Punching Down on Single Moms: A Black American Pastime

Ivylockewrites
ZORA
Published in
11 min readJun 3, 2023

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For every single mother, there's an absent father, but the latter is often excused from duty.

Photo Source: Unsplash via Mustafa Omar

Before I delve into the topic, let's get a few things straight. First, yes, I do realize that Black Americans aren't the only community that punches down on single moms. And yes, I also recognize that there are single mothers in every community who may be getting treated better or worse on an individual level.

However, I want to speak specifically on the pathology within the community that lends itself to the constant finger-pointing in every Black single mother's direction while letting absent fathers go scott-free. As a woman raised by a (married) single mom who went on to become a "single mother" herself, I have some things to say.

What’s a single mother?

OK, so if we take this term literally, single mothers are unmarried moms. And according to the Census Bureau, over half of Black women are unwed, and depending on which sources you choose to believe, around 70% of Black children are said to be born and/or raised by single mothers. So, yes, I know that this conversation is much more complex than this. However, most of the Black community doesn't seem to think so.

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Ivylockewrites
ZORA
Writer for

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