We all know of the feminist movement, government intervention and its implications in modern society. We often herald the success of this social political movement (which it deserves). We think of the front runners, the leaders of this social, political, economic cause. After all, repression of voting rights was an abominable action- what person with a moral compass can say that disproportionate voting rights were fair. The historical significance and contributions of the feminist movement are respectable, and has left an indelible mark on the complex pattern of the American tapestry. But we forget ultimately that there was a certain demographic of people who endured the cost of this change.
The destruction of the black family is the vicious byproduct of a movement that seem to have benevolent intentions. Eleanor Roosevelt, a revered feminist had a great deal of influence in passing laws and policies that contributed to the destruction of the African American family, but the brunt of this issue didn’t rear its head until the 1960’s. There were welfare policies in place that prohibited the family from having a “male in the house.” This policy discourage marriage and led to the fragmentation of the black nuclear family. As a result, if you receive any economic support from the government, such as good stamps, and general assistance, you would see a considerable drop in funding if you were married. Again, this set the precedent in the deviation of two parent homes.
At the time, Assistant Labor Secretary Patrick Moynihan publisher a government report about his predictions, and trends that he noticed in the African American family. The report was simply titled The Negro Family. Daniel Patrick Moynihan projection and warnings of the degeneration of the black family loomed to be true. His premise was that the nuclear family was the key to black prosperity in American society, and the increase single parent families would lead to worsened poverty, educational failure, and social misery. This government report was prophetic in many ways. Though many liberal and feminist called advocation of the two parent homes sexist and racist. Primarily because it undermined the women, which causes her oppression; this was the logic of the movement and it’s supporters during the 70’s and today. We as a country supported this advent of the non traditional family, and its effect has had dangerous ramifications.
Feminist made the idea of the nuclear family an oppressive ideal, and they used their political clout to end it. In the 70’s, the black power movement was in full swing, and the feminist coalition attempted to attach itself to the social movement. For example, they would tout this image of the struggling women as being a strong independent black women.
Rejections of the traditional family values were tested as an alternative two the two parent family and we failed. Since the 1960’s we have seen a sharp increase in single parents homes. Moreover, the most important demographic that is effected is the black children; they are the offspring that will have to endure the psychological and economic of these historical policies and ideologies. Resentment and anger often stems from the child of the absentee child, which correlates with poor educational achievement and dangerous behavior.
Economic opportunities are an important factor of this dilemma. Many men want to be fathers to their children, but the switch from a industrialized economy to a service economy has left many unemployable, without means to take care of their family. With an investment in employment skills training ,we can help revitalize the black family economically so they can contribute.