As Father’s Day approaches, New York Times writer Charles M. Blow claims that the statistic that says 72% of Black children are born out of wedlock is misleading.
In a post, which some consider timely, Blow states:
First, there are a growing number of people who live together but don’t marry. Those mothers are still single, even though the child’s father may be in the home. And, as The Washington Post reported last year:
“The share of unmarried couples who opted to have ‘shotgun cohabitations’ — moving in together after a pregnancy — surpassed ‘shotgun marriages’ for the first time during the last decade, according to a forthcoming paper from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Furthermore, a 2013 C.D.C. report found that Black and Hispanic women are far more likely to experience a pregnancy during the first year of cohabitation than white and Asian women.
Second, some of these men have children by more than one woman, but they can only live in one home at a time. This phenomenon means that a father can live with some but not all of his children. Levs calls these men “serial impregnators,” but I think something more than promiscuity and irresponsibility are at play here.
Everything that Blow points out, is nothing new to those who follow the writer Ta’Nehisi Coats. In 2013, Coats pointed out that Black birth rate was disproportionately represented.
“The drop in the birthrate for unmarried Black women is mirrored by an even steeper drop among married black women. Indeed, whereas at one point married Black women were having more kids than married white women, they are now having less.” This means that births to unmarried Black women are disproportionately represented in the statistics.
As Father’s Day approaches, maybe it’ll be wise to think about what both of these men had to say about Black fatherhood, before rushing to judgement and citing a statistic that has been debunked several times over.