Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an illuminating post for The Atlantic shedding light on some hard numbers that reveal the stereotype of black women, unmarried, pumping out babies as fast as they can print welfare checks is mere myth.
Crunching the numbers, Coates found that black women, both married and unmarried, were having fewer children in years past and that the birth rate among black women is actually lower than that of white women right now. Coates also writes how too many people attacking the black out-of-wedlock birth rate are conflating "not marrying" with amorality, when that simply isn't the case. And considering the reality of the state of black men, Coates feels its pretty logical that some black women would chose to not get married -- kid or no kid. Have you looked at the black male incarceration and unemployment rates lately? People can't afford to get married, let alone have kids.
Here's a snippet:
I point this out to show that the idea that the idea that, somehow, the black community has fallen into a morass of cultural pathology is convenient nostalgia. There is nothing "immoral" or "pathological" about deciding not to marry. In the glorious black past, women who made that decision were more--not less--likely to become mothers. People who are truly concerned about the percentage of out of wedlock births would do well to hector married black women for moral duty to churn out babies in the manner of their glorious foremothers. But no one would do that. Because it would be absurd.
Theories of cultural decline are irrelevant. Policy not so much. Given the contact rates between the justice system and young black men, and given how that contact affects your employment prospects, the decision by many black women to not marry, and to have less children, strikes me as logical. If we want to change marriage rates, we need to change our policies. Nostalgia is magic. Policy is the hero.