Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Black Womyn & Single Mothering

I am writing this post in response to comments on an earlier post ("Ewh! Why Can't She Just Have a Weave") featuring rapper Khia regarding Black Woymn, Media Images, and Children born out of wedlock. Particularly, a blogger commented that a woman with kids especially should accept some responsibility for their portrayal in the media as a mother. Another blogger commented "even though erykah badu rocks all types of natural styles/head wraps/ankhs and is generally revered as the "mother earth/righteous type" she has two kids out of rappers*.(is that ironic or what?)"

The comments made me think about the national trend of single motherhood that has risen since 1970 regardless of race. Although in Black Womyn, according to stats, we have disproportionately higher amount of single moms. This made me think of the commenter's next response: "and i don't love her any less, because that's her life. but is the message that her situation portrays to youngster any more acceptable than khia's (because she's erykah badu? )"
I want to note before the neo-soul and even rap era, Black Womyn in the media had children out of wedlock. I think youngsters repeat lyrics more easily than they repeat lifestyles. Although, I have not tested my theory. I see a lot of kids singing crass rap songs; but very few of those same kids emulating the hard work that it takes to be successful.

What do you think?

Here are a list of some popular Black Womyn who had a child or children out of wedlock:
Sade Adu , Maya Angelou, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Nia Long, Erykah Badu, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Givens, Lisa Bonet and Fantasia Barrino.

When you read this list, what did you think? Did you feel surprise, shame, pride or all of the above? I don't think that having a child has anything to do with the image you choose to project. I feel image can be a virtue of personality, a media ploy, a publishing scheme, a misrepresentation, or a reflection of authenticity. But Motherhood is
motherhood; and I feel the connection between the two should be great and co-exist together in a way that enhances and builds.

Erykah Badu is pictured above with daughter Puma and here with son Seven
Nina Simone is pictured below with daughter Lisa.
The chart is from the U.S. Census Bureau showing the rise in Single Motherhood across racial groups.


Carmen In NC said...

I would everyone to be in a loving marriage, but it just doesn't happen like that. As long as a woman can support her child I say have a baby.

muslimahlocs said...

excellent and thought provoking post. i did not know that oprah had a child or children. do tell.
having children out of wedlock is an unfortunate reality that i think will become even more prevelant as even younger girls and boys engage in sexual activity; and older men continue to prey on younger female children without punishment.
i felt sad for the kids. having a mother and a father is an invaluable experience. and it is so hard on the moms to be both mother and father.

Naturally Sophia said...

Muslimahlocs- Oprah was a promiscuous teen. She had a child at 14 who died shortly after its birth. You can read about it here: or check out the PBS special African American LIves which first aired in February of 2006. It is available on DVD, and Oprah speaks about the child in the documentary.

muslimahlocs said...

thanks for the fyi. i am sorry to hear that the child died in infancy.

CHIC NOIR said...

This is my opinion and I don't want to step on any toes but.

I really think sisters need to stop putting themselves in this position. Use two forms of birthcontrol and be careful about the days of the month. If he is not good enough to marry then he is not good enough to have children with PERIOD. Most people who are over 20 are here because two people "got" togeahter so we should stop foolin ourselves with the "it was a mistake excuse". Having a baby does not make a man stay with you, if anything it makes him runaway.

AquarianThoughts said...

Hey Sophia. . Tag, you're it! Come on, particpate!

Players list 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, players then tags 8 people by posting their names and makes sure they know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at the tagee’s blog.

Naturally Sophia said...

Aquarian Thought- ok I am working on it. It will be a thought out post too with pics. I have to find a good scanner so that's the hold up. And I had a court date yesterday. I am writing it now though. Smiles ;)