Responsible Writing, Stereotypes, and Data ~ by April Joyner [Criticism, Open Forum]

Responsible Writing, Stereotypes, and Data ~ by April Joyner [Criticism, Open Forum]

[Note by CHRISTELYN] –> “My goal is to keep this debate honest. I don’t not wish to silence critics, but I think those who read someone’s INTERPRETATION of the NWNW movement should have the benefit of seeing both sides. I’m really, really trying to keep this fair. The conversation has gotten too important to suppress. Remember folks: If 72% of your house was burning down, would you ask for a program, argue statistics, or propose a study on how it started? If you possess the survival instinct, you would run like hell, or FIGHT like hell to put that fire out because that house means so much to you. Period.”

Author : NWNW Critic

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My goal is to keep this debate honest. I don’t not wish to silence critics, but I think those who read someone’s INTERPRETATION of the NWNW movement should have the benefit of seeing both sides. I’m really, really trying to keep this fair. The conversation has gotten too important to suppress. Remember folks: If 72% of your house was burning down, would you ask for a program, argue statistics, or propose a study on how it started? If you possess the survival instinct, you would run like hell, or FIGHT like hell to put that fire out because that house means so much to you. Period.

Responsible writing, stereotypes, and data
By April Joyner

This week has been very busy, with us closing our November issue, and I’ve already fallen short of my goal to blog at least once a week. Oh well. When I finally had the time to catch up on some of my favorite non-business blogs, I noticed a lot of discussion involving a campaign called No Wedding, No Womb. I immediately disliked the title, because it calls to mind a very annoying Beyonce song: you know, the one accompanied by a dance routine ripped off from Bob Fosse. But beyond that, the whole campaign rests on the weird notion that black women, unlike everyone else, don’t consider the consequences of pregnancy outside of marriage and that, somehow, just airing the idea that “you should raise your child in a committed relationship*!” will change things. (‘Cause we’ve never heard that one before.) It’s pretty fogeyish, in my opinion. Notice I didn’t say “conservative” or “reactionary.” There are fogeys across the political spectrum.

Link to article HERE:

Photo: Cartoon Stock

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User Comments


  1. Eugenia
    September 25, 2010

    Where is your proposal for a solution to fatherless black children? I’m tired of reading blog articles about hurt feelings and semantics.

    Reply


    • April
      September 25, 2010

      I don’t think there is one overarching solution to “fatherless black children.” And while I admit I do not like the title “No Wedding, No Womb,” my bigger concern is with its underlying premise: that black women simply do not understand the perils of single motherhood or the benefits of two-parent households, and that therefore an endorsement of marriage/committed relationships will change things. I think that premise is faulty. There have been numerous calls to personal responsibility and numerous cautionary tales put forth regarding unwed mothers, but we’re still in this situation. That approach just hasn’t worked.

      Instead, we need to identify what attributes do foster nurturing households for children. Two things immediately come to my mind: the parents should be supportive of each other in their commitment to raise their children. The household should have the economic means to provide for all its members. Neither of these things are guaranteed by marriage. There are plenty of dysfunctional, impoverished, two-parent homes.

      Now, I do believe we all could be better at choosing life mates to rear children. But given that the rate of divorce is around 50% nationally, that’s clearly not an issue for only black folks.

      Reply


      • Eugenia
        September 26, 2010

        There certainly are dysfunctional poor parents, there are dysfunctional rich parents. But when NWNW advocates marriage, it doesn’t advocate marrying willy-nilly. Why everyone seems to have that notion of it, I don’t get. Nothing in these articles, if you bother to read them advocates that. Although I will say a child would probably be better off with two poor parents that love and care about each other and down for one another than one rich one. I’m sorry two parents are just better. Black people have been poor in the past, very poor, way poorer than now and they still took responsibility for their kids, got married, supported husbands and wives and raised family. Fogeyish or not, it’s been working millions of years, millions and the messy experiment we’ve been trying for the last 40 or so has gotten us nothing but a lost generation. It’s time to stop that loss. By actually taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions. We all make mistakes and bad decisions but to continue to perpetuate that mistake, that bad decision over and over again as if it’s gonna get you something different is insanity. I would say to you that no one who’s been taught about being a responsible person, a responsible adult and been shown the rewards of being one has going to make the tragic decision of being an unwed mother. We lead by example.

        Reply


  2. Sean
    September 26, 2010

    Hello,

    As a Black man who was raised by a single-mother in concert and cohabitation with married grandparents, I’m someone who looks to the past for solutions in my daily life. I witnessed first-hand the beauty of a household in which the adults sacrificed their own happiness for my sake. I want to stand up for the past and the old-fashioned way of raising a family, patriarchy aside, because it works and has worked for centuries [fogey or effective]. It seems that these days, parents have forgotten that “it” isn’t about them–sadly Black men are leading the field in this respect.

    While I agree with April that [educated] single Black women are not having children because they are unaware of the benefits of a two-parent household, etc. Black girls are having children for that exact reason. Further, Black girls I know are having therapy babies to fill the esteem/love deficit in their lives which is arguably related to the absence of fathers/2nd parents in their lives [chicken/egg issue]. I’m 30 and attended middle school with pregnant 13-year-olds, those women are now grandmothers. There is lots of room to discuss rape and abuse as one potential cause but we can’t just pretend that a plurality of single Black mothers are making an educated choice.

    Thanks for the campaign!

    Reply