers and sons. Yet, it's the girls who will get pregnant. Makes you wonder if they really have progress in mind. These girls need to be taught to seek out a wide variety of friends and experiences. To know that they are going to be rejected by some of these DBRs and be grateful. To not let themselves be used by men who despise them. To take the red pill and leave the Matrix. Date differently, mate differently and GET OUT. Rebuild the family structure with MEN (others as applicable) who are ABLE & EAGER to do so. 


These DBR black men despise themselves and their blackness. They carry the psychic shame of being the descendants of slaves and don't want anything to do with black women. They are not hiding the contempt any more. You see it by their actions. Remove the lie and it becomes obvious. There is no community, only a means of trying to tie black women together on a sinking boat. 


I'm certain many wish to dispute this but when your life isn't so bad and you are the exception you don't see the other side. There are far too many black girls who are in much worse scenarios and nobody is warning them others are keeping that "black community" lie going at their expense. To accept we've been lied to means we'd have to take action. Maintaining the illusion becomes more important than accepting reality or finding a better way. I cannot and will not abide with perpetuating this lie. It is a matter of life and death for far too many of us. We have no LIFE until we are actually LIVING not simply SURVIVING. That "black community" lie is a noose around the neck of every black woman who stays behind. It's being tightened a little every day and slowly taking your last breath. LEAVE and DON'T LOOK BACK.


Black women are considered some of the most beautiful women in the world - by non black men. It is time to get out from under the "black community" lie, stop propping up other people and get yours. The numbers are such that this is about survival of the fittest, the willing, the able. Many will be left behind or choose to remain where they are. So be it. For those who want something else there is a better way and it WILL look completely different than what you imagined. That's okay. If you had already known this many of you would have sought it out already. That's what this post is for. To open a door. It's your choice to see what's on the other side. Your life and the life your (future) child(ren) depends on it. 





Reader Comments (144)

Good article. I completely agree most of your points.
I feel the need to point out that the fact that your sisters, aunts etc became pregnant easily does not translate into yourself becoming pregnant easily. There are a few fertility issues which do run in families but by and large fertilty is very individual. The ONLY way you can know if you are fertile is to become pregnant; even tests for fertility are not foolproof, at most they show POTENTIAL for pregnancy but actually becoming pregnant & carrying a child to full term can only be known after the fact. Too many women assume it will be a walk in the park only to discover that despite being perfectly healthy with everything in working order, they cannot become pregnant. Often for no apparent cause. Just wanted to point that out. Other peoples fertility does not guarantee yours. Its not like its infective or something.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterL

L: That's really besides the point right now, but thanks. I'm not TRYING to get pregnant nor am I overly concerned about it. I don't have this burning desire to reproduce biologically. Of course there are exceptions but trust me when I say I have like 45 cousins and they have kids. I can't even keep up with all of them. Very.Fertile.Family

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfdow

"Black women have been self-sacrificing for far too long. Many have come to expect their life of struggle is also normal because it’s been reinforced and accepted by other people in their “community”. If you tell them the majority of other women of other groups, even other black women of different ethnicities do NOT live their lives like that, no one wants to believe this. It is ABNORMAL for 80% of black women to have out of wedlock births. The mentality has to change."
...I am going on 23 with know kids at all, it was a decision I made long time ago to wait until I was married to have sex, but it's crazy how almost 60% of the females I graduated with from high school are, I am not knocking them but basically it's time for a change! They have to realize the decisions they make to have kids does not just effect them it effects everyone around them also.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertrunell1

There have been so many posts in the black blogosphere talking about OOW lately. Supposedly 80% now? I say too late to turn back the hands of time, even educated women in their 20s and 30s are doing the OOW thing now. And not everyone wants to wait to their 40th birthday to start having kids.
Hopefully they can protect their kids from the same outcome that the teen OOW mothers often face. Hopefully their education and class will protect them.
And what is this obsession with IR in the blogsphere, I am not against it but you have to be honest, some BW aren't attracted to other races, most WM who date BW are usually AT LEAST 10 years older. Some ethnic groups of Hispanics are more more compatible with blacks than others. And are these non black men so willing to marry BW? Is the divorce rate higher or lower?

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

Great Post!!! This is definitely one that I will send around.

I also have to strongly agree with L. Fertility of others (including family) does not guarantee or hinder ours. Women who are certain that they want biological children need to think about that. Are social stigmas worth the death of a dream? The only ones who can answer that are the individual women.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorMarie

And what is this obsession with IR in the blogsphere, I am not against it but you have to be honest, some BW aren’t attracted to other races, most WM who date BW are usually AT LEAST 10 years older. Some ethnic groups of Hispanics are more more compatible with blacks than others. And are these non black men so willing to marry BW? Is the divorce rate higher or lower?

@naima I think the reason you see more discussions about IR is because the blogosphere is the only form of media where those who are passionate about IR have a voice. You wouldn't think the discussions of IR in the blogosphere were "obsessive" if those discussions were common in print, television and radio. So it isn't surprising that a marginalized group of people would flock to the only medium where their voices can be heard.

I also think to a certain extent that marriage choice is a hallmark of free society. So you will often see women who are passionate about IR on blogs about the empowerment of Black women because to go against the social mores of the Black community by dating and marrying "out" you have got to be pretty liberated. I've learned a great deal from IRR bloggers about Black women's liberation in general and consider them to be online pioneers in Black women's empowerment blogging.

I think as a strategy, however, that couching marriage choice in terms of hard cold facts is more effective than comingling the argument with one about the failures of Black men. Not because there isn't some truth to the argument, but because of the instant wall of high resistence triggered by a need to protect and defend Black men.

A more effective argument would be. Statistics say that the marriage rate among Black men is X. Statistics say that the marriage rate among X men is Y. Statistically speaking a Black woman over the age of 35 with an advanced degree has a higher chance of being struck by a meteorite than marrying a Black man. therefore Science tell us that to increase the possibility of marriage, a Black woman should consider widening her dating pool, racially, culturally, geographically, and denominationally. See how I made that argument without triggering Black Men's Defense Syndrome (BBMDS)?

But then again, I have the luxury of making that kind of argument because I am not under siege. If I had to endure what Black women in IR had to deal with, I'd probably lean more towards argument A.

PS. Don't knock older men. I actually think the perfect age spread is to marry someone years older than I am and I have a 15 year cap...which can be moved :). I just read an article about a Congressman who is near 50 marrying a Clinton staffer in her 30s. White women don't have a problem with a 10 year gap. That comment about the 10 year age difference makes me think you are still in your 20s.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

@Naima, I keep hearing that it's only older white men who are marrying black women, but I don't see any actual evidence of that. My husband and I are the same age, actually I'm six months older. (Yeah, he likes the cachet of having a cougar! -lol-) Most of the people I know who are in IR marriages are within five years in either direction, much like monoracial couples.

I'm not sure about the divorce rate. Do you mean higher or lower than national averages, or higher/lower than monoracial? I don't know of any credible statistical sources, so can't comment on the issue. Though, I can point out that divorce rates are high across the board, so I'm not sure how this is germane. Again, I can tell you that I've been with my husband for twelve years, married for almost ten.

As for whether groups are willing to marry black women, fortunately we're not trying to marry groups. It's about one individual meeting another individual not groups.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

Oh, and I'm not passionate about IRs. I'm passionate about black women who want husbands to have every opportunity to do so. I'm also passionate about black children being born into an optimal environment, that is with TWO loving, nurturing and supportive parents. It's been my experience that widening one's dating options to remove racial barriers increases the chance of one finding that optimal mate. I have as yet to find any other means of increasing black women's chances, if you have some, please recommend them. As for not finding other races attractive, I still think that's odd, but oh well.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

I enjoy the IR blogs run by black women. More and more black women are starting to date out, not because they can't find a black man, but they are understanding race shouldn't be the only factor in choosing a mate. I'm over 35 and divorced. My first husband was black, but I am open to marry a man of another race.

Too many black woman are still under the 'black women can survive anything' spell. From what I see from my black female relatives and friends, I'm started to think they love struggling. I live in Atlanta and I swear it is the baby mama capital of the US. I am a divorced mom of two and going back to school to get another graduate degree, the last thing on my mind is sex. But I swear some of these women have babies like it's an Olympic Sport. I don't see how they can afford them.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershell

I also think to a certain extent that marriage choice is a hallmark of free society. So you will often see women who are passionate about IR on blogs about the empowerment of Black women because to go against the social mores of the Black community by dating and marrying “out” you have got to be pretty liberated. I’ve learned a great deal from IRR bloggers about Black women’s liberation in general and consider them to be online pioneers in Black women’s empowerment blogging.

I think as a strategy, however, that couching marriage choice in terms of hard cold facts is more effective than comingling the argument with one about the failures of Black men....

Thanks for vote of confidence Gina. I am still struggling to position IR discussion in an 'acceptable' framework lol!

But maybe it was never meant to be in one, come to think of it, because all the frameworks out there seem to be inadequate for the needs of bw.

Article 11 of the Human Rights Act states that 'Everyone has the right to freedom of association with others', but since bw seem to be in a unique position of folks running away from associating with them (well apparently and according to some of us), I am thinking that we might have to write in for an amendment.

We need to have it included, that it is unlawful for folk to not want to associate with others as a result of race and gender. That would for sure address our situation. But it would have to work both ways I guess....

Anyway thats what you get when you let white folks write the conventions from their perspective. lol!(/humour off

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHalima

Statistics say that the marriage rate among Black men is X. Statistics say that the marriage rate among X men is Y. Statistically speaking a Black woman over the age of 35 with an advanced degree has a higher chance of being struck by a meteorite than marrying a Black man

Is it really that bad? See I have trouble telling whether its the women who actually don't want to be married as well as the men, or just the men. I know too many women (who you would think know better) who have the baby first, or let the man move in first and then bring try to bring up marriage or don't bring it up at all. Then it becomes why buy the cow at this point, especially for a man that came from his mama's house to your house.

Thats why I am thinking its just not important to many women. Too many make decisions that show that they really don't care whether they are married or not.

I am not knocking older men, I don't think women of any race have much of a probably dating someone older yet financially stable LOL. I know some sistas with older men with less.

I am not knocking IR either. I just don't want folks going in with rose colored glasses. I mean I have seen the outcome of some BM IRs in my family, the grass isn't always greener.

Does anyone think financial instability is what is keeping marriage rates low for the black community?

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

Too many black woman are still under the ‘black women can survive anything’ spell. From what I see from my black female relatives and friends, I’m started to think they love struggling.

See this is what I am starting to think. Why do these women always have more than 2 children?

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

"Does anyone think financial instability is what is keeping marriage rates low for the black community?"

I don't really think so. I remember reading an essay by Courtland Milloy where he talked about the low marriage/high divorce rates even amongst those earning high incomes and middle class/upper middle class status. Bottom line is, the nonexistent black community has decided that marriage is 'inconvenient' and have enacted a paradigm that is unsustainable to human life, especially to the nurturing of children. There's really nothing more to say. The why and wherefores of them engaging in this behavior is for the most part, irrelevant. The fact is, folks have made these choices and have rendered the overwhelming majority of the black community to permanent underclass status. Get out now or be turned into a pillar of salt. Your move.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

There are alot of issues attached to single motherhood that people forget about. These women are sometimes faced with poverty, bouts of depression for mom and child(a lot of black women hate to admit this), new significant mates which initial intentions are to be loving and caring but eventually ended being violent predators/terrorists, a lack of knowledge about the male gender, so many more scenerios to state.

Raising a child is not easy and no one is reaching out helping each other, this ignorant "many have raised children alone before you many will raising children alone after you" talk needs to stop, it poisoning to young girls mind.

I wouldn't be to quick to expect a fair amount of respect from a non-black man either; thanks to the brainwashing networks and their depictions of a black woman. Many of those men think that a black woman's body is circus playground and won't necessarily take you serious.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

Many of those men think that a black woman’s body is circus playground and won’t necessarily take you serious.

According to whom? What is the basis for this belief?

I'm not lionizing non-black men or saying that they're all perfect gentlemen that treat women well, but I wonder why black women are so quick to bring up the "non-black men aren't serious and only want black women for sex" thing.

Is this their own personal experience, or is this just "what they've heard?"

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa99

"Many of those men think that a black woman’s body is circus playground and won’t necessarily take you serious."

Well, that's nothing new. Sexist men of all races behave in a like manner. If the OOW rate is any indication black men haven't exactly been taking black women seriously, either. We can keep doing what we've been doing or try something new.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

See I have trouble telling whether its the women who actually don’t want to be married as well as the men, or just the men. I know too many women (who you would think know better) who have the baby first, or let the man move in first and then bring try to bring up marriage or don’t bring it up at all. Then it becomes why buy the cow at this point, especially for a man that came from his mama’s house to your house.

Thats why I am thinking its just not important to many women. Too many make decisions that show that they really don’t care whether they are married or not.

There is nothing wrong with being single, and I don't think there's a problem if a childless woman makes the conscious choice to stay single.

But I think that trying to figure out what percentage of the women in the unmarried category truly want to be married or not is a distraction to the point people are trying to make. Same when people say, "Well, how many of these women are lesbians?" "How many are in co-habitating relationships that last longer than some marriages?"

The point is, whether said heterosexual black women want to be married or not, many of these unmarried black women have children. The outcomes are worse for these children, period.

On a different note, one could also examine the reasons these women say they don't want to be married, and I bet most would say that they never saw any successful marriages in their community or that they don't think their partners would be good husbands.

But they still are having children. In completely less than optional situations. Whatever their reasons for not wanting to be married, the statistics are not supposed to measure that.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa99

As far as I am concerned. I am not a marriage supremacist
when it comes to CHILD-FREE people. Everybody wasn't meant to be married. I don't even know that I would have a problem with unmarried adults who make the commitment to cohabitate as long as they have taken the additional steps to provide for their children in the event of death. Steps that would become unnecessary if they got married BTW.

The law doesn't treat legitimate and illegitimate children any differently. The law does treat baby mamas and wifey's, and "old ladies", differently from WIVES. marriage confers rights responsibilities and privileges that derive out of the woman's relationship to the man
. The law will take care of the children regardless of the woman's relationship to the man.

So this isn't about Black women choosing to be married or not. Thats a legal issue about adults. The OOW birthrate is a MORAL issue about children. Children of single adult households inherently have far more fragile lives than children who grow up in functional two-adult households. For a host of reasons, not just financially.

So mixing this argument in with a discussion about how many single Black women choose to be so is a redirection.

This isn't about Black women who are single. More power to ya. This is about Black women who are raising children alone due to circumstances within their control and allowing men to abdicate their MORAL responsibility to protect and provide for their progeny. When I say "provide" I don't mean that automatic child support deduction every month either.

The role of a male parent is larger than providing monetary support, but that's all we've boiled it down to. I would say even if a man is paying his child support on time, but isn't involved in the DAILY life of his child, then that's a problem. Children are not raised by court order.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Lisa and Ros, IA with your points; no doubt IR dating is what alot of black women need to give a try.

I'm just saying be aware and mindful of others and don't expect greener grass, thats all.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

"I wouldn’t be to quick to expect a fair amount of respect from a non-black man either; thanks to the brainwashing networks and their depictions of a black woman. Many of those men think that a black woman’s body is circus playground and won’t necessarily take you serious."

BW shouldn't be involved with ANY man - regardless of "race" - who is so weak minded to believe everything they see in the Media.

BW need STRONG men who can think for themselves. Men who can come to their own conclusions based on personal experience. Men who have the ability to set their own beauty standards. Not men who allow themselves to be spoon fed "information" from non reputable sources.

BW don't need mindless puppets. Couch potatoes soaking up that trash.

What statistical proof is there that "many of those men think that a black woman’s body is circus playground and won’t necessarily take you serious."

Where is it? In a modern context? In 2009.

Now there IS statistical proof that the vast majority (and I mean VAST) of these fatherless children we've been discussing at these various blogs & sites, have black fathers. NOT white, asian, hispanic, indian, you fill in the blank.

The vast majority of BW who are infected with HIV/AIDS were infected by BM.

The vast majority of BW (and girls) who are raped every year are raped by BM.

I could go on and on and on.

So, if anything...

"many of those BLACK men think that a black woman's body is a circus playground and won't necessarily take you serious".

All? OF COURSE not. That would be a bold faces lie. BUT many.

IMO, your average marriage minded BW (especially dark-skinned and phenotypically West African featured) THESE DAYS - has a MUCH higher probability of securing a decent, well employed, family oriented, non color struck husband in the global community OUTSIDE of the "bc" than within it.

And I've proven this pictorially (and will continue to) again and again.

BW don't need puppets of ANY race. They need men REGARDLESS of "race" who can think for themselves, and realize the medias "job" is to keep the status quo. Keep the have and have nots right where they are. Nothing more. Which explains the foolishness.

I truly believe BW's marriage rates would shoot the roof - and the OOW birth rate would plummet - if sistas started evaluating men on their CHARACTER, family orientation, income potential, and other important things, instead of color/"race".

The same way other NON AA BW do instinctively.

Plus, it just REAKS of insecurity and low self-esteem to be "into" dudes who are NOT (and have shown you in word and deed) into you in return. Dudes who are not into you to the SAME degree you're into them.

IF more BW simply applied the common sense principal of RECIPROCITY ACROSS THE BOARD - including in the area of relationships of all kinds - MOST of the problems many BW are facing would disappear.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelicia

"I’m just saying be aware and mindful of others"

Now that IS a good point. It's important for BW (and people in general) to be aware and mindful of EVERYONE regardless of "race" and gender.

People should be VERY selective of who they let into their lives.

Especially their personal lives.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFelicia

The AA community have created a culture that has effectively NORMALIZE single parenthood. The AA community have effectively NORMALIZE illegimate children sans marriage.

THIS IS NOT NORMAL...alot of black people don't realize this until they leave all-black areas where it is an aberration.

White America almost put Sarah Palin's teen daughter in the shedder, can you IMAGINE what they'd do a black single mother?

I don't care how many people justify single parenthood. Gina said in her other post: America is structured around two adults. Unless you're a widow or a divorcee, there is absolutely no excuse for OOW kids.

Single parents with OOW kids must tell their children the truth. They must say it is NOT acceptable to have a baby early, do not repeat the mistakes of the parent, a a baby is not an accessory or a play toy, etc.

I'm sick and tired of hearing "well, if my mother did it and she did fine, I can do it too." I'm sick of the Harriet Tubman (I'm a mule to the world) schtick. IT IS NOT NORMAL.

Alot of black girls/boys don't see how DELAYING early parenthood can IMPROVE their socioeconomic mobility. and someone must TEACH them... it is vitally important.

Like Roslyn said in, because of the numerous bad decisions, many black folks have NOW effectively relegated themselves and a SIGNIFICANT portion of the black community to permanent UNDERCLASS.

And We're seeing the results of it right now where many predominately black neighborhoods are unfortunately unliveable. Young black teens in gangs terrorizing the streets, etc.

What do we do now? Save those who can be saved.

1. Delay early parenthood
2. Avoid obviously trifling men & women
3. Stay in school
4. Surround youself with a positive circle of friends.
ETC...

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLa Belle Femme

About the IR thing...my thoughts are if a woman is hanging around trifling black men...chances are she's going to hang around trifling men of ANY race. I'm about quality and if you are not picking quality men to begin with... Someone needs to change their standards... and their circle of friends. I always thought the motto "You are what you attract." rang true.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLa Belle Femme

LD, on the one hand I hear what you're saying about not to automatically expect greener grass by broadening your dating options leading to marriage. But on the other hand, given an 80% OOW rate and an over 72% unmarried rate, it's hard to see how black women could become any worse off by including non-black men in our options. One dates/marries an individual, so it's important to vet that particular individual and not just make assumptions based on his racial/ethic/cultural/class affiliations. If you broaden your choices, you increase your odds of finding what you want. That to me is just logical. While it does not establish what race/ethnicity etc. your chosen mate will be, the odds do become greater that he won't be black. And I am fine with that. Black or non-black, it's the individual man and what we're each bringing to the table that count.

And I'm not particularly impressed with all these BW who claim not to be attracted to white men or other non-black men. I think this is just a defense mechanism (they think these men don't like them, so they dislike these men first) or social conditioning (we must support and protect the black man at all costs and not do anything that might hurt his little feelings in the slightest, regardless of how much he keeps hurting and ignoring our feelings). So often the same BW who claims not to like white men will go all weak in the knees for Ben Jealous or black actors who are and look more white than black, but the moment the man is identified as "white", we're suddenly "turned off". That's being "culturally correct" - that's not being honest.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

Good point Sandra.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

You understand that telling someone how much they need…or that their child needs… something they’ve never had is almost futile. It’s difficult even as adults, and almost incomprehensible as a child to fully know what was missing and how things could have been so “different” with a father present within the household. What does that mean exactly: “different”? And does that necessarily translate to so much “better”? Well, we know that only a man can show a boy how to be a man…but his cousins and uncles can do that for him too, right? And I’m a female and my daddy didn’t live with us, but I turned out just fine…And my girlfriend’s dad lives with her and she began having sex earlier than me…or my girlfriend’s dad lives with them and he’s a bum…or he’s abusive…or he don’t have not say-so over anything any ol’ way, nobody listens to him...or my girlfriend’s parents are married but her mom has to work too anyways, so she’s home alone just as much as I am…so WHAT oh WHAT is so important about having a man in my home? I already know that most boys are only after 1 thing and be tryin’ to run game on me cuz my momma, or my brothers told me So WHAT can a father do for my child…my daughter…that I can’t do for her or that my mom didn’t do for me? Or well, I’m over 30 with a graduate degree and a 6 figure salary so why does my baby still need a father?

The answers to those questions are apparently not CLEAR enough for many (especially young) people so that they can truly recognize a PROBLEM as a PROBLEM that needs to be fixed. With that said, in addition to the married/unmarried/single parent statistics in your post, it would have also been helpful to state the statistics…of HS dropout rates, college attendance & graduate rates, unwed pregnancy, incarceration, drug abuse, rape, poverty etc….that affect offspring of single parents to a greater degree than children of married couples. At least information like this will get the conversation started around WHY fathers are important to a child since apparently so many have made up their minds that he’s: umm not so important!

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

"So this isn’t about Black women choosing to be married or not. Thats a legal issue about adults. The OOW birthrate is a MORAL issue about children. Children of single adult households inherently have far more fragile lives than children who grow up in functional two-adult households. For a host of reasons, not just financially"

This logic does not easily translate to the individual perpetuating the issue of OOW births in the black community. What does that mean...a "fragile" life? And socioeconomic development or elevation simply translates to not being on welfare to many...so as long as the gov' t is not paying for my children then what is it to you? And you're calling me "immoral"...who are you to judge? Again when having internet conversations with others of mostly "like minds" sometime it helps to hear from the perspective of others with the mentality that you're challenging.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

And I’m a female and my daddy didn’t live with us, but I turned out just fine…And my girlfriend’s dad lives with her and she began having sex earlier than me…

And that right there, using the exception to try to define the rule is about HALF of the problem. You turned out fine. You can have a heart attack and survive, but you don't see PR campaigns to promote myocardial infarctions? You don't see "support" systems for people who eat four strips of bacon everyday with a side of butter.

You didn't have a daddy and turned out fine. well great for YOU. You can lose one of your kidneys and turn out fine, but you don't see people lining up at the foreign organ donor farms to sell one of the two they have.

You don't see people signing up to sweep mind fields even though they will be FINE if they lose a leg.

The fact that you did not grow up with a Father present in your life doesn't mean that you are doomed, but STATISTICS which don't bow to personal agendas and "feelings" would indicate that Fatherlessness leaves children more vulnerable.

From someone who grew up with a Daddy, heres my perspective of some of the things you MIGHT have missed out on.
A) I got to see a healthy man-woman relationship modeled in my own home EVERY DAY.
B) I got the benefit of two adults who problem -solve and parent in two different ways. yes our mother set most boundaries, but we also had the FUN of those times when Mama was out of town and Daddy was left in charge.
C) Going to bed at night with the last sound you hear being your Daddy walking through the house turning off the lights and making sure the doors were locked.
D)Waking up in the morning to the sound of NPR and my Daddy's truck starting up so he could go to WORK! A man that does not work, does not eat.
E) having access to a paternal extended family. Fathers don't just bring their presence to the table, but they bring and entire family of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents that form yet another layer of protection.
F) Its great that you make six figures, but how much will your children inherit? Will they have to start over from scratch. if you were able to build any networth, imaging how much more you could have built if you had two people working towards the goal on half the expenses.
G)being able to wake up in the middle of the night when you hear a bump in the night and knowing your Daddy will wake up, go out doors and check it out.
H) Knowing that no matter where you go and what you do, if your Daddy is around you'll likely be okay.
I) Getting five dollars and permission to go to the movies when you know if you asked your Mama, the answer would be "No" and "No."
J) Having yet another parent to mock with your siblings.
K) Having the same father as your siblings- its hard enough to manage sibling relationships with two of the same parents, imagine what its like if all of your siblings have different parents, different grandparents, aunts and uncles.
L) Spending EVERY holiday together with the SAME family- you can't put a dollar figure on the value of shared memories and family bonding.
M)Being able to be a CHILD without adult decision making responsibility. There wasn't any need for me to be my mother's helpmate in any way. she already had one of those. No need for Black male children to engage in risky behavior to prove they are the "man of the house"
N)Ironically, my mother was the sports junky, and the outdoors woman because HER father was. But in most cases Fathers have a completely different set of interests than mothers so you get the benefit of exposure to twice the number of hobbies, jobs, reading genres.
O) Another person for you to love.
P) Another person to love you.
Q)Another person to call if something goes wrong.
R)Blanketed protection from predatory men and boys-predators tend to target the weakest and most unprotected. If they had to choose between getting past an Black man and a Black woman, I'd think they'd choose to target the girl with the female gatekeeper-.
S)Father's Day
T) The image of your Daddy rushing to get a Mother's Day gift every year.
U)Getting to observe construction projects gone wrong.
V) Getting to observe construction projects gone right.
W) Getting to observe a demonstration of shared responsibility and compromise.. DAILY
X)getting to see male-male friendships modeled on a Daily basis. If Daddy ain't around every day, you don't get to see and hear him interact with his friends.
Y)Haircuts
z) The hilarity of getting to mull cockamamie suggestions like an offer to subscribe to cable if all of the women of the house would forgo Easter outfits that year. BWAHAHA

As always, there are exceptions to every rules. But yes, sorry Daddies are a BONUS. The fact that someone might not have had one doesn't change the fact that they are a bonus to those that do. The idea that everyone CAN do without doesn't mean we SHOULD.

Its not jut about what a Father does, its about how children feel, even when they aren't aware they are feeling it. I have no doubt that one of the LARGEST reasons many young Black men are in a fast track to prison is their attempt to feel the void left by their fathers and inappropriate relationships with their mothers. Black boys are CHILDREN not MEN of the HOUSE.

If you think the only role of a daddy is to make sure you don't have sex, then YEAH, I'm sorry, you really did miss out.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

@justsaying

If you re-read the comment without attempting to inject your own personal agenda. You, like many others will try to derail the discussion by injecting emotion into the argument not based on facts. Because if you looked at the situation NUMERICALLY, you would have to question your own choices and decisions in life. Again, you aren't my target. You're lost. You can't unring the bell, we can certainly promote a competing ideology to yours that apparently wants to promote the FALLACY that there are no consequences for male abandonment.

If you abandon your child, then YES you are IMMORAL.

By "fragile" I mean if you jump out an airplane with two parachutes, that's dangerous.
If you jump out with a single parachute with only one parachute, that foolish.
If you jump out with no parachute at all, that's suicide.

You may survive jumping out with one parachute, but it is not advisable and it is not free of consequences like broken legs.

It is ridiculous or just plain delusional to not be able to see that a child with only ONE parent has one less parachute to rely on as they skydive through life. If you can't see that, that's because you don't want to.

I will not be deterred by obfuscationists and redirectionists. i will not be deterred by adults with personal agendas. i will not be deterred by specious attacks implying we are picking on single mothers. I want Black women to win and I am willing to take on the entire Black elite establishment, CRIC, The Regime, and the League of the Immorally indifferent to promote the SIMPLE concept that MALE ABANDONMENT IS BAD.

If you're too brain-dead and delusional to get that, then go play on a highway blind folded during rush hour traffic, you're not my concern or my target audience.

"I shall not be moved!"

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

This is for those that are able and willing to hear the message. If you have to be convinced, dragging and kicking to do something in YOUR best interest then you may need to be left to your own devices.

We need to get the message out to those whose minds haven't completely closed. That permanent underclass status is no joke.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfdow

Damn Gina! Somebody's got to be Gandalf.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

WOW...1st of all, let me clarify something that was obviously unclear to you (and probably others reading also)...I was playing devils advocate! I was not speaking from my own perspective...nor trying to promote any particular agenda. But again, it worked, cause your response to me resonated with all of the frustration I feel when trying to relay these sentiments to someone who really needs to hear them.

My point to you again is: the attitude and the defensiveness that I presented to you are the same attitude that you'll get when trying to explain the importance of being married 1st before having a baby, to someone who's already made up their minds that it really doesn't matter. This is the uphill battle we're fighting in our communities and why the numbers continue to go UP on single parenthood...even when the evidence shows that it's not working for us!

Personally I came from a single family home, but chose not to have the same experience for my own daughters.

And not for nothing, many of the things that you listed that your daddy did for you, many would argue that their mom did for them (or older brothers). Don't be mad, it's true. Sometime trying to have a "civil" conversation around these things is like preaching to the choir, cause those who need to hear aint, aint tryin' to hear it! And from reading your blog I know you're all about ACTION..not talk!

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

Wow @28.

I TRIED to have this convo with a friend whose father abandoned her along with her mother. I could not describe the tangible intangibles as well as you did.

Dad taught us how to ride bikes. He "did" our hair when mom was out of town. He gave us piggyback & horsey rides. He let us push the mower with him. He taught us how to drive. When one parent was busy, the other could step in and occupy us. They weren't too worn down to discipline or laugh with us. We had game night. He took us out to dinner and pulled chairs out for us. He held out our coats. Dad also sent us flowers on valentine's day. I passed out with a fever once in middle school. It was easier for Dad to take off, so he picked me up. When I passed out, he carried me down the stairs.

You are sooo right regarding the family too. To this day I crack up seeing how my father (and mom) interacts with his immediate family.

A lot of the resistance you get is from people who - while they think their lives weren't bad - know that they could have been a hell of a lot better. They don't want to slight mom.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

Again remember I also wrote this:

"The answers to those questions are apparently not CLEAR enough for many (especially young) people so that they can truly recognize a PROBLEM as a PROBLEM that needs to be fixed. With that said, in addition to the married/unmarried/single parent statistics in your post, it would have also been helpful to state the statistics…of HS dropout rates, college attendance & graduate rates, unwed pregnancy, incarceration, drug abuse, rape, poverty etc….that affect offspring of single parents to a greater degree than children of married couples. At least information like this will get the conversation started around WHY fathers are important to a child since apparently so many have made up their minds that he’s: umm not so important!"

I'm on your side...so why I gotta be "brain dead" and all that...dang! Tryin' to converse with a sista and they hittin' below the belt! LOL!

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

A lot of the resistance you get is from people who - while they think their lives weren’t bad - know that they could have been a hell of a lot better. They don’t want to slight mom.

Its utter and COMPLETE selfishness. The "I didn't have it so nobody else needs it either."

The idea that 1+0=2. Um no. 1+1=2, 1+0=1, 2>1.

1 does not equal two no matter how you slice it, dice it, scatter it, smother it or cover it. 1 has not now nor will it ever equal 2.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

@lajane

They completely lose out on the immense humor in Daddy trying to be Mama and failing. yes, the hair all over head hair grooming attempts, the male version of child monitoring, that winded up with you getting into Black shoe polish, Mama coming home asking what happened to her child when the non-lethal exploits you could only get away with your father are discovered. Men's concept of child monitoring is "are any bones broken? No, alrighty then!"

Daddys totally rock in ways other than a paycheck. Why people wouldn't want that experience for all children befuddles me.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

"Daddys totally rock in ways other than a paycheck."

Yeah it was cool learning how to ride a bike with daddy and learing how to change a tire. Daddy telling me all the tricks and trades a nappy-headed boy will do just to get in my pants.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLD

@LD COMPLETELY forgot the changing of the tire stories. once they got old enough to drive, Daddy would stand back on the side of the road and supervise my sisters changing the tire. Yeah, Mama could have done it, but it was "different."

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

How can you convince some folk otherwise is the question, I never heard anyone out and out say they didn't need 2 parents. Just getting by is good enough for a lot of people especially in our community, how do you convince them otherwise?
And at one point most black children were living in 2 parent and in 2 generations it was almost completely dismantled? It couldn't have been all Leave it to Beaver back then if it only took 40 years for the opposite to occur.
Unless social programs would stop providing incentives for having children you cannot afford than I don't see this problem going anywhere. Sometimes I feel like a fool, these women out here getting free food and $100 apartments just because they had some kids they couldn't afford.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaima

@Naima

"How can you convince some folk otherwise is the question, I never heard anyone out and out say they didn’t need 2 parents. Just getting by is good enough for a lot of people especially in our community, how do you convince them otherwise?"

That's my point...almost. Cuz some folks truly believe that they don't NEED 2 parents to raise their kids.

When blogs such as this one have discussions like this, for the most part it comes down to mostly like minded individuals sharing their experiences and opinions...AT BEST I see it as a training ground for these same individuals to gain additional knowledge/information/ammunition so when and if they have the opportunity to affect the mentality of those who are "less educated" and/or "less informed" in the real world...they may be able to do so more effectively.
Cuz if we're honest with ourselves, when we're talking about unwed mothers in the black "communities" having multiple children with multiple baby daddies with nary a ring on their finger...we're mostly talking about "Shenenah" and "Shaniqua" and they are not reading this blog...they are over at mediatakeout or theybf. [Although I do suspect that we may have some over 30s or 40s with 6 figure salaries who've decided to go it alone lurking]. In any case we're all here because we recognize the problems in our "communities" and we'd like to see a change.

So if you ever have the opportunity to speak with one of your younger or just less informed female counterparts and you're trying to convince her not to go on and have baby number 2 or 3, cuz she already has baby #1 and daddy's gone...how do you think she's going to respond to you initially? You must understand that as she defends her actions, her motherhood and her womenhood you may hear from her many of the same things I wrote in comment #26...and how exactly will you respond to her? Will you call her brain dead and delusional and tell her she's not the one you're trying to help anyway? If so then you've just lost your 1st battle.

So I come here and play "devil's advocate" so that we can possibly have constructive conversations about how to reach those who may not be on our same level mentally, socioeconomically, educationally or otherwise...but who could still use our help...but without coming off as condescending.

@Gina...those experiences with your dad that you shared in #28 are beautiful...and I almost envy you for them..but my childhood w/o a dad but with 6 brothers and 1 sister was still a happy childhood. But again I was closer to the youngest and do realize that my older siblings had to take on a lot more responsibility than they should have (such as teaching me to ride a bike...and to drive...and fixing appliances around the house...and cooking...and babysitting) if their had been a father in the house. Although now we laugh about them, and even they would tell you that they had a mostly happy childhood...but still wouldn't put that much responsibility on their own children either.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

once again, I'm gon' say it one more time for thepeople at the back who didn't her me.....THIS AIN'T ABOUT YOU!!!!

Great, you had a happy childhood. I didn't say you didn't. I understand your need to reject the concept of Daddy's being a great benefit to children because you would interpret that as your mother being in error or your childhood being inferior. Nobody want's to feel inferior so I understand your PROJECTION of your unique experience on all the fatherless children of the modern world.

THIS isn't about YOU needing validation from ME to validate the "happiness" of your particular childhood.

This is about the widespread dismanteling of the only foundation of civilization that we know of without any replacement. If the numbers in important categories were going DOWN or staying the same, I wuld buy your argument, but their not.

I'm not going to sit silent about entire generation of black people grow up thnking prison, running trains, stripping, smoking weed, indiscriminant sex, nonexistent family planning and all other forms of debauchery which I can point to fatherless as a major contributor, are somehow normal or unavoidable.

As amazing as your childhood had been, there but the grace of God something didn't happen to your Mom.

Plus the multi family of the past isn't ANYTHING like these modern day trainwrecks where Mothers have children by multiple men who have children by multiple women.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Yes. He MADE us walk down the street to change mom's tire. granted I have AAA...but still :)

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaJane Galt

@Lajane and you know WHY? Because yo' Daddy didn't want you to ever be stuck on the side of the road somewhere with a flat tire and not know how to change it.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

I think some of the "this is about me" folks enjoy deliberately missing the point(s). The early Civil Rights movement was not embraced by a majority of black people. A lot of prominent black organizations did not like, or support, what those people were doing.

We have to keep in mind this problem started over 40 years ago. Most, if not all, of the family breakdown, began with changes in the law that lead to government aid being worth more than a father's paycheck. This damage worked in conjunction with a sexually irresponsible and permissive culture that hurts women, while pretending to empower them.

If government incentives are powerful enough, it will change people's behavior. Eventually, there will have to be laws that gradually move people away from this dysfunctional lifestyle. Positive or negative social pressure will be the other hand that guides people in the right direction.

Positive turnarounds rarely happen overnight.

Plus, doubting Thomases shouldn't underestimate the power of blogging.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetty Chambers

"I think some of the “this is about me” folks enjoy deliberately missing the point(s). The early Civil Rights movement was not embraced by a majority of black people. A lot of prominent black organizations did not like, or support, what those people were doing." --Betty Chambers

Wonderful point; glad you made it!

MLK, Jr. and those with him were constantly referred to (by much of the Black establishment) as "troublemakers" in the early days. When he won the Nobel Peace Prize and was acknowledged by (some) societal elites, the haters were silenced and some eventually joined the tide of history.

Progressive movements are never popular until it is clear they will carry the day.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeborah

@Gina...
I"m disappointed in the least at your responses to my comments because you're not attempting to respond to any of the points that I've made. I never wrote that it was about me...and I never made that same charge to you when you went on to list all of the experiences you had with YOUR dad.

And I've also stated that, although I grew up in a single family household, I UNDERSTAND and RESPECT the need for a father in the household thus I consciously made that decision for MY OWN household as an adult.

And at exactly what point in my comments did I state (seriously) that growing up w/o a father was a GOOD thing? I just said that my childhood w/o one was relatively happy...it IS what it IS...which goes back to what I stated about 4 comments or so ago that PEOPLE CAN ONLY GO BY THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES...AND THEY CAN'T MISS WHAT THEY NEVER HAD...so comparing your childhood to someone else's would not be a viable point of reference when/if trying to change their perspective about having children out of wedlock. I've had enough exposure in my lifetime to different people and cultures to understand that things still could have been better under different circumstances...and that my mother's life was a lot harder than it needed to be based on the decisions she made. But many people who are still making the same mistakes as their parents still have not had that exposure so they still DON't KNOW ANY BETTER.

But again, I'm not looking for validation from you nor am I looking to try to validate your experiences, opinions or anyone else's.

I'm simply trying to challenge you and every other person posting on this thread to find ways to communicate the very REAL need for fathers to OTHERS who've decided that it's not important. How do you make your outrage matter?

When it comes to BET or Dunbar village, you have addresses to write to, people to contact and companies to complain to. So when it comes to reaching out to sisters who are suffering from broken childhoods, low self-esteem, limited perspectives and in many cases limited options...how do we reach them when they won't even acknowlege, let alone comprehend the role that the decisions they've made has on the decay of the black community and society on the whole?

And no, I'm not looking to YOU for all the answers, I'm just trying to open the discussions for more practical solutions.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJustSaying

We are focusing primarily on the benefits of fathers to children, and I really can't add on to the A-Z list Gina outlined above. Well written. (And aren't you supposed to be on blogcation? :-)

The benefits to black WOMEN, though, of a father in the household are just as relevant. My husband makes a point of flirting with me in front of the kids constantly. And it occurred to me the other day (and it nearly brought tears to my eyes) that I didn't get to see my mother loved, petted, and kissed coming up. When I'm wore out and can't deal with the kids he steps in and cooks dinner, washes clothes, breaks up sibling arguments, cleans house, and de-stresses me to boot. And when I broke my leg back in April and was laid up in the bed for a month, he did all of that on his own. Tire flat? He's got it. Something needs fixed? He's on it. And, yes, the weekly paychecks direct deposited into our joint account are far preferable to dealing with child support.

Part of dismantling the myth of the black superwoman is acknowledging that she needs a helpmate. Yes we can do it alone, but the benefits of having your children's father in the home, assuming he is a good, responsible man, are IMMEASURABLE.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPecola

@justsaying

And thus your conumdrum.I'm not interested in playing social worker on this issue. I am interested in playing the role of the oracle/prophet/ town crier.

We have different roles on different issues. Because equivocating and an inability or unwillingness to draw CLEAR BRIGHTLINE OBJECTIVE STANDARDS, we keep sliding down this "slippery" slope in to the abyss.

We allow discussions about a group that had a PR campaign using celebrity mothers to purport to give advice to women on how to RAISE HIM ALONE, and people want to HEM HAW about the DANGEROUS message they are promoting.

If a bear is trying to crash through my cabin window and eat me alive. I have many choices. I can play Devil's advocate and ponder my role as a human in invading the bear's territory. I can try to attempt to understand the bear's perspective. I can ponder future programs to deal with a long range solution for human bear interactions. Or in the interest of surviving, I can walk over to my fire place mantle, grab a shotgun and open fire on smokie. He may have had really good reasons for trying to eat me alive, perhaps we wasn't going to eat me alive at all, maybe he just wanted some pie or a pic-a-nic basket. As far as I am concerned this RAISE HIM ALONE campaign is a bear that's going to devour future generations of young Black children. I'm shooting it down because on its face its dangerous. You can go play with Smokie the bear all you like, just don't take you kids with you.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

@pecola and does this husband have a brother :)

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

Progressive movements are never popular until it is clear they will carry the day.

Thanks for the historical perspective.

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergem2001

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