Single Parenting While Black (and a woman)
According to the Census Bureau American Community Survey (2013), single mothers across all ethnicities have increased by 80% since the 80s. The survey also shows that 25% of all white mothers are single. Conversely, the same survey revealed that 72% of all children in the African American Community have single mothers.
However, statistics also reveal that the UNITED STATES alone has the highest rate of single moms compared to any other developed nation. While African American women bearing children has decreased, despite the high percentage of single moms, compared to that of white women.
I have been a mother since the age of 18 and have spent ten years of that time as a single woman. I have faced many challenges as a young mother; economic, academic, and discrimination (gender and socioeconomic status). I have also met many challenges as a black woman raising boys (and one daughter) without a father in the home; teaching them about the journey of a man, a black man, and continually being questioned regarding the value of my efforts because I am a woman "trying to do a mans job". In addition to the challenges of shielding them from what statistics have claimed to be there fate. Balancing it all has been an incredible journey. A journey that I believed to have traveled successfully.
But, I am so sick of reading articles in the media and listening to journalist assume that because we are black single females raising children that somehow we don't have support; we are alone. The erroneous assumption is that there are no grandparents, fathers, father figures, aunts, uncles, community members, or even educators involved in our lives.
Single parenting (while black) doesn't mean that we are ALONE. Single parenting (while black) doesn't mean that there are no support systems, that the father is nowhere to be found (or worse that we don't know who they are or where they are). Single parenting (while black) doesn't mean that because we don't have a degree, we are not educated and that we are incapable of raising our children without public assistance or section 8 (statistics shows that white families are the primary receivers of public assistance and section 8). According to the USDA (2013), 40% of SNAP benefits went to white families compared to 25.7% of African Americans.