Stereotyped as being single mothers and baby mamas, black women have the highest number of single parenting compared to other group. The Census Bureau confirms than one-third of all black children in the United States live with unmarried mothers. Compared to 6.5 percent of white children the figures reflect a general trend.
During the 1960-2016 period, the percentage of children living with only their mother nearly tripled from 8 to 23 percent and the percentage of children living with only their father increased from 1 to 4 percent. These are alarming stats and the reasons behind these horrific numbers must be addressed.
Compared to both White and Hispanic women Black women are less likely to marry and when they do, its later in life. More Black women are not getting married. There are various statistics in evidence.
Why have the number of unmarried black women increased? There are various contributing factors such as societal financial benefits that encourages black women to stay single. Specifically, any single black woman that is struggling must not have men living with them to qualify for the benefits. So this encourages singleness. While I understand the first layer of concern (establishing work ethics for men), I think there is a greater harm to the family structure because no man is around and it reflects downstream when the single parent children grow up.Being forceful about principle can sometimes lead to more harm than good. Another cause for low marriages and single parenting with African American women is high unemployment for black men.
Even as black women face many challenges in society while juggling job, children and sometimes school they are thriving and forging forward despite obstacles. American Express writes Black Women are starting businesses at the fastest rate over any racial group. African American women owned businesses have increased 164% since 2007. From 2014- 2019 the Ninth Annual State of Women Owned Businesses report finds firms owned by women of color grew at more than double the rate of all women owned businesses 2014- 2019 by 50%.
Between 2015–16 women of color are also thriving regarding college, leading the percentage bachelor’s degrees awarded. Between 2009 and 2010, black women earned 68 percent of all associate degrees awarded to black students, as well as 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees and 65 percent of all doctorates awarded to black students. Keep in mind that these numbers are representative of the genders compared by race and not across races. Further, consider the struggles of black men with the judicial systems and the job opportunities, both of which impacts educational opportunity.
Other issues facing black women, is impacted by the pressure to take their natural
appearance and conform to the image of Caucasian. Often they are told to change their natural hair, or worse yet they are either not hired or let go.
Recent Black women pushed a natural hair movement (started in 2000) where embracing their natural beauty and standing against this biased perception.