What was I upset about? I thought the authors were exploiting the stats for births out of wedlock-to unmarried women in the United States. As a Black female I was quite upset when they noted that 72.3% of Black babies are born to unwed mothers. This stat is true and it is taken from selected years from 1960-2011, and the stat for Black women is reported from 1980 to 2011. If you want to see it for yourself you can go to http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_01.pdf. This document is the National Vital Statistics Report Volume 62, Number 1 from June 28, 2013 and Table 15 on page 43 shows these stats.
What upset me? Again, I thought they were taking the stats out of context, but once I realized they were true, I was equally upset. I am one of those babies, born to an unwed teenage mother. I thought the stats had gotten better. What are we doing, I asked myself. This is a generational curse and one that MUST be stopped! My grandmother had a daughter at age 15, my mom had me at 17, my aunt had my cousin at 15, my two cousins had kids before they were married. In society today, we say give them a shot, a pill, or give them condoms because they are going to do it anyway, so teach them to protect themselves. Well, how has that worked for us in the Black community? 72.3% are still having babies. It was 57.3% in 1980 to 72.3% in 2011. This mentality has not worked so far. Don't we need to rethink this? It is almost like we don't care. Do we care? Does anyone care? We are limiting our options in life when we do things outside of God's will for us. I know this myself as I used to live a promiscuous, dangerous life. I know some of my options have been limited because of it and I did it to myself. We can't blame the government. We can't blame white people or other people groups for our plight. Maybe we would have more generational wealth and stability today if this stat were not so high. I don't know...I am just upset that the percentage for Black babies born out of wedlock is so much higher than others as compared to 29% for Whites, 53.3% for Hispanics and the total of 40.7%. I have a right to be angry, but what will or can I do about it? Having a foundation, first is the key. Then empowerment is next. Then fathers are the real answer! The Lord is our foundation, then getting little Black girls involved in things that give them a sense of strength and empowers them to do great things is the next answer. We just celebrated Father's Day and fathers are the real key to this whole thing. Maybe if my father had been there when I was a child and had told me I was beautiful and worth more than gold, then just maybe, I would not have listened to every guy that whispered in my ear and told me those things...just maybe! I care about our community, that's why I had to write this blog to say that I am paying attention more so now than ever before. Self-esteem plays a major part. If little Black girls know who they are, then they won't be so quick to jump into bed with just anyone. Mothers and fathers need to be good examples for their children. You do matter and let's stop being so coy and casual about this in the Black community. Let's take a stand! Bless you and I hope this blog makes you think and act!
Dee Stokes Ministries, Inc.