From The Grio – Ask anyone who has been raised by a single mother, and they will tell you that their moms played many roles in their lives, including teacher, cook, accountant, housekeeper, driver, CEOand psychologist, and often times, they even served as a father figure for their household. While it’s important to celebrate these mothers and all that they do every day of the year, Hallmark found it necessary to commemorate their contributions to their families with a series ofFather’s Day greeting cards created to specifically for single mothers.

While Hallmark offered more than 700 card styles for Father’s Day, the majority of the nontraditional greeting cards for single moms were part of the company’s Mahogany brand, which is their line specifically designed for African-American consumers. The Mahogany Father’s Day collection included 66 culturally-relevant designs and sentiments that honor dadand other special men and women in a person’s life, and two of these celebrate black single mothers.

With 2 out 3 African-American children living in homes where a father is not present, compared to 1 out of 3 nationally, is Hallmark simply making a good business decision or should people of color be offended by their choice? And what effect are these greeting card offerings and the celebration of single motherhood on a day dedicated to honoring dads having on the value of fatherhood across all communities?

Hallmark spokesperson Kristi Ernsting, says that Hallmark started selling these types of cards at the request of customers to celebrate parents who play many different roles in their children’s upbringing. She adds that their goal was to celebrate mothers of all ethnicities.

“Hallmark has long offered ‘Happy Father’s Day, Mom’ and ‘Happy Mother’s Day, Dad’ cards in our lines,” she says. “It’s a common request for people who have lost a parent and want a way to express to their living parent that he/she has been both mother and father to them. We also released one card that was specifically addressed to all mothers in our general Hallmark line. It is our goal to create cards for the wide range of people’s relationships so that everyone who seeks to connect in a positive way with others can find a card that will meet their needs.”

Tonya Bryant, who is a single mother and grew up in a home where her parents were split up for some time, says that she would be honored to receive a card from her children, and that it’s a good way to pay tribute to single moms for all they do.

“When I was growing up, my parents separated and I lived with my mother,” she said. “I remember each year, I would buy Father’s Day cards for both my mom and my dad even back then. Now I think it’s more appropriate to give these cards to single moms because the dynamic of the family has changed over the years, and it’s not the same as what we’re used to. A single mom’s job is challenging, but the rewards are priceless, and being able to fill the role of both mother and father is something that I do with great pride. And to have my children thank me for doing this on Father’s Day would be such an incredible recognition.”

Hallmark began offering cards relevant for African-Americans in the 1960s and introduced the Mahogany line in 1987. Mahogany became a year-round brand offering both everyday and seasonal cards in 1991. Thus far, the product line has proven successful, and 10 percent of proceeds from these sales benefit the Susan B. Komen for the Cure.

While Bryant believes in the value of Father’s Day cards for single moms, she doesn’t agree with Hallmark’s decision to market them almost exclusively to the African-American community.

“I don’t think that it’s appropriate for Hallmark to sell all of these cards under their Mahogany line because they are, in essence, saying that only black people live in single parent homes, which is the furthest thing from the truth,” she said. “They are cheapening the great idea of celebrating single moms on Father’s Day by offering these products to mostly African-Americans. In this day and age, there are people from all walks of life that don’t have fathers in the homes, and I think that they should reconsider their marketing strategies and just offer them to people of all colors.”

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  • Sydney

    I like the idea of the card, but I don’t like the idea of just marketing them to African Americans. I know plenty of single moms who are white, Latino, even Asian! Single mothers are not just black women. There are plenty of single moms from different backgrounds: black, white, rich, poor, married, widowed, divorced, etc

    • cupcakes and shiraz

      Yeah, I’m not crazy about the racial marketing either. There are single mothers of all races, why just highlight the black ones as if it’s solely a black problem?

  • Leonie UK

    So does the lone fathers get one on mothers day also?

    • QueenofNewcastle

      That would be too fair. Besides men generally have a better grasp on reality so they would know that despite being the primary care giver they are just fathers and not mothers. I am sure 100% of them are quite happy about that too.

  • QueenofNewcastle

    These cards do nothing but futher expose how dysfunctional black America is. Watch a bunch of black women co-sign this thinking that it will make absent black fathers look bad but in the end they just end up looking so dudish. It seems like black women never miss an opportunity to make herself look so unlike other women.

    • Rude Awakening

      I don’t agree with the idea of bw receiving happy fathers day card…. Anyway, “Kigali” for someone who preaches about femininity you sound very masculine just thought I say that. Also, are you happy in your marriage? You are such an angry person that it is really hard to believe that you are happy in your marriage, I wish your husband would “allow” you to get a job and perhaps a life.

    • Queenofnewcastle

      @rude awakening

      Unlike so many other women in my cultural group I can balance a belligerent Internet persona with how I am morally obligated to act in public. No Korean woman giving me a pedicure has ever had to dodge my car keys.

      Now, If you can’t similarly give the same advice to our resident fire breathing Harridans than I have little time for your blatant hypocrisy despite my part time job and my volunteer work. Now piss off.

    • Rude Awakening

      LIAR… I don’t call balancing an internet persona when you go to many African American women geared sites to troll and have been banned from some….. you are OBSESSED. This is the real you, a masculine, insecure twit who is jealous of us with this superior complex which I don’t understand because you are in OUR country and your country has enough problems for itself that’s why you are not in Haiti now.

    • Rumayda

      I agree with you,your the only one being real,this “card” is kind of humiliating and tasteless

  • Alternative Beauty

    I was raised by a single mother but i would feel weird giving her a card for Father’s Day. If she really wanted one then I would give her one but Father’s Day is also a day where some of us remember the father that was not there and would rather just ignore the day all together. I would prefer that the people that do have father’s in their lives shower those fathers with lots of love because that is a blessing. I love my mother and I honor her everyday by being as loving to those I love as she was to me. I think that she prefers that instead of a reminder that my father was too self centered to do what he should have done as a man.

  • Kit

    A mother is not a father, nor is she a substitute for a father.