In an entry at Madame Noire, blogger LaShaun Williams writes that African-American women continue to outpace black men academically, professionally and economically. She asks if it could be attributed to how some single black mothers raise their daughters in comparison with their sons.
In recent years the percentage of black children born into single parent households, an overwhelming majority of which headed by women, has skyrocketed. Nearly three-fourths of black boys and girls are being raised in broken homes — brokenness stemming from the fact that fatherlessness often creates imbalance.
Women understand womanhood. Mothers know what it is like to be a little girl — a teenager, a young adult. We connect with our daughters and, in a sense, often push them to heights we have never reached. Despite our own successes or shortcomings, it is that personal understanding and connection that enables single mothers to raise women. We know how, when and where to utilize discipline and praise to guide them in the right direction.
But, when it comes to boys the journey isn’t so clear. Mothers do not have firsthand experience walking in the shoes of men. While this world may be a cold place for men and women alike, the lives of young, black men can be especially challenging — dealing with everything from drug-dealing stereotypes to the anticipations of failure, intellectual inadequacy. When little black girls go to school teachers do not expect for them to fail in the same way they do little black boys. Black women are not profiled by law enforcement the same way as black men. And, employers are much more inclined to hire us.
Still, too many mothers coddle their sons through life — loving them as boys but not raising them to be men.
Read LaShaun Williams’ entire blog at Madame Noire.