1-28-08 The Black Family

1-28-08 The Black Family - “The Black Family” and US...

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Unformatted text preview: 1-28-2008“The Black Family” and US Social Policy: Moynihan’s Unintended Legacy?Dean E. RobinsonUniversity of Massachusetts at AmherstMoynihan: “The gap between the Negro and 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…is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” (Rainwater and Yancey 43).For Moynihan, “crisis” or “deterioration” of the black family was evident from the relatively high rate of marriage dissolution, “illegitimacy,” and the proportion of families headed by women—roughly 25% when Moynihan wrote the report.Black families increasingly “dependent” on public assistanceMoynihan worried that slavery, urbanization, and high rates of black male unemployment transformed the black family—or, more precisely, the lower-income black family—into a “matriarchy.” This matriarchy created a “tangle of pathology” that propelled the “cycle of poverty and deprivation” among blacks in the United StatesWhile pointing to jobs, housing, and health care as pressing concerns (Johnson) also suggested that “the breakdown of the Negro family structure” was a key obstacle with...
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1-28-08 The Black Family - “The Black Family” and US...

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