At first blush, it is all too easy to categorize this issue as involving "other" black women; to be sure, campaigns targeted at educating women about family are typically messaged to "at risk" teenagers, and the women associated with such campaigns are "at-risk" women (read: young teens growing up in low income single-parent households with limited tools to survive the concrete jungle). But when I look within my circle of friends comprised of an eclectic group of African and African-American women with one thing in common—a solidly middle class upbringing—I see these very statistics replicate themselves. Without exaggeration I can say that half of my middle class black female friends with children are single mothers—some by virtue of circumstance (e.g. divorce) but more often than not, by virtue of a conscientious choice. None of my friends fit the "at-risk" profile—they are self-aware free spirited creatives, type-A educated high powered achievers, and everything in between—yet they too, save the income disparities, find themselves similarly situated to the stereotypical “baby mama”: raising a child in a single parent household.
What’s going on? Here I share the diverse stories of the single mothers in my life.