Out-of-wedlock births among blacks spurs debate - New York News

Out-of-wedlock births among blacks spurs debate

Updated:

By: Mercedes White, Deseret News

A number that comes up frequently when talking about African-American families is that 70 percent of births happen out-of-wedlock. The figure is frequently invoked, according to the Atlantic's Ta Nehisi Coates, as evidence of the declining morality of the black family. Consider this quote from Fox News contributor Bernie Goldberg on a recent edition of "The O'Reily Factor."

"In the entire recorded history of the planet, there has never been a greater voluntary abandonment of men from their children than there is today in black America. Never. I mean, when men went off to war, they had to go off to war. That wasn't voluntary. But never as great of voluntary abandonment of children by their fathers than in black America today."

Even the segments of the black community are prone to this kind of thinking, according to Coates. "Just as often you see it invoked by black people themselves in much the same way. What undergirds all of this is the sense that the black community of today is somehow deficient in a way that the black community of yesteryear was not," he wrote in a piece for the Atlantic.

But according to Coates a more interesting picture comes into focus by comparing the birth rates of married and unmarried black women.

Using Census data, Coates argues that "one obvious reason that you have a higher percentage of children born out-of-wedlock in the black community is that the number of unmarried women (mothers or not) has grown a lot, while number of married women has grown only a little."

Coates also uses Census data to show that while the number of unmarried black women has substantially grown, the actual birthrate (births per 1,000) for black women is at the lowest point it has ever been. "So while a larger number of black women are choosing not to marry, many of those women are also choosing not to bring kids into the world," said Coates.

The birthrate for unmarried black women is mirrored by an even steeper drop among married black women. "Whereas at one point married black women were having more kids than married white women, they are now having less," wrote Coates.

"People who are truly concerned about the percentage of out-of-wedlock births would do well to hector married black women for moral duty to churn out babies in the manner of their glorious foremothers," wrote Coats. "But no one would do that. Because it would be absurd."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    17,000 red light camera tickets dismissed

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:39 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:39:23 GMT
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
    A technical glitch in a red light camera operating system means that some 17,000 motorists in New Jersey will not have to pay a fine for running red lights. Computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations. New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn't been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.
  • Brooklyn Bridge flags back on US soil

    Brooklyn Bridge flags back on US soil

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:25:55 GMT
    Police say the two American flags swiped from the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced with faded white ones are back on U.S. soil. NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves said Friday that the flags are in the United States. He did not know their exact location. Two German artists claimed responsibility earlier this month for the July 22 stunt. 
    Police say the two American flags swiped from the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced with faded white ones are back on U.S. soil. NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves said Friday that the flags are in the United States. He did not know their exact location. Two German artists claimed responsibility earlier this month for the July 22 stunt. 
  • Garner's family meets U.S. attorney

    Staten Island stores worried about rally

    Staten Island stores worried about rally

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:34 AM EDT2014-08-22 10:34:05 GMT
    Some Staten Island business owners say they are bracing for huge crowds on Saturday during a planned march for a man killed in an apparent chokehold during his arrest by NYPD officers. The Rev. Al Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally.
    Some Staten Island business owners say they are bracing for huge crowds on Saturday during a planned march for a man killed in an apparent chokehold during his arrest by NYPD officers. The Rev. Al Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices