"You know, Spanish men will never abandon their family. You rarely see it in other races, but Black men....But I blame it on slavery. I think it's from slavery time." - Anonymous, 2010
Understanding why the Black family is fragmented (stay tuned for the discussion)
So here are my thoughts. Research and history shows that black women, both married and unmarried, have an history of "holding their families together." Why would this be the case for a married women in a traditional family setting? Much of this is attributed to slavery and pre-civil rights era. Although it may seem like we are beating the same dead horse over and over again, we cannot take away from the damage that these time periods have caused the Black race. I'm certain the severity and impact of slavery to the Black race can be debated for years, but I contend it impossible to repair the damage from over 100 years of oppression in less time than it took to cause.
Very simply, Black men were separated from their families during slavery. Black people in general were scattered based on the physical abilities and attributes they could offer to white families - even children. These are undisputed facts. But furthermore, this trend of a separated Black family continued well into the 20th century. Black men were disadvantaged and often times had to leave home to "find work" just to earn money for his family. Whether it be joining a branch of the military as a service man and being gone for months on end or venturing out on foot to look for manual labor, these men often had to leave their wives and children at home alone. Increasingly, the absence of the Black father has become the norm.
More so, American popular belief reinforces this absenteeism with the notion that it is almost normal for families to be fragmented in this day and age. Laws and regulations have framed and bended around the belief that families will be separated. This hegemonic mindset may very well work for a White America who is progressively in a different space from Black America; but not so much so for Black America. And I say this not to say that Blacks cannot achieve what their White counterparts can this day, but to remind readers that our race is still learning to cope while assimilating into normal society. Although the Black race is evolving, there is still embedded psychological damage to the race that often goes unrecognized. For a race that is already apprehensive about recognizing mental health issues, it makes this damage increasingly harder to repair.
So the next time you take notice of the high number of single Black mothers, even Black Millennial Women, there is a reason other than the myths that all Black women are promiscuous or that all Black women cannot hold their families together. There is a history that is deeply ingrained into the culture. Lets not forget this history by feeding into the stereotypes of who Black people are. Lets not add to the hate and self-hate. Push back...Push back...Push back
From the diary of a single Black mother and a BMW...
Interesting Fact - Regarding trends toward more single women having children, 66 percent of black Millennials say the trend is bad for society, compared with 57 percent of whites, and 59 percent of Hispanics (Bonnie Davis 2010)
Related Reading - Front Page Magazine, "So why are you single?" (Arrgh!), So He Popped the Question....I'm Confused, Jezebel Stereotype