by Abhishek Agarwal
Every day, all over the world, single parenting is a quickly-growing family situation. It doesn’t matter if the country is rich or poor, there are more single parents than ever before.
Societies are changing, and single parents aren’t the social outcasts they were in olden times. Earlier societies that had strict moral codes used to view single parents as immoral or personal failures. They thought being a single parent was a sign of personal or intellectual weakness.
But today, many households are run by single parents, and single parents are not limited to one race or gender. You’ll find single-parent families headed by men and women of many different races.
In fact, there are just about the same number of black and white males who are also single parents in the U.S. today. And those single fathers face the same challenges and problems.
The truth is that census figures don’t really tell us how many black single-parent males are out there today, although the 2002 US Census did find that three of every ten children are raised by a single parent. But it’s safe to assume that, no matter how many single black fathers there are today, the number is rising.
It doesn’t really matter why. Whether children are born because they were wanted or not is not the issue. The fact that single parents choose to stay with and care for their children is the important point.
As mentioned earlier, black males face the same problems as do other single parents. And as other single parents are qualified for financial help, so are single black fathers.
Studies About Single Black Fathers
Several studies are available that examine the issue of single parenting for black males. They make one assumption up front: that single parenting is more difficult for men because they are not very domestic.
They suggest that men do not cope with single parenting as well as women. Some psychologists argue that single mothers tend to be more mature and emotionally stable than their male counterparts, making them more capable single parents.
On the other hand, some professionals argue that men approach parenting more logically than women do and that they are more likely to impose consistent rules and discipline on their children than their female counterparts.
One ethnographic researcher talked to single black fathers about their reasons for deciding to raise their children alone. They told the researcher that they felt a sense of duty for their children, that they wanted to avoid their own childhood experience of having a father absent, that they wanted to be a role model, and they that felt a strong bond with their kids. These fathers had high expectations for their kids and got most of their parenting advice from their mothers. Most of the fathers reported that single-parenting had a positive impact of their lives, and they felt the relationships with their children improved their own satisfaction with life in general.
To learn more about the findings of research into the lives and challenges of single black fathers, you might read these timely articles. They are easily available on the Internet.
- Black Men: the Crisis Continues by Slaim Muwakkil. This article was published in a popular magazine. It discusses the political issues facing blacks today, focusing on black males.
- “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies? by Kay S. Hymowitz. This magazine article talks about the social implications of being a single black father for the race as a whole.
- “Parent Trapped: Dating for Single Parents? tackles the issue of single parents beginning to date again after the end of their previous relationship. The article discusses issues that black men identified related to single parenting.
- “Black Single Fathers” by Roberta Coles. Published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, this article reports on research into the motives of African American full-time single fathers in making the decision to become parents.
- “African American Single Full-time Fathers: How Are They Doing?” by Roberta Coles. Published in the journal African American Men, this article reports on interviews where ten single black talked about their experiences and attitudes with single parenting.
For additional information, please check out SingleFather.org.