Are children of black single mothers less likely to thrive today? Yes, if you would ask someone who has no connection to a household with a black single mother or the U.S. Census. Being raised by a single black mother provides a unique environment for growth. Not only was my mother a black single mother but also a teenager, she had me at the young age of 14. Whoa if I wasn’t a statistic waiting to happen.
America has labeled black single-parent-homes as a terrible, unhappy, poverty stricken household and the mother married has a great one. That wasn’t the case for me. Society hasn’t caught up with the changes in family structure. I am honest to admit there are some negative outcomes that can be related to black single mother homes but I think there is a bigger picture to address. It’s convenient to blame the single black mother. There are some advantages to living with both parents; I just don’t think living without one is a huge “threat”. To even use the word threat to describe living with a black single mother is hilarious to me. My experience was unique, there were some days when I questioned the dynamics of my household and some very happy days were I couldn’t imagine any one person (being my father) could significantly enhances that feeling. Being raised by a single black mother has intensified my independence, which some close friends could argue is my downfall. My mother singleness has insinuated independency. Men held little value in my mother’s life. Manly duties around the house were done by us. “You don’t need a man, Ebony” is a statement I heard my mother say daily. From this perspective, yes being raised by a single black mother is harmful. There wasn’t much room for public service in my household. My mother still doesn’t quite understand why I am pursuing my education in Nonprofit Management. I don’t think my mother has ever volunteered at a shelter or did any community service. Even though we were not participating in community service, she never failed to teach us ideals and values you gained from public service.
by Ebony Wiggins