The  single mother syndrome just got really real in the Black community.

According to government statistics,72 percent of Black children are born to unwed mothers.Dr. Natalie Carroll, an OB-GYN based in Houston, told AP that this trend is a common, one that she sees on a daily basis at her own practice.

“The girls don’t think they have to get married. I tell them children deserve a mama and a daddy. They really do,” Carroll said.

Conversation around the issue of births out of wedlock has gained attention from not only the Black community but legislators as well. Research has shown that children of single and unmarried mothers are more likely to  perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, make poor decisions, and continue the cycle by having their own children out of wedlock.

The statistics for African Americans is higher than any other racial group. In 2008, only 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of Whites, 53 percent of Hispanics, and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unmarried women.

Carroll, in her interview with AP, stressed the importance of a bi-partnership in parenting.

“A mama can’t give it all. And neither can a daddy, not by themselves,” Carroll said. “Part of the reason is because you can only give that which you have. A mother cannot give all that a man can give. A truly involved father figure offers more fullness to a child’s life.”

How do Black children end up in these  situations?

One thought is that Blacks are not predetermined to have the same progressive opportunities as their racial counterparts. Poverty and elusive forms of socioeconomic discrimination puts a high proportion of Blacks at a disadvantage, creating a large class of unskilled and non-competitive individuals locked out of the job market or sphere of academia.

Motivation to remain in committed relationships is also low—and that comes from both parties. With the popular “pimp” idea, many Black men find themselves moving from women to women in order to satisfy their egoistic needs. Likewise, Black women who give it up easily lower their value as women, making it easier for men to objectify and degrade them. This supply, demand, and patriarchal control system lessens the integrity of both the Black man and the Black woman; he feels no obligation to stay with a woman beyond what she can provide physically because she has communicated through her hot and fast ways that that’s all she is worth.   This relationship reflects how marriage has become undervalued in the Black community. Once a means for social mobility and familial growth, marriage for some Black men and women has become a spell-binding act, one that conflicts with the “bachelor experience” or a woman’s strong need for independence.

To really pinpoint where these statistics are coming from, we must examine the root of the problem—the psychological factors of familial situations and this constant search for love amongst a drove of inconsiderate Black men. The issue of unwed mothers occurs at a higher rate amongst young females in the African-American community who are easier targets to take advantage of because of their vulnerabilities. Harsh childhoods and poor environments have left many Black girls feeling that they need a man in their lives to make up for the “dad they never had” or the “lack of unconditional love” they didn’t receive when they were younger. This psychological need to substitute and create surrogates for love often encloses Black women in the trap of single motherhood.

More single Black mothers need to take control, and hold men accountable for their pertinent role in their children’s lives.  Often times, there is a submissive-controlling psychological game that occurs between weak Black women and dogged Black men that puts the lives of children in jeopardy, and attributes to the high rate of deteriorating Black relationships.

Although it may seem that a million death darts are being thrown at the Black community, we must acknowledge this heart-wrenching truth in order to identify the problems and solutions that we need to resolve over time and prevent the demise of the Black family.

30 Comments

  1. chloe

    These numbers have more to do with economic class/poverty rate than race. The implication that there’s a genetic or cultural basis is unfounded. The percentage of OOW births among women living at or below the poverty line has always been higher than the percentage of OOW births among women from upper income backgrounds. The only reason the rate of poverty related social breakdown and dysfunction is higher in our communities is because a larger % of blacks than whites and Asians live in poverty. You can find similar patterns across Europe, especially in Russia, where the white OOW birth rate is about the same as the US black OOW birth rate. There’s also more crime among Russia’s poor than there is among Russia’s upper class. It’s the US media that’s determined to frame this a black or race based phenomenon rather than the class issue that it is.

  2. As much as people want to think that issues such as this facing our community are a result of external forces, the problems facing black America are now the product of our own lack of desire to change.

    We so often don’t want to acknowledge of love of popular black culture which embraces the “thug-ho” model of male-female relationships is killing us. We think being educated or speaking properly is “being white” and sneer at those who try to improve themselves with an education. We try to hush up blacks who speak out about our issues such as Bill Cosby. And we act like we are victims constantly and that every police officer is the “white man” oppressing us even if the black person who was arrested was committing a crime.

    I’m tired of the excuses. I am saddened by the idea that welfare is a way of life and perplexed by the lack of shame over the behavior exhibited by many of us (such as saying it’s tough to be a single mom when the woman has had her fifth child with no money and has the audacity to be upset when taxpayers are sick of paying for her irresponsible behavior).

    We have to love ourselves enough to use a condom, to stop embracing the victim mentality, to see a future beyond a Lil Wayne video and to honor the struggles of those that went before us who lived and died to give us a chance in this country. Is our current condition in part due to the difficult past blacks have endured? Yes. But…are we still responsible for our future. Yes.

    • Evan

      This was beautiful… i love you haha

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