Photo Credit Too Tall Val
I must begin by saying, I applaud Christelyn D. Karazin with founding and organizing this movement. Â I pray that the Black community takes notice of this epidemic, which is at the root of this movement â€œBlack Fatherlessnessâ€. Â Until we truly come together and acknowledge that this is the biggest problem in our community, the black family will continue to deteriorate.
What most in the Black community, especially those of us of Generation X and Generation Y, didnâ€™t know was that this predicted 45 years ago.Â There was a report written by the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor Daniel, Patrick Moniyhan, entitled â€œThe Negro Family: The Case for National Actionâ€ . Â He cited in his report that biggest issue for Blacks, after gaining equal rights, was repairing our families. Â Many of our civil-rights leaders during that time denounced this report and called it â€œracially charged.â€ Â Since then, it has truly been a hot button issue in the Black community and our leaders have not adequately addressed it.
Some individuals have spoken on this very issue in the last 10 to 15 years but never as a collective movement. Â That is why the attention of No Wedding No Womb has been so vast. Â Views of pessimism and negativity have reared their ugly heads. Â More than any other community, we as Blacks view marriage with so much negative energy. Â The first concern many individuals mention are the alarming divorce statistics, and use that as a reason they are opposed to marriage. Â They truly donâ€™t believe that building a family before breeding children will have any effect on this epidemic. Â I must tell them they are gravely mistaken if they have that viewpoint. As an educator in the nationâ€™s largest public school system in a predominately black neighborhood, I can attest.Â Children from two parent homes have always performed much better in my classroom than their single-parent counterparts.Â Even in homes that the child splits time between two households they excel better in the classroom than those interacting with just one parent. Â In child rearing, there are some things that a child needs that they only can get from their father. Â Some of these great things where referenced in this post by Gary Carpenter M.D. Â That is not saying a child from a single-parent family cannot excel in life, but they are unfortunately disadvantaged.
Being a twenty-something, newlywed black man with a newborn daughter, this issue hits home hard.Â I was raised by a single-mom, who later remarried. Â My life totally changed for the better when my stepfather arrived in my life. Â His presence immensely helped in my life. Â Having a father figure that had an understanding of what it is to be an adolescent black boy had a profound and positive effect. Â Innately, I consciously made the decision in my mind that I wanted to have a child in wedlock.Â Seeing how my life improved, I knew the value of having both parents in the household.
Statistics do not lie. Â Disparities between children in two-parent homes and single parent homes are scientific fact. Â The repair of this epidemic will not occur overnight, as the black family has had over 50 years of deterioration. Â The solution begins with us. Â What has hurt us historically, is allowing the birth of children before the birth of marriage, and almost making it common law or â€œthe norm.â€ Â We have to educate ourselves on the problem affecting us.Â Many say marriage is not an option for them, but I ask, â€œWhat do you think is the main reason there is a black marriage rate less than 40 %?â€ Â I propose that it is because our black men have been most deeply affected by the lack of a father in the home.Â I firmly believe if marriages increase and fathers are involved in nurturing their children, the marriage rates for Blacks will improve. Â By repairing the Black family, we will also reduce the rates of incarceration, early death, while improving the education of Black men.
Education is portable wealth and our children are not attaining it at the same level as our non-black counterparts. We must work together to make sure our children and parents in low-income neighborhoods are truly receiving the proper education, both cognitively and socially. Â The lack of parent involvement must end in order for our children to succeed in the classroom. Â However, if they donâ€™t know how to become more involved, there will be no effect.
We as a community must unite and urge our Black leaders to band together and put the reinstitution family as a top priority on their agendas. Â We are a resilient people and I believe that we will overcome the current dismal state of the Black family and rebuild our families. Â We simply need to educate each other and our children. Â Lead by example as we attempt to turn the tide. Â Our strength is in numbers, not in isolation. Â In the words of the wise Hill Harper, â€œI canâ€™t stand around and tell my grandchildren I sat around watching the deconstruction of the Black family and did nothing.â€