A fundamental fact of Negro American family life is the often reversed roles of husband and wife.
Dorothy Height: "If the Negro woman has a major underlying concern, it is the status of the Negro man and his position in the community and his need for feeling himself an important person, free and able to make his contribution in the whole society in order that he may strengthen his home."Negro children without fathers flounder -- and fail. Moynihan Report
- Women can NOT successfully raise male children to be men without a MAN present.
- Women can NOT successfully raise female children without an adequate male role model.
- Public assistance doesn't prevent a child from slipping into poverty.
- There are no shotgun weddings anymore because no one's looking out for the women.
- Two incomes are still better than one. Even if it's large. Jobs can be lost.
- Celebrities are not role models. Let's not model ourselves after them.
- This isn't about white people or what they think or being compared to them.
It was at 35% in 1965 when Moynihan also wrote:In this new period the expectations of the Negro Americans will go beyond civil rights. Being Americans, they will now expect that in the near future equal opportunities for them as a group will produce roughly equal results, as compared with other groups. This is not going to happen. Nor will it happen for generations to come unless a new and special effort is made.There are two reasons. First, the racist virus in the American blood stream still afflicts us: Negroes will encounter serious personal prejudice for at least another generation. Second, three centuries of sometimes unimaginable mistreatment have taken their toll on the Negro people. The harsh fact is that as a group, at the present time, in terms of ability to win out in the competitions of American life, they are not equal to most of those groups with which they will be competing. Individually, Negro Americans reach the highest peaks of achievement. But collectively, in the spectrum of American ethnic and religious and regional groups, where some get plenty and some get none, where some send eighty percent of their children to college and others pull them out of school at the 8th grade, Negroes are among the weakest.The most difficult fact for white Americans to understand is that in these terms the circumstances of the Negro American community in recent years has probably been getting worse, not better.Indices of dollars of income, standards of living, and years of education deceive. The gap between the Negro and most other groups in American society is widening.The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence -- not final, but powerfully persuasive -- is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle-class group has managed to save itself (not anymore), but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated. There are indications that the situation may have been arrested in the past few years, but the general post-war trend is unmistakable.So long as this situation persists, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself.
Nonetheless, at the center of the tangle of pathology is the weakness of the family structure. Once or twice removed, it will be found to be the principal source of most of the aberrant, inadequate, or antisocial behavior that did not establish, but now serves to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and deprivation.