In the “mommy wars,” black single moms are invisible
There may never have been a more black-woman-centric moment in cable news than Saturday's "Melissa Harris-Perry Show," broadcast live from the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. I watched as I always do, phone in hand, fingers poised to live-tweet, using the #nerdland hashtag. This particular episode would feature a subject of great significance to me: black single motherhood.
When you're a black and unmarried woman, solo parenting is an indictment of your self-worth and life choices. When you're a married woman, taking on all the parenting responsibilities yourself makes you someone to champion. We’ve seen this play out this week in various articles about why men shouldn’t be as under-involved as babysitters when parenting and why married mothers should feel supported, not chastened when working outside the home. Notably absent from this discussion were black parents, and black unmarried mothers in particular – who rarely have the option not to work outside the home and also have to use their single income to support everyone. These moms and their concerns rarely get the attention they need.