When You See A Happy Black Family, Think It’s Normal
These children without fathers is really the issue here. Why don’t black people start with fixing their own families? Everything starts from there.
Is this you? Please stop. What you are lacking is context. The Black Family is doing great all things considered.
Jamestown was 1607. The Civil War was 1865. We’ll call that 250 years. A generation is 25 years so black families were altered due to the middle passage, auctions, trades and all the other great stuff that human chattel slavery would offer any family for the first 10 generations in America.
Civil Rights Acts were 1968 so for another 100 years or 4 generations the family was altered due to the advantages of living in an apartheid state. We are in 2014 now, so that’s 50 years or 2 generations of full citizenship, and 14 generations or 350 years without any of the rights, privileges and protections afforded under the Constitution to American citizens recognized.
These are the real culprits. They are demonized by all, but for what? They are just as involved in their kids lives as fathers of other races in the same or similar circumstances. In fact, black dads are more involved with their kids than dads from other racial groups.
What about the “epidemic” (one of my top 5 scare words) of fatherless children? There are scores of black children struggling to be raised by overwhelmed single black mothers. Are there though?
There are a higher percentage of children born out of wedlock in the black community because the number of unmarried women, whether mothers or not, has grown substantially while the number of married women has not. The numbers in the graph are by the thousand.
Declining Black Birthrate
However, while the growth of unmarried black women has been robust, the actual birthrate (measured by births per 1000) for black women is it the lowest point since it has been documented. A larger number of black women are choosing not to marry, and many of those women are also choosing not to bring kids into the world.
Declining Marital Birthrate
Furthermore, the drop in the birthrate for unmarried black women is mirrored by an even steeper drop among married black women. Indeed, whereas at one point married black women were having more kids than married white women, they are now having less.
The percentage of out of wedlock births in the black community has much less to do with the unwed having children, and much more to do with married black women having less children and black women overall getting married less. Considering how contact with the criminal justice system reduces job prospects, and given 1 in 3 black men will go to jail during their lifetimes, the decision for black women not to marry or remain single is logical.
Doing The Damn Thing
Black women overall, even single and/or childless, are thriving. When looking at the number of degrees conferred to U.S. residents by degree-granting institutions, percentage distribution of degrees conferred, and percentage of degrees conferred to by sex, race and level of degree for academic years 2009–10, black women come out on top.
68.3% of Associate’s degrees conferred to black people were to black women, 65.9% of Bachelor’s degrees conferred to black people were to black women, 71.1% of Master’s Degrees conferred to black people were to black women, and 65.2% of Doctorate degrees conferred to black people were to black women. This is the highest percentage of degrees conferred to any gender within any race.
Better Kids With More Ambition
There is nothing wrong with the fact that black women are having less kids overall and are remaining unmarried. Still, while 4-year graduation rates show the Black graduation rate at only 63.6% compared to the U.S. graduation rate of 80.6%; when looking at the dropout rate, we can see that only 8% of African American children dropped out of high school in 2010 compared to 7.4% of all children. This continues a long downward trend once at 21.3% in 1972 and 13.1% in 2000.
African American high school seniors are planning to attend colleges and universities in increasing numbers and looking to technical schools and military service less since 1990. The number of Black seniors who had definite plans to attend a four year college doubled between 1990 to 2010 from 30% to 60%. Those who had plans to go on to a graduate or professional school also doubled during the same time period. During the same time plans to attend a two year college only increased slightly from 16% to 19%.
All Aboard Black Men
There is nothing wrong with the black family other than the fact that black women are doing it with or without black men. Black women are effectively doing what they have to for the betterment of themselves and their children. Think about where the black family could be if black men were doing just as well as black women? The onus on continuing and heightening the success of the black family is on black men. We need to get on board the progress train that black women are conducting and help them with our children they are simultaneously raising as passengers.