Myths Of Black Motherhood And Their Consequences

1735 words - 7 pages

Keeping with the legacy of American history, the African American family is a topic of controversy and concern. While other aspects of the family are studied, it could be argued that the area of African American motherhood receives the most attention. Unequivocally, African American mothers are depicted as matriarchs, crack-mothers, and welfare queens. In addition, Black mothers are often portrayed as lazy, irresponsible, destructive, and even worthless. These stereotypical images of African American mothers are important because they have powerful implications for African American moms, and for their families at large.
Myths influence policy-makers, as well as how these mothers are viewed and treated by society. Although these stereotypes were formed in past decades, many, if not all of them, are still alive today. In order to understand why these labels continue to exist, it is useful to examine the rationale and reasoning behind their creation and the characteristics that are associated with each false image. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Dorothy Roberts both discuss African American mothers and are therefore important viewpoints to consider in this analysis.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an American politician and sociologist, states in his report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965), that matriarchy is the main contributor to problems within the Black family. He argues that the matriarch prevents the African American family from achieving equality since it exists in a family system that does include a strong presence of a father-figure. Moynihan contends that “the Negro community has been forced into a matriarchal structure which … seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole” (Moynihan 21). As this excerpt illustrates, Moynihan assumes a negative view of matriarchy. He probably could not accept a family system that varied from the more accepted system of patriarchy found in most white families during the time the report was written.
The ideas presented in his report helped foster the creation of stereotypes about black women, namely, the idea that black women should be blamed for black poverty. Moynihan posited that the matriarch was detrimental to the black family, especially in the case of single motherhood. He maintained the idea that “the absence of a father is destructive to children…it means that children will lack the economic resources, role model, discipline, structure” (Biblarz & Raftery 321). In addition to characterizing these women as domineering and detached, Moynihan also stated that this phenomenon of matriarchy strengthened itself over generations.
It could be said that Moynihan labeled this cycle as a “pathology of matriarchy” that strongly contributed to his idea of the “tangle of pathology” that kept African Americans from achieving equality and a higher place in society. He stated that “a national effort towards the problem of Negro Americans must be directed towards the...

Find Another Essay On Myths of Black Motherhood and Their Consequences

Analyse the socio-economic, political, religious and cultural consequences of the Black Death

2646 words - 11 pages time.Overall, the Black Death was an event of great magnitude, and one with many consequences. "Summing up, it should be clear the Black Death was an event of great historical importance. It put its stamp on the economic and social scene, the living standards of the masses improved greatly, while the upper classes and social elites saw their incomes fall and their charmed way of life being undermined" (Benedictow 2004, 393). The social and economic

Basic statistics: Scales and their consequences

880 words - 4 pages -tower/ • Del Siegle, Ph.D. (n.d.) A Summary of Measurement Scales, Their Characteristics, and Their Statistical Implications, Retrieved: November 12, 2013 from • Level of Measurement (2013) Retrieved: November 12, 2013 from • List of Tallest Buildings in the Philippines (November 2013) Retrieved: November 15, 2013 from http

Bats and their camoflauge, as well as common bat myths

708 words - 3 pages eyes along with their excellent sense of smell to help find food in the dark. Bats' eyes are better at seeing in the dark. Most see objects only in black and white, but color vision is known to exist in some old world fruit bats.FEET: With their strong claws, bats are able to hang upside down in their roosts. Fishing bats also use their claws to scoop up the fish they will eat.HANDS AND WINGS: Bats fly by using their hands and wings. While the

Romeo and Juliet -- Actions and Consequences of Many Characters of the Play and their effects of the plays outcome

1611 words - 6 pages fighting about. The hatred of each other has been embedded in the minds of the families so much that there has been three brawls in the streets and many lives have been lost. Family members and those linked to the families had the hatred embedded in their minds so much, that the decisions they made resulted in serious consequences for either the character who committed the action or other characters in the play. A character in the play sent a

Examining the structure and style of Betty Rollin's essay "Motherhood

562 words - 2 pages style an author chooses often makes a big difference in how well their ideas get across to the reader. An argument may be well-built and well-supported, but if it is unsuccessfully expressed to the reader, the argument may lose its effectiveness. While Betty Rollin had a lot to say in "Motherhood: Who Needs It?", her lack of organization, and hostile tone made the essay extremely ineffective.Work CitedRollins, Betty "Motherhood: Who Needs It?." Look Sept. 1970. Rpt. In The Norton Reader. Ed. By Linda H. Peterson, John C. Brereton, Joan E. Hartman. New York: WW. Norton and Company, 2000. 203-212.

Environmental Consequences of Coal Mining in the Black Mesa Complex

1340 words - 6 pages Introduction Coal mining in the United States is a major industry. In 2012, the coal mining industry employed nearly 90,000 people [1]. The Black Mesa Complex in Northern Arizona consists of two seperate coal mines, the Kayenta mine and the Black Mesa coal mines. Both mines are owned and operated by Peabody Western Coal Company (PWCC). The mines are located 10 miles southwest of Kayenta, AZ. The Kayenta mine is 40,000 acres (62.5 square miles

Child Abuse Versus Discipline and Their Respective Consequences

2890 words - 12 pages successful adults; however, in some unfortunate cases, parents misinterpret the term discipline and in turn end up abusing their children. The question becomes, is there truly a difference between discipline and abuse? And if so, what is it? With education, individuals can learn how to properly distinguish between discipline and abuse and realize that there is a clear black and white difference between the two. The origin of the word discipline

myths and reality about nature of communication

1765 words - 7 pages Legends and myths of business communicationhave no words values; values are determined by our experiences and perception. Most of the messages transmitted by us based not on words and on non-verbal symbols. Sometimes you give people too much information and they cease to understand you. John M. Penrose (John M. Penrose), State University of San Diego To understand the nature of interpersonal communication and business communication in general

Manga and the Retelling of Myths

4135 words - 17 pages that I wanted to talk about. There is probably enough information for each manga to get their own paper. Also the manga I chose represent only three out of hundreds if not more manga containing fox-demons that could be linked with the kitsune. There could have been a deeper discussion on the significance of transformation or even identity. These would be interesting topics to discuss in later essays. Myths have been around for ages and there are

African American Youth and their Lack of Interest in Black History Month

1046 words - 5 pages culture greatly, todays black youth are far less likely to have an understanding of the rich legacy celebrated by Black History Month than let’s say their grandparent’s generation. The average grandparent’s generation started in the late 50’s a time where they would have been directly affected by the Civil Rights Movement and other major events that were taking place in in the Black community. They were there to fight first hand for the rights

The Lives of African American People and Their Attributions to the Black Community

2853 words - 12 pages Many African American men and women have been characterized as a group of significant individuals who help to exemplify the importance of the black community. They have illustrated their optimistic views and aspects in a various amount of ways contributing to the reconstruction of African Americans with desire and integrity. Though many allegations may have derived against a large amount of these individuals, Crystal Bird Fauset, Jacob

Similar Essays

Motherhood In Terms Of The “Black Culture”

2265 words - 10 pages and should be highly praised for all that they undergo during motherhood. Examining all aspects of motherhood in the black culture helps to define the concepts of its symbolization, background, and relationships. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz factors out how it is always the dominant culture who has found it their duty to define the Black woman. Which then subjects the question of, “Is it fair for the white race to define motherhood of the black culture

Causes Of Brain Trauma And Their Consequences

1624 words - 7 pages WOMEN`S UNIVERSITY IN AFRICA Addressing gender disparity and fostering equity in University Education INTAKE 13 GROUP NAMES : Mercyline Soko W130140 Idi C. Kasu W130244 TITLE OF ASSIGNMENT: Examine causes of brain trauma and their consequences. PROGRAMME : BSc (Hons) in Psychology COURSE TITTLE : Psychobiology DUE DATE : 10 April 2014 LECTURER’S NAME : Mrs D. Machando SESSION : Evening SEMESTER : 2:1

Firearms And Their Consequences Essay

1769 words - 8 pages argument gets out of hand or someone disrespects with their opinion to the point here forgiving is no longer an option, they can pull out their gun and kill each other. As the saying goes “ an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” so modifying it would be a gun in everyone’s possession would be genocide. Maybe viewing the world in black and white is not the answer either put something must be done to save the life of people who have nothing to

Causes And Consequences Of The Black Death Of 1330 To 1352

1115 words - 4 pages , there was breakdown of social order. Citizens feared that the diseases would be shared to them; many rejected their friends and families. In the article The Black Death, 1348, it claims that parents, “refused to see and tend their children...” Ministers and initiators of the laws were all hiding, sick, or dead. This means that no duties were performed. Residents who were still living had to do as they pleased. The Black Death of 1330 to 1352 is