Celebrating Black History Month
Here we are, another Black History Month: time to lionize great black men and women of the past. Twenty-eight days to praise the first African American to do this and the first African American who did that. Another month of looking back with pride - as we ignore the calamity in our midst.
When Black History Month was celebrated in 1950, according to State University of New York research, 77.7 percent of black families had two parents. As of January 2010, according to the Census Bureau, the share of two-parent families among African Americans had fallen to 38 percent.
Newly Freed from Slavery, African Americans Hold a Wedding Ceremony
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We know that children, particularly young male African Americans, benefit from parental marriage and from having a father in the home. Today, the majority of black children are born to single, unmarried mothers.
Celebrate? Let's celebrate.
Three years ago, I wrote about young girls in our city who are not learning what they are really worth, young men who aren't being taught to treat young women with respect, and boys and girls who are learning how to make babies but not how to raise them "A Tragedy That Is Ours to Stop," op-ed, July 19, 2008.
Those conditions, the column suggested, find expression in youth violence, child abuse and neglect, school dropout rates, and the steady stream of young men flowing into the city's detention facilities.
More about celebrating Black History Month