Unwed Mother Rate At An Astounding 72% In The African American Community

Yahoo News recently released an article examining the roots of the “new norm” in the black community—single moms and their children weathering the trials of life and loving the joys of life without a husband in the home. A part of this analysis takes place through looking at the medical practice of Dr. Natalie Carroll, OB-GYN.

From Yahoo News:

As the issue of black unwed parenthood inches into public discourse, Carroll is among the few speaking boldly about it. And as a black woman who has brought thousands of babies into the world, who has sacrificed income to serve Houston’s poor, Carroll is among the few whom black women will actually listen to.

“A mama can’t give it all. And neither can a daddy, not by themselves,” Carroll says. “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.”

Statistics show just what that fullness means. Children of unmarried mothers of any race are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults, and have their own children out of wedlock.

The black community’s 72 percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008, the most recent year for which government figures are available. The rate for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent.

There are simple arguments for why so many black women have children without marriage.

The legacy of segregation, the logic goes, means blacks are more likely to attend inferior schools. This creates a high proportion of blacks unprepared to compete for jobs in today’s economy, where middle-class industrial work for unskilled laborers has largely disappeared.

The drug epidemic sent disproportionate numbers of black men to prison, and crushed the job opportunities for those who served their time. Women don’t want to marry men who can’t provide for their families, and welfare laws created a financial incentive for poor mothers to stay single.

If you remove these inequalities, some say, the 72 percent will decrease.

“It’s all connected. The question should be, how has the black family survived at all?” says Maria Kefalas, co-author of “Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage.”

The book is based on interviews with 162 low-income single mothers. One of its conclusions is that these women see motherhood as one of life’s most fulfilling roles — a rare opportunity for love and joy, husband or no husband.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

8 replies
  1. K.O.
    K.O. says:

    I'm not proud to say that I'm a statistic. I never thought that I would have a child without being married. And I look at the statistics of what my child is more likely to become (a drug user, going to prison, performing poorly in school, having their own children out of wedlock…) and it hurts…deeply, because this is what I helped to choose for my child. I take full responsibility for the decisions that I've made, but it's too late to change the circumstances under which I brought my child into this world. So my question now is…what can I do to change the oucome of my child's life? How do I not make her a statistic? Video response requested Ma'ats 🙂

      • K.O.
        K.O. says:

        Always know that I can count on the Ma'ats! 🙂

    • Terrence
      Terrence says:

      K.O. I think just having a community around yourself and your child is all that is needed. Family doesn't always have to be blood relatives, some of the people at my church and that I went to school with are my family. I help out with a mentoring program and Maryland is pretty strong in that area ( I can only speak for MD, because that's where I live). Many successful kids have come from single parent house holds but I think a village raising a child is a good way to make sure that OUR kids stay on the right track. We need to be careful in choosing our village too though :). Sent with Love!

  2. Terrence
    Terrence says:

    I forgot to comment about the article. I think it is time to take action on this alarming rate in our community. I have two young female cousins who are both 20 who just had babies. I really don't know what to do. Maybe as a community we can come together and figure out something. Great post and hopefully great discussion and solutions will come from these types of conversations as well.

  3. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    What's goin on black people….what's goin on?

    • Kendra
      Kendra says:

      I think the real question is what's going on with trifling ass black men!!!!!! Where in the hell are the real men and real fathers??? Women are taking care of their children. I would give my life for my family but their so called daddy won't even acknowledge we exist.

      • Terrence
        Terrence says:

        I'm really sorry about your situation ma'am, but I do want to let you know that I have been married to my wife for over 8 years and I love my baby girl. My wife and I also did foster care and I run a successful mentoring program as well. There are a lot of other guys in my circle of friends who are married with kids and giving back to the community as well. I even have a friend who is saving his virginity for his future wife and he is 34 years old. God bless!

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