Black People : The Negro Family: The Case For National Action

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Negro Family: The Case For National Action
    Office of Policy Planning and Research United States Department of Labor March 1965
    The United States is approaching a new crisis in race relations. In the decade that began with the school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court, and ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the demand of Negro Americans for full recognition of their civil rights was finally met. The effort, no matter how savage and brutal, of some State and local governments to thwart the exercise of those rights is doomed. The nation will not put up with it — least of all the Negroes. The present moment will pass. In the meantime, a new period is beginning. In this new period the expectations of the Negro Americans will go beyond civil rights. Being Americans, they will now expect that in the near future equal opportunities for them as a group will produce roughly equal results, as compared with other groups. This is not going to happen. Nor will it happen for generations to come unless a new and special effort is made. There are two reasons. First, the racist virus in the American blood stream still afflicts us: Negroes will encounter serious personal prejudice for at least another generation. Second, three centuries of sometimes unimaginable mistreatment have taken their toll on the Negro people. The harsh fact is that as a group, at the present time, in terms of ability to win out in the competitions of American life, they are not equal to most of those groups with which they will be competing. Individually, Negro Americans reach the highest peaks of achievement. But collectively, in the spectrum of American ethnic and religious and regional groups, where some get plenty and some get none, where some send eighty percent of their children to college and others pull them out of school at the 8th grade, Negroes are among the weakest. The most difficult fact for white Americans to understand is that in these terms the circumstances of the Negro American community in recent years has probably been getting worse, not better.
    Indices of dollars of income, standards of living, and years of education deceive. The gap between the Negro and most other groups in American society is widening. The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence — not final, but powerfully persuasive — is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated. There are indications that the situation may have been arrested in the past few years, but the general post war trend is unmistakable. So long as this situation persists, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself. The thesis of this paper is that these events, in combination, confront the nation with a new kind of problem. Measures that have worked in the past, or would work for most groups in the present, will not work here. A national effort is required that will give a unity of purpose to the many activities of the Federal government in this area, directed to a new kind of national goal: the establishment of a stable Negro family structure. This would be a new departure for Federal policy. And a difficult one. But it almost certainly offers the only possibility of resolving in our time what is, after all, the nation's oldest, and most intransigent, and now its most dangerous social problem. What Myrdal said in An American Dilemma remains true: "America is free to chose whether the Negro shall remain her liability or become her opportunity."

    Chapter I. The Negro American Revolution​
    The Negro American revolution is rightly regarded as the most important domestic event of the postwar period in the United States. Nothing like it has occurred since the upheavals of the 1930's which led to the organization of the great industrial trade unions, and which in turn profoundly altered both the economy and the political scene. There have been few other events in our history - the American Revolution itself, the surge of Jacksonian Democracy in the 1830's, the Abolitionist movement, and the Populist movement of the late 19th Century - comparable to the current Negro movement. There has been none more important. The Negro American revolution holds forth the prospect that the American Republic, which at birth was flawed by the institution of Negro slavery, and which throughout its history has been marred by the unequal treatment of Negro citizens, will at last redeem the full promise of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Negro leadership has conducted itself with the strictest propriety, acting always and only as American citizens asserting their rights within the framework of the American political system, it is no less clear that the movement has profound international implications.
    It was in no way a matter of chance that the nonviolent tactics and philosophy of the movement, as it began in the South, were consciously adapted from the techniques by which the Congress Party undertook to free the Indian nation from British colonial rule. It was not a matter of chance that the Negro movement caught fire in America at just that moment when the nations of Africa were gaining their freedom. Nor is it merely incidental that the world should have fastened its attention on events in the United States at a time when the possibility that the nations of the world will divide along color lines seems suddenly not only possible, but even imminent. (Such racist views have made progress within the Negro American community itself - which can hardly be expected to be immune to a virus that is endemic in the white community. The Black Muslim doctrines, based on total alienation from the white world, exert a powerful influence. On the far left, the attraction of Chinese Communism can no longer be ignored.) It is clear that what happens in America is being taken as a sign of what can, or must, happen in the world at large. The course of world events will be profoundly affected by the success or failure of the Negro American revolution in seeking the peaceful assimilation of the races in the United States. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Martin Luther King was as much an expression of the hope for the future, as it was recognition for past achievement. It is no less clear that carrying this revolution forward to a successful conclusion is a first priority confronting the Great Society.

     
  2. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    (Ahhh, the infamous "Moynihan Report.")



    "Chapter II. The Negro American Family [1965]

    At the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family.

    It is the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro community at the present time......


    ... the family structure of lower class Negroes is highly unstable, and in many urban centers is approaching complete breakdown.

    ...There is considerable evidence that the Negro community is in fact dividing between a stable middle class group that is steadily growing stronger and more successful, and an increasingly disorganized and disadvantaged lower class group. There are indications, for example, that the middle class Negro family puts a higher premium on family stability and the conserving of family resources than does the white middle class family.8 The discussion of this paper is not, obviously, directed to the first group excepting as it is affected by the experiences of the second - an important exception. (See Chapter IV, The Tangle of Pathology.)

    There are two points to be noted in this context.

    First, the emergence and increasing visibility of a Negro middle class may beguile the nation into supposing that the circumstances of the remainder of the Negro community are equally prosperous, whereas just the opposite is true at present, and is likely to continue so.

    Second, the lumping of all Negroes together in one statistical measurement very probably conceals the extent of the disorganization among the lower-class group. If conditions are improving for one and deteriorating for the other, the resultant statistical averages might show no change. Further, the statistics on the Negro family and most other subjects treated in this paper refer only to a specific point in time. They are a vertical measure of the situation at a given movement. They do not measure the experience of individuals over time. Thus the average monthly unemployment rate for Negro males for 1964 is recorded as 9 percent. But during 1964, some 29 percent of Negro males were unemployed at one time or another. Similarly, for example, if 36 percent of Negro children are living in broken homes at any specific moment, it is likely that a far higher proportion of Negro children find themselves in that situation at one time or another in their lives.

    Nearly a Quarter of Urban Negro Marriages are Dissolved.

    Nearly a quarter of Negro women living in cities who have ever married are divorced, separated, or are living apart from their husbands.

    The rates are highest in the urban Northeast where 26 percent of Negro women ever married are either divorced, separated, or have their husbands absent.

    On the urban frontier, the proportion of husbands absent is even higher. In New York City in 1960, it was 30.2 percent, not including divorces.

    Among ever-married nonwhite women in the nation, the proportion with husbands present declined in every age group over the decade 1950-60 as follows: [chart not reproduced]

    Although similar declines occurred among white females, the proportion of white husbands present never dropped below 90 percent except for the first and last age group.9

    Nearly One-Quarter of Negro Births are now Illegitimate.

    Both white and Negro illegitimacy rates have been increasing, although from dramatically different bases. The white rate was 2 percent in 1940; it was 3.07 percent in 1963. In that period, the Negro rate went from 16.8 percent to 23.6 percent.

    The number of illegitimate children per 1,000 live births increased by 11 among whites in the period 1940-63, but by 68 among nonwhites. There are, of course, limits to the dependability of these statistics. There are almost certainly a considerable number of Negro children who, although technically illegitimate, are in fact the offspring of stable unions. On the other hand, it may be assumed that many births that are in fact illegitimate are recorded otherwise. Probably the two opposite effects cancel each other out.

    On the urban frontier, the nonwhite illegitimacy rates are usually higher than the national average, and the increase of late has been drastic.

    In the District of Columbia, the illegitimacy rate for nonwhites grew from 21.8 percent in 1950, to 29.5 percent in 1964.

    A similar picture of disintegrating Negro marriages emerges from the divorce statistics. Divorces have increased of late for both whites and nonwhites, but at a much greater rate for the latter. In 1940 both groups had a divorce rate of 2.2 percent. By 1964 the white rate had risen to 3.6 percent, but the nonwhite rate had reached 5.1 percent — 40 percent greater than the formerly equal white rate.

    Almost One-Fourth of Negro Families are Headed by Females

    As a direct result of this high rate of divorce, separation, and desertion, a very large percent of Negro families are headed by females. While the percentage of such families among whites has been dropping since 1940, it has been rising among Negroes.

    The percent of nonwhite families headed by a female is more than double the percent for whites. Fatherless nonwhite families increased by a sixth between 1950 and 1960, but held constant for white families.

    It has been estimated that only a minority of Negro children reach the age of 18 having lived all their lives with both of their parents.

    Once again, this measure of family disorganization is found to be diminishing among white families and increasing among Negro families...."

    http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/webid-meynihan.htm
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Ecclesiates 1:9

    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks for another historically significant document. The most striking statements concern the widening gap which was a national problem in 1965. If the gap was widening then what is it that has changed since then to make any of us believe that this situation has changed and that Black people in the united states no longer live in poverty?

    For sure, this disintegration of our family structures in urban areas have intensified because economic condition have worsened in the inner cities over the past 47 years.

    But what about our relatives in the rural areas of the Deep South and the Mideast or Midwest?
     
  6. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    bump
     
  7. Alarm Clock

    Alarm Clock Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hip Hop culture was a national and now an international phenomenon(propaganda), that has effected every level of life of the past generation from the family unit, youth focus and motivation, political activity and unity regarding community and collective economics. IN terms of religion, it has created a mentality that sees religion; all religions as an opiate and a crutch rather then as Dr Clarke stated a tool for upliftment and liberation.
    The divisions mentioned in the Willie Lynch myth, divisions that were overcome in the 80s, sprung back up via the propaganda of this culture, and the achievements and accomplishments of Black American culture from reconstruction to the 70s, in many major cites, had been reversed!
    http://destee.com/index.php?threads...we-controled-the-paradigm-of-our-youth.69783/

    Therefore a new national Black ethos or paradigm is definitely needed to go viral
     
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