Whenever someone talks about the issue of single parents in the black community, they’re always quick to throw around the statistic involving “72%” of black children being born out of wedlock. But not everyone is looking at that number blindly. Ta-nehisi Coates has always criticized this number and offered an explanation of the “72%”:
“The basic conclusion is that the birth rate for unmarried black women is–and has been–declining. In 1970 the birth rate for unmarried black women was 96 per 1,000. In 1980, it was 87.9. In 2005 it was 60.6. There is a huge spike in the late 1980s, but the overal trend is clear–the birth rate for unmarried black women has been declining for almost 40 years.
Something else that should add some context to that 70 percent figure which we all love. The birth rate for married black women has declined way more for married black women than it has for married white women. Also, the birth rate for unmarried women overall is on the increase, but that seems to be being driven by an increase among white and Hispanic women. It’s also worth noting that the rate for unmarried black women is still waaayyyy higher than the rate for white women, while lower than the rate for Hispanic women. “
The documentary ‘72 Percent,’ “takes a hard look at the single mother phenomenon in the African American community.”
The documentary aims to analyze “beyond catastrophic” statistics through a discussion of the effect of welfare policies, social norms and celebrity examples on this “disturbing epidemic.” The film follows the story of a single-mother who shares her perspective of the struggle to raise her three children without a father.
Take a look at the trailer below: