Heartbreaking Mini-Film: 16-year-old in Foster Care for 14 Years

Heartbreaking Mini-Film: 16-year-old in Foster Care for 14 Years

This is part of a post about the out-of-wedlock problem in the Black Community. And while I don’t completely agree with social support being the panacea to solve the problem, because it COMPLETELY deflects personal responsibility. It’s still worth reading.

Author : Christelyn Karazin

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Christelyn is married with four children.

Love Isn’t Enough

“What’s The Truth About Black Fathers? Thoughts on No Wedding No Womb”

This is part of a post about the out-of-wedlock problem in the Black Community. And while I don’t completely agree with social support being the panacea to solve the problem, because it COMPLETELY deflects personal responsibility. It’s still worth reading.

by Love Isn’t Enough guest contributor Roberta Coles [editor's note: We asked Roberta Coles, co-editor of The Myth of the Missing Black Father (reviewed here last week) and associate professor of sociology at Marquette University to weigh in on the No Wedding, No Womb phenomenon. She kindly agreed. Below are her thoughts.]

“No wedding, no womb”; Beyonce’s single ladies’ “shoulda put a ring on it”: these are apparently the popular-culture counterpart to the government’s “marriage-promotion” policies promulgated over the past decade. If only life were that simple!

What problems are these mantras intended to solve? Nonmarital births? Black men not parenting? Nonmarital births and cohabitation have been rising among all races in the U.S. and are even higher in other industrialized countries. African Americans do have higher rates of nonmarital births and divorce than other races in the United States. And across races, when fathers are not married (or no longer married) to their children’s mother, their involvement with their children tends to decline over time, particularly when one of the parents moves or marries (or remarries) or, for men, when they cannot provide economic support. However, several studies indicate that nonresident black fathers are more likely than men of other races to provide some support, such as in-kind support or daily childcare chores. Our book, The Myth of the Missing Black Father (and Coles’ book The Best Kept Secret: Black Single Fathers), shows that many black men are parenting under numerous constraints. Nevertheless, it is true that higher proportions of black children are in single-mother households or in nonparent households and that children usually are better off with more parents than with fewer, assuming the parents are loving, responsible adults.

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