ESSENCE Poll: Do You Think Statistics About Black Fathers Tell the Whole Story?

For years, we’ve heard the same harrowing statistic: 72 percent of all Black children are born to single mothers. But does that really paint the whole picture? New York Times columnist Charles Blow says no.

In an op-ed that was published earlier this week, Blow argues that that widely circulated number fails to take into account extenuating circumstances, such as women who live with—and are still in a relationship with—the father, but because they are unmarried, they are considered “single.” Another factor? Black men who are fathering children by more than one woman, but they can’t live with all of them at the same time.

“There is no doubt that the 72 percent statistic is real and may even be worrisome, but it represents more than choice,” Blow writes. “It exists in a social context, one at odds with the corrosive mythology about Black fathers.” 

When it comes to statistics on the presence of Black fathers in their children’s lives, do you agree with Blow that there is more to the story than just the numbers? Or do you feel that, for the most part, the often-told statistics accurately describe the lives of Black families? Take our poll and leave us a comment below explaining your answer.

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