You Just Can’t Ignore It: Cultural Outlooks About Out-of-Wedlock Babies

Take a good look at this newly happily married couple. Notice something?

See the baby bump?  Full disclosure: I know the parents of the groom. No way they were co-signing their grandchild being brought into the world illegitimately, but the truth is, that young guy is deeply in love with his bride. They were engaged BEFORE they conceived, and Ryan Johnson, the groom, says that news of the impending arrival of Baby Johnson was just icing on the cake. Here is another cultural difference that we just can’t ignore: while the out-of-wedlock rate is rising across the races, every other race EXCEPT for the black race values making babies within wedlock.

I’m not just making this up. Seventy-three percent of black children are born out of wedlock. WAIT.

OH MY GEEZUS AND WHAT THE CUSS!! EIGHTY PERCENT OF BLACK CHILDREN ARE BORN OUT-OF-WEDLOCK!! According to a story in USA Today, dated April 11, 2012. Take a gander at the stark differences, and YOU tell ME which group is faring better educationally and economically:

About 80% of first children born to black women were outside of marriage; 18% of these women were cohabiting. Among Hispanics, 53% of first children were born outside of marriage, and 30% of the women were cohabiting. Among white women, 34% of first children were born outside of marriage, 20% to cohabiters. Among Asians, 13% of first children were born outside of marriage; 7% of women were cohabiting.


Compare that with, oh…ANYONE else, and you see we lead the pack. (After No Wedding No Womb, you’d have to be living inside a crevice and a stone not to know my take on this. Getting pregnant doesn’t “just happen” and no man’s penis trips and falls into a woman’s vagina.)

Where’s the black church on this issue? No outrage? Oh. They’re too busy co-signing the beating and choking of 15 year-old girls.

I’m going to get a little personal here. A month before my wedding, The Hubster and I were…uh…”coloring,” and I said “Hey, why not let it slide with the condoms? We’re getting married in 27 days.” He flat out told me “No. I won’t risk it. You’ve already proven your fertility with Maxi Me, and I want to be sure that ALL my kids are born after your ring is on.” Welp; guess he told me. It was a good thing, too, because my husband can just blow in my ear and I get knocked up.

Because I know the parents of the groom, I know that Dave, Ryan’s dad, was just a teenie, tiny, eensie, weensie bit nervous about having a black daughter-in-law, but you know what helped a lot? Them knowing our family, and seeing that we were just like everyone else, except I’m chocolate and my husband is vanilla. Dave was also willing to grow and learn, and even bought a copy of  SWIRLING so he could better understand the bride’s cultural experiences. Bottom line though, she was pregnant, and they were going to support their son legitimizing his child. The groom told his mother, “We want our baby to be brought into the world having the same last name.” Kudos to both of them for doing it the right way.

The happy newly-weds, Ryan and Raven

Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of the opposite going on in the black community, with black mothers front and center petting and protecting their sons, telling them they better not marry that tramp, because the baby might not even be theirs, blah blah blah. But in their defense, most of those mothers got pregnant without being married, so telling their sons not to marry women with whom they have impregnated is as natural as a puppy piddling on your Persian rug. I wonder though…might this resistance be only because marriage then children is so foreign, or something else, like jealously toward the girl, because the son deems her worthy of marriage while the mother didn’t have such an experience?

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