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.