Are Black Mothers Failing to Raise Their Sons?

December 30, 2011  |  

Academically, professionally, economically—black women continue to outpace black men. And, I can’t help but wonder if much of that could be attributed to how some single black mothers raise their daughters in comparison to their sons.

In recent years the percentage of black children born into single parent households, an overwhelming majority of which headed by women, has skyrocketed. Nearly three-fourths of black boys and girls are being raised in broken homes—brokenness stemming from the fact that fatherlessness often creates imbalance.

Women understand womanhood. Mothers know what it is like to be a little girl—a teenager, a young adult. We connect with our daughters and, in a sense, often push them to heights we have never reached. Despite our own successes or shortcomings, it is that personal understanding and connection that enables single mothers to raise women.  We know how, when and where to utilize discipline and praise to guide them in the right direction.

But, when it comes to boys the journey isn’t so clear. Mothers do not have firsthand experience walking in the shoes of men. While this world may be a cold place for men and women alike, the lives of young, black men can be especially challenging—dealing with everything from drug-dealing stereotypes to the anticipations of failure, intellectual inadequacy. When little black girls go to school teachers do not expect for them to fail in the same way they do little black boys. Black women are not profiled by law enforcement the same way as black men. And, employers are much more inclined to hire us.

Still, too many mothers coddle their sons through life—loving them as boys but not raising them to be men.

My three children are very young (14 months, two and three to be exact).  However, I have experienced some of what it is like to train up little girls versus boys and how mothers subconsciously render their daughters differently. My two sons are the oldest, daughter is the baby girl, and our household operates very much in the way one would expect—which is why I am grateful to have my husband there for balance.

Offsetting discipline with praise and reward comes easier with my daughter than my sons. My expectations for all of them are high but enforcing rules and maintaining consistency seems to come naturally with her. It is somehow more emotionally taxing to see my boys cry or get reprimanded, and I can almost always come up with a way to their excuse poor behavior. However, it is that mama’s boy inclination that fosters irresponsibility, unaccountability and laziness. It is what creates the imbalance in households minus dad and ultimately stunts the developmental process.

Think about the mothers who work two jobs to buy expensive video games for their teenage sons who make no effort to keep a steady job and bring home subpar grades. Think about the mothers whose adult sons live at home and have multiple children of their own being raised in others homes. Sadly, the situations are not as uncommon as they should be.

All the while, we are also teaching our daughters to expect more of themselves than the men around them—to give what they do not deserve, to pawn their faults off to circumstance.

Granted there is no cookie-cutter way to parent and there is only so much one person can do. Nevertheless, it is important that we start consistently holding our sons to higher standards and placing the same boundaries on them as we do our daughters.

If anything, we should probably be more stringent and utterly expectant, as more is required of them—everything times ten.

LaShaun Williams is a Madame Noire contributor and columnist whose work has appeared in the New York Times and across several popular sites, such as HuffPost Black Voices and the Grio.  You can visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun and Facebook.

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  • A. I.

    As a Black women , most of us missed the point.The point is women can’t raise boys to men on their own. So if you are a single mother be aware , and make adjustments . The reactions on this column is what is wrong .The single black mother has been put on a pedestal for so long , that they become defensive & instead of humbling hearing advise. Many women who claim “single mother” actually have men in their child’s life but because they aren’t living together in same household feel some of the pressures of being a single mother. So no not every single mother has a dead beat partner.This a reality of having kids with someone you haven’t really known or married. We bashed men for decades but at some point we have to look at how our choices determined our situation.

    • TRR

      The “single Black mother” is idolized in the Black community. She is placed on a pedestal because Black women will attempt to stand in sisterhood no matter how stupid the cause, nor it’s consequences.

      The ultimate offender was one Michelle Obama during a national television interview. She proclaimed that in the past when Barack was serving in public office, she felt “like a single mother”. Barack was never away from home months and years at a time. The only real time Barack was far away from home was when he served in Washington, but that was for only two years, and I doubt he stayed away longer than 2 weeks? Nor was she doing it all alone, she had the help of at a minimum her mother.

      If anyone can make the claim of “being a single mother” it’s women who’s husband’s serve in the Armed Forces and are deployed overseas. Many of these service members are deployed for up to 12 months, and are only allowed (1) 14 days leave block to return back to the States and see their family.

      That’s 14 days to be with family out of 53 weeks. And that does not take into account those who end up have to pull multiple deployments.

  • irritated by stupidity

    this is true. BOYS are not being raised but coddled.

  • We had it better during slavery coming to having a peace of mind and steady jobs. Men as women …

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  • legallychisis

    That is because Mothers SHOULD NOT be raising their sons ALONE!! It take 2 to make a baby and surely two to raise it! STOP blaming single mothers they are not MEN! Ofcourse they can raise the girls successfully duh! Some good men have come from single mother headed homes. Reality is our boys are failing for lack of real men who are real fathers.

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  • Ms Sei

    The nerve of you or anyone else to criticize single mothers.  Parenting has challenges that are significant to all peoples.  There is no manual.  All is trial and error.  Dysfunctional families co-exist as best they know how.  I raised three sons.  I did not coddle my boys.  I taught them to be responsible. No woman can teach a boy how to be something she is not.  That is why a child needs two  parents or  a support system of positive male role models. All praises to God for my sons.  A mother that chooses to go it alone is not perfect but must overcome numerous challenges just to survive. Single parenting of boys is not a personal issue but a social issue.   

  • KVB

    It’s  clear to me that very few people on this message board have children.  It’s all speculation.  Well, I have 2 sons.  I live in Washington, D.C. and while I am married, let me tell you, it’s not just single parent households.  When your son walks out of his house, he is bombarded with messages about how he should act, what he should do, etc.  All we can do as parents is influence and raise him and try to give them the tools.  People on this board clearly do not understand the role of their environment.  I can hardly be accused of loving my sons.  They wonder why I am so hard on them.  I tell them it’s because I am raising little husbands and no woman wants a dirty and lazy spouse!  

    While my husband is definitely there, my kids play a ton of sports.  They need more than just one male influence.  They need the football coaches, the ice hockey coaches, the after school activity teachers, etc. It truly takes a village.  

    Not only do I not think that women can’t do it alone, I worry that married couples can’t do it either.  Our black boys need their communities to help raise them.  They need as many positive influences as possible.

  • Babykakes6

    I don’t think she’s blaming the mothers. She’s just saying we need to hold our sons to the same standard as our daughters. As a single mother to three sons I totally agree. Yes it would be nice if the fathers would step up and help raise them, but unjust on case they don’t we need to.

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  • aqquippless

    I`ve been barred from having my freedom of speech.WOW!! i guess the blackman has no rights after all.

  • At545353

    This article is very interesting. I think it makes for a unique dating experience, when I come from a black family where my parents are still together and married. I am an 80s baby.  Most of my dating options (black men) are from broken families. It creates a dynamic i have yet to master.

    • maggie

      I have the same background and I am a medical student.  I know what you mean–very slim pickings.

  • Mr. West

    This article is far from about blaming single mothers, but more about the cold hard realities if what happens when that male balance isn’t their in the household for what ever reason. I’ve dealt with this as a divorced father and I am very active in my sons life financially and having him live with me 3 days out of every week plus every other weekend.

  • Wahari95

    Too many of our young women today turn their sons into “spouses”  (“that’s my little man!”) because of their own failed relationships, instead of truly raising these children in a gender-balanced household. 

    • British

      I agreeeeee!

  • “Are Black Fathers Failing to Raise Their Sons?”

    Hmmm…guess that would not have gotten as many hits.

    • Althea

      Why are so many mothers afraid to focus on themselves? 

      If the fathers arent in the home, why are so many women focusing on the ghost?  Dad is absent!  Mom is there.  What can mom do to improve the situation?  I hope mothers arent teaching their children to place all blame on others and disrecard their responsibilities.  
      And to answer your question, “Are Black Fathers Failing to Raise Their Sons?” Dads can be there, teach their children values, hard work, morals, provide financially, provide discipline, create family moments, take trips. laugh, etc.  But guess what, it’s not possible because to many women chose deadbeats to father their children.  Too many women chose to have children in loveless or non-matrimonial relationships.  Women know the possible outcome of having OOW children, why roll the dice?

    • Wanda

      Unfortunately, fathers are not in the home to raise the sons.  Unlike previous generations (up to 1975…), terrible choices are now made when it comes to bringing children into the world. You need BOTH the mother and the father in the home, providing gender-balanced structure. 

      Let’s stop bringing the majority of our children into incomplete, unstable environments, please.

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  • GovermentChecks

    A Woman was never meant to teach a boy to be a Man she a Woman however god does make a way and in every Good Man story he will always give thank first and foremost to his mother but if you listen closely there was always a strong male figure that influenced him ex. Grandfather, Uncle, Coach. A lot of woman just don’t some woman only know to feed love and keep safe. And try to pass along observed information which is not good enough a young boy needs examples he needs to see himself in someone and he can not relate to a woman SORRY to bust up the blame the black woman game. This is why most young boys copy what they see on TV because some of them are not fortunate to have Good Uncles or Men when the father is absent. Yes mother can turn off the TV but they sill attend school and the general public around them and the image they see the most will be what they will Identify with. There needs to be more Positive black role models period while you sit around and enjoy this good entertainment I think it is a key factor in the downfall in the black community. And before you go in on woman don’t let men see they kids THAT IS BY FAR THE BIGGEST SCAPE GOAT KNOWN TO MAN STOP IT. THAT IS NOT A EPIDEMIC people really try to pass this lie around that its a bunch of woman deny there kids access to there father when in reality absent fathers are by choice. I know good fathers and nothing stops them from seeing there kids. I know a guy who has joint custody because he did not let attitude keep him from his kid.

  • Evadne202

    I couldn’t disagree with you more. As a single mom through adoption, it’s encouraging to see many other single moms who have learned through the years to create balance for their sons through family, and community resources. In 2012 there is absolutely no reason why a single mom should not and cannot raise a respectable, educated and productive gentleman. The notion that single parent households do not hold the same values as two parent households is outdated and simply not true. Very dissapointed to see an acclaimed writer as yourself continue to reinforce such a negative portrayal of single parent households.

    • Paradise

      I think maybe you have come across a few success stories and you let that override the real truth. 

    • Relief

      I think there is a big difference between a person who is a single parent by choice and two irresponsible people who are parents because they did not use proper birth control.  Those who are single due to divorce are in a different category altogether.  The problem occurs when the majority of the single parents fall in the second category.  

    • Wahari95

      “The notion that single parent households do not hold the same values as two parent households is outdated and simply not true.”

      But what we clearly know now is that areas where single mothers with children are the majority,  are the areas with the highest rates of poverty, crime, terrible schools, gang membership. 

      Walk into any jail or prison and ask they inmates how they were raised, and 90 percent of the Black inmates will say that they were raised in a single mother household.

  • LotusLeader

    The best person to raise a boy or a girl to adulthood is an excellent parent!   Period!

    Good parents do the following:

    1.  Very affectionate with their children. Model self-love, self-respect and high personal standards.
    2.  Teach children reading, writing and basic mathematics BEFORE they start school.
    3.  Teach personal responsibility and accountability.
    4.  Teach sex education BEFORE their hormones start.
    5.  Teach the importance of Education, Knowledge and Skills for adulthood.
    6.  Teach independence and self-discipline.

    These are the basics of good parenting.

  • Ajames217

    I think the the author of this blog has fallen into the same group think that continues to cause problems in our community. It is time that we stop blaming women for the lack of responsibility of Black Men. We live in a community where being a baby daddy is more popular and accepted than being a husband and father. As a married father of 2 girls, uncle to teenage boys, and former Martial Arts teacher and mentor to young Black men, I have seen and continue to see the shortcomings of Black fathers. Now don’t get me wrong I am not going to say that good black fathers don’t exist because I am one of them, I am specifically speaking to the fathers that are referenced in the blog. What I am doing and I suggest that we all do is mentor our young boys and girls. We need to teach them that being just a baby daddy is no longer acceptable. Black men have to step up and be fathers to their kids.

  • Aymccall4

    I hear what you are saying but I also disagree a bit.  I am a single mother of three (2girls and 1boy).  I think that the blame rests in the type of mothering by individual mothers.  I discipline all my children equally.  While I can attest to coddling my son because he is the baby and the only boy, that in no way does not equal I treat or regard him less capable of responsible.  Nor does it mean that I absolve him of consequences earned by wrong decisions. 

    And on a different note, the school system absolutely expects less of all black children regardless of gender.  As a soon-to-be teacher myself and a parent who has been very active in the education of my children, I can certainly attest to the imbalance of educators where color is concerned.  And I also need to note that in this society a man is still considered worth more than a female in the job market.  No a woman will not most likely be hired over a man.  That is the age old problem in a patriarchal world that still favors masculinity.

    The object and goal is to teach and instruct CHILDREN (male or female) what is right vs what is wrong in terms of behavior, expectations and all around real world readiness.  There are plenty of questionably parented little girls in the world as well.  For one, teaching strength without gentleness is one way girls are geared toward being unemotional when we were created to emote and nurture.  

    Yes absenteeism of fathers in the home is a shame and should be addressed.  But it is not a crutch to hold up faulty parenting skills either.  A parent parents at all times to all children regardless of gender…or should any way…

    • Poirot

      I absolutely disagree with the majority of your comment.

      Yes, overall, men in our society are worth more than women in the working world, but like the author said, black women are more likely to be hired than a black man.  Black women outpace black men in education and in the job market.  Also, we do not teach our girls to be emotionless.  Societies all cultures over teach women to express their emotions. Boys are expected to hold back, be tough.  I never hard of anyone teaching their daughter to be strong and emotionless.

      Totally agree with last statement.

      • TRR

        Black women don’t outpace Black men in education and in the job market. Black women attend college at a greater rate than Black men, because they don’t or can’t work in jobs that men working.

        Many of these jobs don’t require a 4 year degree, but requires one to be in good to decent physical condition, upper & lower body strength, the ability to work in hazardous environments and conditions, and spend time away from family. How many Black women have the balls to get up and put in 12-16 hours repairing phone and electrical lines in the freezing cold, the heat of the summer, or heavy downpour? How many Black women do you see stepping off out of a fire engine to prepare to enter a burning home? How many Black women do you read about who was shot and killed or even injured while in the line of duty for any police force over the past 5 years alone?

        The Black women in college myth is just that, a myth. It only take into account Black women who were accepted into college, it does not take into a accurate account how many graduated, nor does it take into account how much student loan and personal loan debt that is being carried on graduation day. Nor does it take into account how much debt Black women are carrying during her first 10 years of employment vs. the outstanding education debt.

        The average student is leaving college carrying a education debt of $28k. All financial advisers are advising students to not take out loans which will exceed the average local salary of their chosen profession. It is a bad investment for a person to graduate college owning $60k and the profession only pays $40k. And the double whammy to that is one will not earn the $40k if they can’t find employment. Going back to school and attempting to earn a masters is not a major help, because very few are promised employment or advancement after graduation.

  • amatt0238

    The black mothers of today are failing to raise their children-period!  They all walk into a public place, loud, and rude. The kids run all over the place, the mother yells at them to stop! put that down! No! didn’t I say Stop! over and over. For some when this doesn’t work, then the child get cussed at or cussed out–depending on the mother. These kids do this at home, so why wouldn’t they do it everywhere they go? There is no one teaching them anything. So when they go to school they continue the same behavior, resulting in them getting into trouble. The mom is called and again, depending on the mom she cusses out the teacher, accuses her of either not liking her child or of being a racist(depending on the race of the teacher). And yes the father should be there, but in today’s world–the  father of which child? Once they start having babies, many don’t complete high school and go on to have at least one more child sometimes in as short a time as one year. Guys are what they are–and no I am not excusing them, but the women end up caring for these children and they have nothing to offer them. No education, no discipline, no father, no structure. These women need to have more self respect, set their standards higher. Then it won’t matter if the guy is a deadbeat, she won’t want him.  And it’s just not about the boy babies. The girls need someone who can teach them self respect and values, especially the value of self. If her mother doesn’t know about these things, how can she teach her children, because boys get caught up too.  Many of us born in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s were raised by our mom in many cases with little or no support from dad.  For some of us dad was in the house and we still were raised by mom with little to no support from dad. My mother raised three children, one son, no support from his dad, her husband. My brother graduated high school , got married to his high school sweetheart, and enlisted in the USAF. While serving, they had two children. Neither of them had any children before they got married. He served 30 years retired from the military, and is now employed buy the US Postal Services in New Mexico. She went back to school, got her Bachelor’s Degree, and is now a teacher.   It’s about knowing who you are and whose you are.

    • LotusLeader

      Those are mud-ducks.  Wanna talk about criminal thugs being all black men ?  Your comment is true but too general. Stereotype much?

  • Jane Doe

    I don’t think the article blames mothers, but it acknowledges an actual issue. The issue is that a great number of black women are raising children on their own. It’s a two way street, as a woman I think women need to take better steps to protect themselves…not just from pregnancy, but from disease. A good question is why are so many women and men having unprotected sex? You have to think that’s why the number of HIV cases in the black community have continued to rise. There’s needs to be more acknowledgement on both parts of being responsible. As a black woman, well just as a woman I never got pregnant because I did not want to and I took steps to protect myself. All these children and especially multiple children are not being born to people who are ignorant of how they are conceived. I think people need to be more responsible. Yes, we all are going to have sex, but we don’t have to have or make babies with those partners.

    Another aspect of this is that many of these children are the product of more than just one relationship. Someone needs to write an article about how many of these children have different fathers and believe me, I have seen it the lives of family and friends. Having all these different dads…never works either. A solution to any of these problems begins on an individual basis. There are too many black children being raised by single moms. There are too many black men with children that they have no connection to. There are too many black women and men having unprotected sex. There are too many young black people falling into the same negative patterns. But who do you blame and how do you fix it? You don’t blame anyone, you take responsibility for your actions and you decide not to fall into the same bad patterns. It easier said than done, but we all must start somewhere.

  • Stephanie


  • Howfun487

    Black women need to run back to Biblical principal or have some pride.  Stop giving yourself  to men for nothing in return.  Make him prove he loves you (marriage) before you give up the best part of you.  It’s just that simple.  SO LET IT BE WRITTEN SO LET IT BE DONE

  • Jay Dub

    First off, what Williams has written here is an old argument. She hasn’t really presented any new solutions or point of view. She is lucky that she has a husband to help her, but i am confused as to her emotional anxiety in raising her sons. Children are children, and i would expect that she and her husband, both knowing how society(and the world) is, would raise the children in,practically, the same way. Society-at-large looks at black girls with the same low expectations as they do, black boys.

    While i think most single black mothers raise their sons to be as responsible and independent as their daughters, for those that aren’t, the solution would be to influence their daughters to make better choices in choosing men they plan on having (unprotected) sex with. As much as we talk about “deadbeat dads”,many of those men only became one AFTER getting with an irresponsible female.

    • guest

      Perhaps these dead beat dads should have been more responsible about the women they chose to have unprotected sex with.  I remember men in our families being told to choose carefully who they have sex with, because that woman you meet today could be the woman who raises your child someday.  Amazingly, not every man heard this growing up.  Some men  choose easy women for one night stands and are surprised that these women are not responsible about birth control.  That always makes me laugh.  Then they are surprised that their children aren’t raised properly. Completely baffles me.  I’m thinking of Paris Hilton’s and Kim Kardashian’s fathers as I write this.  But there are many examples. 

      • Girliusmaximus

         I liked your comment just on the first sentence alone. AMEN

      • TRR

        “Perhaps these dead beat dads should have been more responsible about the women they chose to have unprotected sex with.”

        That statement alone is full of sh*t. That is no different than a person walking in a cornfield, get bit by a snake, then blame the snake for it’s “misdoings” and or set the cornfield on fire. Are you trying to admit that Black women are stupid and lack commonsense? Or are you admitting that they never grow up and must have their hands held while they walk their adult life and protect them from their own stupidity? And if that is the case….Let’s look at what raised them, and who raised the mothers?

        Political correctness is destroying the Black community. Political correctness is the conscious or subconscious attempt to use language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society.

        Things which should be said and done are not being done because Blacks are so afraid of “offending” each other? Mama is not giving her sons and daughters good advice, because she is afraid of offending them, or the person they are giving heed about? Or are the mamas so afraid of maybe being wrong that she would rather ride the fence and wait till whatever happens, stick her finger in the air, and see which way favorable winds are blowing, then side with it?

        Black woman are nothing but bark and very little bite. And what a Black woman can’t do for herself, she will enlist the aid of friends, family, weak-minded men, and if all else fails, law enforcement and the legal justice system.

        When Black mama can’t pull her end when it comes to personal accountability and personal responsibility, that is a life skill she fails to teach her offspring.

        It’s kinda hard for a person to teach others how to swim, if that person can’t swim themselves.

  • Willona1

    Great article!  I have a 12 year old and I tell him what kind of man I want him to be and that it starts now.  I know too many people who baby their sons then when they disrespect them they wonder why.  This article isn’t about black fathers being absent; it’s about black mothers and how they interact with their sons.

  • Guess

    I have to say, I dont see the blaming game taking place in this article.  I think the author is providing mothers, single mothers especially, with much needed information.  Let’s forget about the absents fathers and the bad mouthing many single mothers endure.  Let’s focus on trying something new, different. As women we dont know how it is to be men.  We live life from a women’s point of view.  Therefore, there may be some logic behind what the author is saying – How can we raise sons when we dont have a clue what it means to be a man?  What can we do to stop what is happening to the boys in our community? What can we do to prepare them for the world?  What can we do to ensure they succeed?  Because eventually we have to admit that things are not working. 
    There’s a great documentary, “Biology of Dads” It provide scientific evidence regarding relationships between dads and their offsprings.  Watch it and see what you can take from it.  Many fathers may not be present but at least we can study and figure out what we can do to replace some of what is missing.

  • I do not believe the author is blaming mothers. If you look at it from a different perspective you could understand where the author is coming from.Simply put the author is saying when there is no father around this is what single mothers tend to do.Also, I believe the author is in away explaining the cycle that seem to go on in most black communities  where single parents tend to raise sons who also become deadbeat fathers. There is enough blame to go around the world a trillion times, but when it comes to raising a child it is advantageous to have both parents around.

  • Mr. Smith

    Good article.. I was raised by a BW and I did okay for my self.. She raised me to be a good person above all.. Could I have used a strong father? Absolutely, the reality is I didn’t have that. My mother did the best she could with what she had..
    I think the responsibility lies with the individual.. If you are a screw up that’s just what you are going 2 do..

  • Slyplace3033

    This happens in many homes, not only single parent homes headed by bw…boys and girls are socialized differently everywhere.

    • Househunter

      The socialization of both sexes does differ among cultures, races, etc.  But it is a benefit to have men around to teach both boys and girls certain things women can not.  Being married, I find myself doing a lot of on the job training because I never saw a marital relationship.  Therefore, I have to train myself to be a wife.  And it is quite different from what I grew up with. 

  • Samgude68

    I have two boys and a daughter, I am also a divored mother. My boys are the oldest and I don’t have the problems that you described in your article. My ex had no hand in raising my children after the divorce ( 10yrs ) ago. I think it time to stop blaming mothers and hold everyone accountable for their own action or lack of. That’s how I raised my children who are 22, 18, and 14. At some point you or anyone else cannot hold other people responsible for your short coming. One other thing if all black boys ever hear are negative things about themselves how can they believe the positive. Some articles shouldn’t be written and I believe this is one of them.

  • independent woman

    yeah i agree. this shown through current college statistics there are now way more black women than men in college. Mothers are babying and spoiling their sons and they expect girlfriends to do the same. Women are taught to be independent and strive above expectations while the son is glorified and spoiled. They end up living with their mom well into their twenties and don’t learn what it means to be a man other than having a woman take care of them

  • Younggentleman1

    It’s obvious that a man is needed to balance out the child rearing. We have a whole generation of children male and female that are missing that key role and there’s no way around that fact. You hear it from the male children as well as the female children. This is not a swipe at women y’all do the best you can but a man is needed plain and simple. A lot of females think they can do it all on their own because they got a degree a job and make more money and then when it’s not as easy as they thought they blame the man. A lot of females never take a step back and look at how they help create a damaged situation. There are a lot of men that try so hard to be in their child’s life but since her feelings are hurt she in turns try’s to hurt his. A lot of women pick loser men. You knew who he was and what he does and yet you thought you could change him with what’s between your legs. Take responsibility for your poor choice in men. A good man might not be rich and have a big reputation or be a CEO but that does not mean he is not a good man. A lot of women will pick the dope boy, neighborhood gangster, wanna be rapper trapper, or ball player looking for him to save you and make your life easier and then when that doesnt work out you want a decent 9 to 5 guy to take on yours and his responsibilities like its nothing. Just somthing to think about. In the end we both need each other bottom line. As the article stated some of our struggles are the same and yet so different. The whole plan is to keep us separated and agitated. Can you imagin a whole bunch of Baracks and Michelle Obama’s united in this country. That is a true fear for the powers that be. I love all black people eternally even though I don’t like how we treat each other sometimes. We gotta get better at this.

    • Rima10976

      You were on point with every word!

    • Relief

      “A lot of women think they can do it all on their own…”  A lot of black women are trying to do it all alone because the father is no longer around.  There is a growing number of college educated women who are purposely choosing single motherhood but they do not come primarily from the black community.  This is not single motherhood by choice.

      “Take responsibility for your choice in men.” If every man who does not marry the mother of his children is a bad man, then that means that the majority of black men are bad men.  In the black community today, even the so called “good guys” are not doing what other people across the globe are doing: getting married and having children within that marriage.  

      Yes, some women do make some poor choices when it comes to men. But not every single father in the black community is a dope boy, neighborhood gangster, or wanna be rapper.  If it were that easy to spot a potential dead beat dad, there wouldn’t be so many of them out there.   

      • Althea

        I have a good idea that may help weed out deadbeats.  It’s not 100% proof, but has proven to be successful in many cases.  Date, get to know the guy,that your time, meet his family, know his history, be sure of his character, make sure his goals coincide with yours, make sure he is a hard working man, make sure he values family, fall in love, get married… There is definitely more that can be added to this list.. a lot more.  But these are great starting points.

        • Girliusmaximus

           I think that both of you are on point with your opinions. Relief is right about the point that the father is no longer around whether because of divorce, or never together or whatever. You can’t always predict if a man is going to be around or not, even with the best of intentions. And Althea yes if more people did this you wouldn’t have people rushing into marriage until it felt right. And like you said it’s not 100% but it sure is a start. I need to start hanging around yall two more often.

      • Guest

        Unless you were raped, having a child without being married IS a choice to be a single mother.  If a man can’t commit to you what makes you think he will commit to a child.  Stop blaming men for everything.  It will solve nothing.  Both men and women need to make better decisions for the good of their children’s future.

  • maggie

    let’s be real, how many of these deadbeats were great men and stunned everyone with their disappearing acts when children got involved??  These guys were jerks from jump but women don’t want to take responsibility for their choices.  If women demanded more respect FROM THE BEGINNING, the single black woman parent situation would be drastically decreased b/c the relationship wouldn’t have gotten that far. 
    And who said women raise boys into men?  Puh-leeze.  Even though I do have some of the same complaints about black men, I will never completely belittle the role of a masculine energy and wisdom in a household.  A man can add in a way that women cannot and vice versa.  Lets have more respect for our men and ourselves.

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  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I blame both parents. Fathers for not stepping up and raising the kids that they produce and mothers for babying their sons. Yes I said it. Mothers do baby their sons and are quick to make excuses for them instead of holding them responsible for their actions. Understandably they try to protect their sons from the negative things that hinder black men, instead of teaching them how not be one of those negative issues. While a woman can’t teach a boy to be a man, she is his primary care giver and teacher in the ways of life. Women really are quick discipline their daughters and love their sons. How many times have you seen a convicted criminal’s mothers crying on the news that her son is not bad, that he’s innocent, that those girls or victims are lying despite the fact that he may have a criminal record or the evidence overwhelmingly points in his direction? How many women have dealt with men who don’t want to be responsible for their kids yet their mother in laws or baby daddy’s mother insist that you weren’t good enough for her son or your child isn’t his and never could be, always taking her son’s side even when he’s wrong because he is “her son, her child”? Women need to be more realistic and quit being so readily to be on the defense when they are just as guilty as the men in situations involving our children even they do shoulder and handle most of the responsibility for raising kids alone. . .

    • Cali

      We all know that women cant raise boys to be men. But this doesnt prevent women from having children out of wedlock. Women have to understand that legally men are only obligated to pay financial support. That’s it! So when they have babies out of wedlock they are continuing the cycle of our boys being raised without the benefit of a man. Therefore, lacking certain qualities they need to be the man of the house. The saying, “Im the mother and the father” is complete rubbish. And I agree with you, mothers will always protect their babies. Boys these days dont know about responsibility. Mommy will always be there to excuse their behavior. I come from a family full of college educated women. We struggled to pay for school. When we asked the family for money there was never any available. But as soon as the boys got in trouble with the law, thousands were spend on lawyers, bonds, etc. The sad part is that knowing this will not change many women. They will continue to be single mothers and raising boys to be less than marriage worthy. And for the commentors saying blame the fathers and not the mothers they need to realize that they are to blame as well. We all know the downside of single parent so why do women continue to do it?

      • Ms_Sunshine9898

        exactly. and as long as women hold this mentality that i’m an independent woman, i don’t need a man and continue to believe that marriage is not necessary to raise kids or before kids are born, then this cycle will continue.  women have to be held accountable to because no one forces them to sleep with these men who have 3 and 4 baby mamas (i have a girlfriend who did that as bm #4 and look where she is now with kids 11 and 12). as long as we continue to have children out of wedlock without a formal commitment (and no we’ve been together x amount of time is not good enough) we allow men to run out and leave us alone to raise kids. . .

        • LotusLeader

          Really?  Being a parent is separate from being a spouse.  Those who ignore their own flesh and blood are not going to WIN at anything.  A parent /child relationship is a one-to-one relationship.  This means the relationship between you and your  mother is completely separate from the relationship between you and your father.  I do not think some men understand this fact.  

          Mothers raise their daughters and love their sons.  BECAUSE!!! Fathers raise their sons and love their daughters.  THIS IS HOW ITS SUPPOSE TO WORK!!

          • Latimes

            I dont see how your comment coincides with the above statement.

            I agree with your statement, but without fathers in the home how can a child develop any relationship with their father, he is absent? Your last paragraph, if true, would be nice. But w/o the fathers around, it seems the daughters arent getting the same coddling and love their brothers are getting. “Fathers raise their sons and love their daughters. THIS IS HOW ITS SUPPOSE TO WORK!!” Unfortunately, not in many of black households.

          • Ms_Sunshine9898

            Plenty of women have raised their sons to be men of substances without a man in their son’s life. But the fact of the matter is that most women love their sons. Fathers do raise their sons and love their daughters, but it’s supposed to work both ways. My dad raised and loved me and so did my mom. Again when parents have the support system of each other with a marriage, it will work both ways, so I find your logic without reason. . .

            • LotusLeader

              To discuss marriage in a community where the majority are not married during child-rearing ignores reality.  The rate of successful marriage today is extremely low in this country with no end in site.

              My point was parents must make efforts to apart of their children’s lives in a world where long-term relationships seem almost rare. Perhaps the logic is now clear.

              • Ms_Sunshine9898

                No the reality is that as black marriages decline, the number of children born to single, unmarried women increases, thereby reducing the number of men who are actively particpating in their children’s lives. Not to say some single men aren’t involved. But strong relationships between parents thru marriage before kids is the answer to our problems.  . .

                • Cali


                  LotusLeader – At this point we have to teach our children to not have children in short term relationships.  You said that long term relationships dont succeed then children shouldnt be conceived in these fly by night relationships. In 2012, it’s time for us to do better.   

                • LotusLeader

                  Yes, the reality needs to require fathers to have an active part in their children”s lives.  This of course should be a social standard, with social consequences.  This tactic would
                  start to address how well we as a community raise our children.  Men must put their children first.  They must!!!!

      • Interesting…my grandmother raised three black boys to manhood just fine. All married men with good jobs and families and long marriages. Guess they must be some sort of leprechauns or something.

        • Althea

          So does that mean that the problems concerning black men in our community are not relevent because you can name 3 black men who made it.  Where were the fathers?  How come grandma had to raise them?  No men stepped up to the challenge?

          • Uniquelyright

            Become a Kingmaker!

        • John

          Your grandmother was raised up in a world where all people were not trying to be indepedent. In an era where famaily virtues were valued. She did not learn how show favouritsm towards women. She learned how to care for all people including males.

    • Love_Sexy


  • 2012

    This article is spot on given the fact that 3/4 of black families are broken leaving the mother to raise the children, often times. However, being proactive, I think the root issue here is having children with men that are not committed to a long-term relationship. Women you hold the power more so than you think! Judge a man by his actions, not by his words, his car, or his clothes. More Women need to uphold their standards for a relationship if they desire to have a quality long-term man. The next issue is the shortage of men to women ratio, and Men know for every One good women out there upholding standards, there’s 2 women out here lacking standards.

    • Love_Sexy

      Yes….Co-sign on this.

    • Mona Ridley

      Good starting point but go ahead and finish. Be honest. What you conveniently skipped is that the only way that black women can uphold their standards with the 2 to 1 ratio is to die childless old maidenly virgins. Or to have 50% of BW marrying white men which is highly unlikely.

      • British

        That is way this article is so great.  Let’s change the way we raise our boys so that the next generation will have quality men.  But instead too many single mothers want pretend that their child rearing techniques are without blemish.

        Knowing that half of bw will not marry means bw have to date outside of their race.  I am married to a non black man.  Why are so many bw reluctant to do this instead of dying childless maidenly virgins

      • 2012

        I wanted to go on but I stopped, but since you want me to When I say uphold standards I mean the “goods” if this man doesn’t have a career plan, ex. college education, a full-time job, and (legit) life direction, you are setting yourself up for failure. To be real, Black men like a challenge but since their mothers didn’t teach them (often times cause dad want around), they’ll need to be encouraged -by you- to pursue  advanced career opportunities, do not give up “the goods” until you have a stable, happy, and balance relationship with your partner. Black men have to change as well, staying out of prison or keeping a clean record seems to be the big issue contributing to high unemployment rates for black men. Now, I’m all for Black on Black dating; I’m Black, and my fiancee is Black, but understand -finding love that match- is most important than dating a person based on race. A relationship requires patience, compromise, and support from both partners.  

        • Girliusmaximus

          Where were you at when I was getting attacked on the board about marriage? You have just summed up everything I’ve been trying to say. “When I say uphold standards I mean the “goods” if this man doesn’t have a
          career plan, ex. college education, a full-time job, and (legit) life
          direction, you are setting yourself up for failure.” This is what people need to worry about before they marry a person LONG BEFORE kids even come into the picture.

          • Love_Sexy

            Co-sign and Amen sister…….2012 did hit it right on point.

        • British

          My gosh now as grown women – as girlfriends and wives – we have to take over the mother roles and encourage our grown men to do better, increase education, skils, and job advancement.  So if a man doesnt have a career plan we have to push them.  I read that American men are losing that masculinity.  It wont be long before complete roles have change.  Already in our community too many women are the head of households with or without a man. Actually, I grew up in a household seeing this.  My mother, who worked hard, maintained a stable household, nice home..the works, wasted her time with a man without a caeer plan, no education (education doesnt have to be college it can also be trade or skilled), without a job, no legit directiton.  That is why I knew that when my time came that I would be with a man who didnt have to be babied. It is because so many in our community promote non matrimonial relationships that our kids have no direction.  Single moms are not doing the damn thing. We need to ensure our women choose outstanding men to be their mates. Get to know their potential life partners and do things the way God intended.  We tried it society’s way and it hasnt worked.

          • 2012

            British I don’t know about you, but anytime you are in a relationship (man or women) it never hurts to encourage your partner and challenge them to pursue bigger and better things. My point is, if you so desire to be with that partner you should always want whats best for them as well as yourself, like the saying goes, “you are only as strong as your weakiest link”. Now, your personal situation/relationship sounds good and I wish you the best, however my comment was geared towards those who you and I both know needs that

  • Love_Sexy

    Good article MN….No where do I feel the article was speaking negatively regarding mothers…..I have always believed it takes a good/strong man to teach/guide a young boy…..A woman can only teach a boy so much.

  • Ajagrffn

    this was a great article. its always been said that “mothers raise their daughters and love their sons”…and this was way before 75% of black households were single parent.  

  • Salon22w

    blame the deadbeat dads and the self hating WW chasing coons.

  • Guess

    Great article. One of my professors (child psychology course) was a young, bw who focused on the treatment of boys in education.  And the truth is, with most teachers being women, there is a reason why boys are treated more harshly.  This also stems into the home.  As women we simply dont understand the minds and actions of boys.  Why they play rough; want to fight; cant voice their opinions or concerns.  People will argue it’s nurture vs. nature, but studies show it’s both. 
    Boys are wired to be more aggressive, active, and less inclined to listen and follow directions – ROUGH.  Girls can sit quietly, listen better, follow through – SWEET.  Boys, when they are bored, tune out (yes, ladies it’s true, men do not pay attention to us).  Girls are better at reasoning and thinking things through.  Girls have better verbal skills, therefore, can voice their feelings.  Boys not so much. 

    Women (mothers and teachers) “baby” our children. Men/Fathers not so much.  And it’s good that they dont.  We need men to balance us out.  To be the voice of discipline.  Men dont focus on feelings.  They get to the point and dont put up with nonsense.  Men are less likely to use baby talk.  Studies show that children raised in homes with fathers have better verbal skills b/c of this.  Men allow boys to be rough during play; get hurt.  Women, we prevent our children from getting hurt.  This hinders learning. 

    Ohhhh, I can go on and on.  I love this subject.  Point is, as women we just dont get it.  And it’s because of this, as mothers and female teachers, we are stunding our boys emotional and intellectual growth.

    • Guess you argued such a good argument I can’t do anything but give kudos. But I will say that I’ve seen alot of ladies bringing up the “deadbeat” fathers and I’m righteously sick of it.

      “Men” stick around, “men” make sure they are a loving, supportive, and disciplinary force in their children’s life. These deadbeat “BOYS” that these women complain about gave signs to them in the first place of being deadbeats. They didn’t become that way overnight. But that didn’t stop these women (or as I feel girls)  from having children with these boys. So don’t get mad when the deadbeat “boy” shows the character that your friends and family probably pointed out to you from the time you met his deadbeat self.

      Take some blame on yourself if your baby father is a deadbeat. What does that say about you? You’re probably angry because when you look at yourself in the mirror you just can’t believe you let yourself get tied to such spermicidal filth in the first place.

      And this is coming from a black woman.

      Vermel Kinmon

    • Guest

      Great comment.  As a boy I hated when my father expected a lot from me and challenged me to be better.  But I appreciate it so much now.  Boys do need fathers to set high standards push them to excellence. Women can make their sons wimpy excuse makers, while good dads teach their sons to be tough and not make excuse.  Many mothers will find ways to bail out their sons so that they don’t have to accept responsibilities or consequences for their behavior.  It’s no wonder that some of these men don’t want to accept responsibilities or consequences later in life.  

  • Ebonydiva82

    Don’t blame the mothers: if the fathers cared anything about their sons, they would stick around. They’re the real deadbeats! The title of the article should replace Mothers with Fathers.

    • Ajagrffn

      in no part of that article does she “blame” anyone. not the mothers or fathers. the point it that girls and men are raised differently, especially when there is no father in the house. the saying has always been “mothers raise their daughters and love their sons.” (which was said way before 75% of black households were being raised by single black mothers).

      • Guess

        That is the resounding saying in my family, “Mothers raise their daughters and love their sons.” 
        I agree, I dont believe to author is blaming anyone just pointing out differences.  I think if more women, mothers and teachers, knew this it would make a difference.  It surely made a difference in my classroom.

        • Klynn

          Ive read most of the responses & everyone brings valuable points up. my questions are..If a black women wants to be a mommy and she hasnt found a life partner, should she not consider motherhood b/c shell be alone? and if she decides to go ahead anyway should she only hope for girls/adopt girls and leave the boys behind/or give up for adoption b/c she doesnt know the details of raising a male?….I think it is better that a child M/F needs a loving structured environment with a positive role model( who planned ahead):)

      • 2012

        This could be true, because a little girl grows up watching her brother being glorified by her mother and maybe she learns early that its acceptable and ok to allow the boy/man to do whatever he wants. And a son grows up with little discipline and responsibilities which carry over into adulthood and the outcome can rarely ever be good.

        • Girliusmaximus

          AMEN AMEN AMEN.

  • KikuyuDread

    Blaming mothers instead of the deadbeat dads? *tsk tsk* 

    • How many men are trying to be in the lives of thier kids and mom doesn’t want them around? It goes both ways. Not all black men are deadbeat Dads. Even with legal help, most men still have to battle to be in thier sons lives.
      And how many women have had kids and the father never knew about it?

      • devildog808

        I can agree with you to an extend. There are some very crazy, hateful, and down right mean-spirited women who interfer with their children having a relationship with their fathers because of the way the relationship btw the parents ended. BUT there are far too many NO GOOD, DEAD BEAT fathers who could careless about raising their seeds. They are too busy living their selfish lives to give a damn about the needs of their children. Men learn how to be men from men! This is’t to say that women son’t put forth the best effort they can……well some if not most do!

      • Growup

        That excuse is very 1980s.  Unless your ex has strong connections with those working in the judicial system there is no way she can prevent you from seeing your child. I dont care what she tells you or what actions she takes, you have to the right to see your child unless you are abusing him/her in any way.  It doesnt cost money to have a mediator and if you need to retain a lawyer, work hard, get the money to get one. NO ONE can keep me from seeing my son NO ONE.  Men have to man up.  Like you said many men have to battle so BATTLE. 

      • Eldezod

        What fantasy world do you live in where vast numbers of women are trying to stop men from helping them raise their kids?  Do you watch Fox News regularly, by any chance? 

        • Girliusmaximus

          I agree with Ghost… SOME women have children just to hold on to a man and to keep him on a yo yo… They don’t have the slightest interest in making sure the child/children have a relationship with dad, just making sure that their own relationship with dad is the way they want it. It’s more comment than you think and more common than most women will admit to. Keep in mind I said some women not all… But that doesn’t negate the fact that there are straight-up dead beat dads…

          • Pinky

            Yes, women use their children as pawns, but that shouldnt keep a man from his child.  Real men fight for what’s theirs.  No one can keep my child away from me.  Go to court and get visitation or custody.  Enough with the excuses.

            • Girliusmaximus

              Did you read my last sentence?

              • Pinky

                You’re talking out of both side of your mouth.  “Im helpless and cant handle my business because my baby mama holds all the power” is getting tired.  Those who dont pay child support still have the right to custody and it doesnt have to cost a thing.  We all know that women do this, but too many us dont know that this is the excuse many men use to not pay support and to keep it moving. Your last sentence doesnt state that these men are deadbeats.  It states that “there” not “they” are deadbeats. Did you read your last sentence?

                • Girliusmaximus

                  YEAH. I said that THERE ARE some straight up dead beat dads – meaning that regardless of what a woman does or doesn’t do men still act a fool about there kids. I was agreeing with the fact that there are women who interfere with the relationship between father and child because someone asked in what world does a woman stop a man from raising his child? I NEVER said it was an excuse. Only commenting to the fact that it just happens so calm down please and take your negative and condescending attitude elsewhere. I think you’re just looking for someone to argue with.

                  • Pinky

                    If I was, you took the bait.

      • Girliusmaximus

         I guess people aren’t really reading your comment through especially since I’m being attacked for agreeing with you… You never said that the guy doesn’t fight to see his child, all you asked was about the guys who have to deal with women who interfered… They act as if women don’t interfere and like it’s a non issue. It is an issue otherwise men and women wouldn’t have to go to court hire lawyers and mediators just to solve problems… Calm down everyone. At least Ghost pointed it out. Deadbeat dads wouldn’t give 2 sh*ts about it either way and probably wouldn’t post on here.

    • Inreplytokikuyudread

      I dont see where the author was blaming mothers. 

      • Eldezod

        Try looking at the title of the piece.

        • Latimes

          Who are raising majority of our children?  Not fathers, not fathers and mothers, but mothers, single mothers… So the author has the right to ask whether or not black mothers are failing our kids.  Well are they? 
          If our kids were graduating from h.s./ college at a successful rate…if so many of our kids were not in and out of prison…if so many of our children were not in packs roaming and terrorizing our neighborhoods…if so many of our kids were not having kids at young ages and oow…if so many of our kids werent relying on the govt to fulfill their financial needs…then people wouldnt be criticizing single mothers.

          • Jon

            Your comments are “spot on”! What, Black women always want, and try to do is paint “their” picture based on “their” version of what they want to see, as opposed to what the reality really is! First, Black women won’t, and shouldn’t even find themselves in this “typical” and unnecesary set of circumstances. But, they …themselves continue to put not only themselves but also their babies in that unfortunate set of circumstances. That’s having babies being born into poverty! Nobody, asked BW to lay down, open their legs, and “fail” as usual to not embrace safe sex practices! That’s, their choice! If, a man doesn’t want to use protection…then it means no sex! That’s a no-brainer, but black women aren’t doing that! Because, it’s easier to always use black men as the “fall guy”, and then BW can as usual point the finger of blame. BW, it’s your body, and if you don’t manadate your partner to use safe sex…then the results are on you, because remember it’s first and foremost “your” body! Stop having babies just to hold onto a man…that’s just plain ignorant! But, Black women do it anyway! And, in making that decison you become a burden on the taxpayers who are busting thier butts working …while you sit at home watching Maury, Jerry Springer, and Bill C. Black women have more pregancies than any other race of women in the US, the most abortions., and the most OOW babies! What on earth is wrong with these Black women? Go, figure!


      The fault lies on both parties, MEN should step up and be a father to that child they helped create, WOMEN should be more cautious of who they give themselves to, just because he has a nice smile and good conversation doesn’t make him father or marriage material, and last just wrap it up.