There is a lot going on with cocoa mamas in the news every week, so I’ve decided to set aside Mondays to talk about a few of them. Here’s what’s up this week:
Apparently over a quarter of all women who have two or more children have these children with two or more men. For black women, this rate is 59%. And, according to the article, the trend is across demographics of income, education and marital status – even married women who work and are not poor have more than one father for their children. But what irks me about this title, and the rest of the article, is how mother-centric it is. It does take two people to make a child, does it? I mean, if this is true for women, mustn’t the same be true for men? Why isn’t the title “Many Parents Have Kids With Different Partners”?
I’d never heard of Almean Lomax, and I think that’s a damn shame. This trailblazer was a journalist unlike any other, who is notable not just because she started a black newspaper of incredible importance to black folks in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but because she was unafraid to do what others would not.
“She was a terrific writer…the only one of all the black newspapers at the time who really was fearless about exposing things as they were. She didn’t soft-pedal anything,” said veteran civil rights lawyer Leo Branton Jr.
Not only was she fearless in her writing, she was fearless in her life. After her divorce in 1959, she moved her SIX kids – ages 4 – 16 – from L.A. to the deep South so she could cover the height of the Civil Rights Movement from the ground, much like war reporters do now. According to the article and her children she regretted it later, because of the trauma that such racism left on her kids. But I admire her willingness to get in the trenches, so to speak. Often I wonder about the impact we can make from the outside looking in. While we want to protect OUR children, are we losing something – being selfish even – by not being in physical solidarity with the most oppressed among us? Or is our selfishness justified, as long as we use our outsider status to the utmost in service of those in the war? What does that utmost look like?
A new study debunks the long-held belief that racial bias by those who report abuse is behind the disproportionately high numbers for black children.
I don’t read The Root on a regular basis, and this article* is an example of why. The article is about a report that supposedly debunks a myth that racial disproportionality in child abuse statistics are largely driven by racism or racial bias. The report is supposed to say that instead black parents are disproportionately more likely to be cited for child abuse because black parents are more likely to be poor.
But the problem with this Root article is that it never tells you how the report debunks the myth. How did the researchers get from “there is no racial bias in how professionals judge was is/is not abuse” to “it’s all about poverty”? The article gives me no reason to believe the report, except that the Root says that the report debunks the myth. Isn’t the point of the news to digest the information for me, so I don’t have to read the report? The Root has this kind of shoddy “reporting” and writing consistently; I really cannot understand why black folk continue to read it or take any stock in what they have to say. I understand that media outlets for black news are few and far between, but we have to be able to do better than this.
Do you all have any news about black mothering or black childrearing to share? Send it to me or post it in the comments!
Have a great week,
*I actually have a lot to say about the report itself, but I’m going to save it for another post, later this week.