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>>

  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:51:36 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
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