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A Discussion about Black Communities

Posted by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM
  • 32 Replies

I watched a discussion on tv last night regarding the black communities. This has been a hot topic in the media lately. While we may not all agree on how to approach the issues of poverty and crime, I think the majority of us can all agree that we would like to see our communities improved and we'd like to see people in the communities thrive. In this spirit, I pose a question for discussion and I'll give a little information just so we have a foundation to start with. With regard to black communities, we are looking at about 73% of black children are born out of wedlock, causing numerous children to not have a solid male influence and single mothers struggle to provide as well as raise their children. Crime is significantly high in the black community. Completion of high school is lower among black Americans than other races. Drug use and sales are high in these black communities.

Now, we are not here to debate good vs. bad or this race vs. that race. There's no point. Racism doesn't help improve these unfortunate circumstances. BUT, after what I watched on tv, an interesting, and I think profound question is posed....Is the disolution of the family unit the cause of the circumstances? Or are the circumstances causing the disolution of the family unit? It's sort of a "chicken or the egg" question. And so we are all on the same page, I think it's important to note that the family unit is the core of our communities and a reflection of the state of our morals, our economy, and our nation.

I lean in the direction of the family unit being the source simply because the percentage of black children born out of wedlock in the 1950's was significantly lower despite the environment for blacks being much less accomodating that it is now. Also, we now have many more programs in place specifically to help struggling kids...inner city programs, education assistance, mentoring programs, etc.... and yet the circumstances remain unfortunate and don't appear to be getting better.

That is where I am in my thought process at this point. But I'm totally open to intelligent discussion about it.

I'd like to hear feedback and possible solutions to reverse the trend. When all of our communities become successful, our nation as a whole will be successful.

by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM
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by Platinum Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:21 PM
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I think all communities in this country has lost the art of appropriate shame as a useful tool in making mature adults.
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by Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM

 If you are referring to people not feeling remorse for bad decision making, then I agree.

Quoting Donna6503:

I think all communities in this country has lost the art of appropriate shame as a useful tool in making mature adults.


by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM
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Born out of wedlock doesn't mean there isn't a male in the household. Also the black community has different incomes. This is going to be a useless discussion. If anything it will be a slamming discussion.
by Platinum Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

It's going to go the same way all these discussions go.

by Silver Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

 The blk politicians want it this way.  More people=more power!  When abortion was easy to get in wash DC Blk politicians where shocked to find that the ratio of live births to abortions was 1 to 1!    Blk politician had convinced the media to count ever  person with any taint as blk to swell their numbers.  Before the aim was to breed out of discrimination and to assimulate into the dominate culture.  Of course it was easier for some than others. 

  The "family unit" is undergoing change and will always  undergo change as different ideologies and technological changes result in cultural norms shifting.   Class and expectations make a very deep impact.

by Platinum Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM
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I think the issue of poverty combined with the inequities still present for minorities is a driving factor. Also, many PA programs, albeit well-meaning, discourage marriage amongst poor and struggling families. A restructuring of those programs would help, IMO.

On another note, does anyone have a solid source of stats on crime, education, and family structure in non-black areas struggling with poverty? I'm curious why we keep framing it as a black problem rather than a low income problem.
by Gold Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM
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My first issue is with this the term "children out of wedlock". This term seeks to insult these children and these families. Not all couples feel marriage best suits them. Marriage is a social instuition. It is not a requirement for a family. BTW I'm married so I'm not saying this b/c I'm unmarried. 

The African American community has suffered at higher rates than all other communities since the end of slavery. Most in that time all started out on the bottom. Poor and oppressed. They have not had enough time to play catch up with the white population. The continuous oppressive state makes it even harder. It's like poor AA's are carrying weights up the stairs while poor whites are just carrying themselves. The more poverty you have. The more problems you have. It leads to more crime and more broken families. More working mothers/parents who have to leave children to take care of themselves. 

To answer your specific question it's the circumstance that leads to more broken families. Money is the # problem in relationships. Children raised in broken families are more likely to repeat the cycle and so on. All races have more broken families since the 1950s. As bad as that may appear and it causes a chain of other problems. What was holding those families together back then wasn't good either. Alot of those families were very unhealthy but divorce wasn't as socially acceptable. You also have to factor in the cost of living vs. avg. low wage is much much much higher. This means MORE money issues and more moms have to work to provide for their families single or not. So stop for a minute and think about that. There is 3 common circumstances a child may be raised in. A single parent normally the mom vs. 2 working parents vs. 1 parent at home while the other works. In 2 working parent home a child is still very likely to be raising themselves. So I'd say it's more about the money gap that causes parents to have work so much especially at hours when the children are home that contributes more to the problem than an absent parent. Working evening hours, weekends, etc... aren't much of choice for many families and it's mostly those who live in poverty that work them. 

I also want to mention this. When comparing black families to white families in the marriage department. Your not accounting for all the broken white families that are married simply b/c they go from one marriage to the next. Do you honeslty think counitiuosuy remarriagge is better for children than single parent hood? 

by Bronze Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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I don't think that the US government with all of the PA programs could ever replace the family unit. I hate hearing "I don't need no man to raise my kids". Well, yes you do, and your kids deserve 2 parents who love and want them.

Instead of using PA to support  personal lifestyle choices, people should come together as families and communities to support each other.

And every race could benefit from better personal integrity and responsibility.

by Maya on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM
I'm just going to copy and paste my response from the other post:

How would a non black person know what blacks need to do to help themselves? Those persons cannot speak from experience. They can only give opinions based on things they've surmised from the media. Even as someone with a white mother, my experiences more closely align with blacks because of the color of my skin. I have actually had people tell me that I'm not mixed because I don't "look" mixed. Funny thing is, I had a friend growing up who was mixed and was a lot darker than I am.

Anyhow, the point is that someone that doesn't share certain experiences with someone cannot tell them what they need to do to help themselves. Sure, they may have ideas, and their ideas may even be helpful. However, ignoring the crucial part that racism plays in the oppression of racial minorities, particularly blacks, only makes the problem worse.

Sorry about the tangent. I didn't mean to offend anyone. But, I'm just sick and tired of people telling me what we should do to help ourselves, when they don't share our experiences.

If you're that interested, read this post:

I will add that as a black person, I don't understand some white folks' obsession with all that's "wrong" with the black community. What about white communities? What are you doing about that?
by Maya on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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And a quick note on the statistic about the children born out of wedlock: having a child out of wedlock doesn't mean the father isn't in the home. My girls are apart of that statistic, but their father and I have been together for 12 years, and has no plans of leaving. Legally, I'm considered single. But, I'm not single. That statistic is extremely flawed.
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