Posts Tagged ‘race

31
Aug
10

Is Single Motherhood a Wise Option?

I stumbled upon this article today, and several things came to mind. Not the least of which was, “Really? Haven’t I been seeing articles like this since second grade when I was using the newspaper as my finger painting canvas?” Sigh.

The article, like many before it, offers statistics on how poorly many blacks are doing achieving the “American Dream.” According to a study done by a Harvard professor, male incarceration, lack of educational opportunities and single-parent households are factors that have led to or are a result of our community’s troubles. According to the scholar, 70% of black children are born to single mothers.

A second study, this one from the Educational Testing Services’ “Black-White Achievement Gap,” is quoted in the article and suggests that “increasing marriage rates and getting fathers back into the business of nurturing children” is one way to improve the chances of young people in our communities.

The studies’ findings made me wonder: for the SIS who is more interested in Baby Right than Mr. Right, is planning to have a child out of wedlock a wise choice?

I am not “over the hill,” but even at my youthful age, I’ve been asked whether I’ve considered having children on my own. Just last year my younger cousin, an HBCU undergraduate, not-so-subtly hinted that it was time for me to pop him out some new kinfolk. I responded that I’d like to be married first. His comeback: “That’s antiquated.”

I know several successful and healthy adults who are products of single-parent homes. So, while the study results included in the aforementioned article are depressing, there is living proof that one person – especially with the help of extended family – can do a fantastic job rearing a child.

However, as one close friend of mine consistently tells me, “It’s hard.” She remembers her mom’s struggles and doesn’t recommend it.

So, there you have the SIS’s dilemma.

Should she miss out on motherhood just because there’s no marriage? Does she forge ahead and have a child on her own when she’s ready, or is that the selfish decision, realizing that her child might face more struggles and disadvantages being raised in a single-parent home?

Some suggest adoption is the answer for the SIS, but this option doesn’t solve for the single-parent household issue. If both parents raising a child is the Holy Grail, then adoption still falls short of that ideal.

Honestly, my biological clock is ticking very softly. Having children is not something I spend lots of time thinking about, but I don’t doubt there will come a time when the alarm sounds, and I think I’ll hear the bells loud and clear whether I’m married or still single.

25
Sep
09

Is It Time for More Sistahs to Widen the Net?

interracial_couple

I’ll admit to being a work in progress. Maybe it’s a sign of how much I need to grow, but it’s true that I felt a twinge of WTF when I attended a recent family event and all my young, male cousins arrived with non African-American girlfriends.

It’s completely irrational, but I thought about all the young, black girls who may be left without a good, black man to call their own because my relatives met perfect matches who weren’t the same color as we are. Of course, love is blind and sometimes the right person comes in a varying shade.

So, that made me wonder why more black women don’t date non-black men. Obviously, it would widen the net and result in more options. So, why do a lot of women refuse to take advantage? I asked a few friends for their take on the issue.

They unanimously felt that black women do have hang-ups about dating outside of the race, and a common reason offered for this was that black women want black families.

JJ (32) said, “We’re overly committed to a textbook idea of what black family is.”

Renee (33) adds, “A lot of black women have been raised to see the power in a strong black nuclear family. However, I see more and more women dating and married to men of other races. It’s not so much about a “black family” but just a “family.”

Also, it seems black women want to avoid the hassle of dating outside the race. They are unsure about how their families will react.

Rosey (32) said, “Black women need validation from their family and friends and don’t think they’ll get that.

Another recurring response was that black women just don’t socialize with non-black men too much. It’s not a conscious decision, just a matter of fact in most instances.

Doll Face, who dated a white guy for four years in her hometown, said, “Where I reside now, I feel is more segregated. I don’t see white people or come in contact with them to date them.”

However, having dated outside the race, she is not opposed to doing it again, and she encourages single black women to try it. She said, “Black women should open up their horizons. Why not?”

JJ agrees. “In reality, most educated black women probably would find a more appropriate partner outside of what most of today’s black men have to offer.”

However, there was at least one SIS with a firm opinion in the opposite direction. HamptonGirl1998 said, “I think most black women should remain loyal to black men despite them wanting and often going after diversity.”

Needless to say, it’s a personal choice, but this SIS will definitely be checking herself and thinking about her “other” options if that WTF twinge rears its ugly head again.




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