African-American Women Are Both Mother & Father

“The girls don’t think they have to get married. I tell them children deserve a mama and a daddy. They really do. A Mama can’t give it all. And neither can a Daddy, not by themselves,” Dr. [Natalie] Carroll says. “Part of the reason is because you can only give that which you have. A Mother cannot give all that a man can give. A truly involved father figure offers more fullness to a child’s life.” (

According to recent government statistics, 72 percent of African-American children are born to unwed mothers compared with 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans.

According to Children-our, homes without fathers ultimately affect children in numerous ways:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
  • 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
  • 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.

While those statistics are daunting they can be overcome. I am a product of a fatherless home while my father did not walk out on us, he died of a heart-attack at the age of 37, I still had to face the challenges children from fatherless homes face. I remember my mother working hard to provide for me and my siblings and in a way hard work is all she knew.

My mother, Linda Sutton, was born to Joseph and Jessie-Mae Thompson on March 20th, 1954; she would eventually become one of 16 children. My grandfather and grandmother were hard-working and charitable individuals, a trait that my mother would inherit. She began teaching in the 1970s and is still a dedicated teacher to this day. I remember, as a child, many of her students calling and coming by our house seeking guidance and care and my mother was more than happy to oblige. Education is very important to her and she views it as the key to unlocking the chains of poverty and despair. It is because of my mother’s hard-work that she has been able to send all SEVEN of her children to college.

The money was not always there, there were times when the phone was off, when the lights were off, when there was no hot-water, and when there was just enough food, but through it all I never seen my mother raise her voice or worry. One Christmas she took a job at TJ-Max Department Store just to make sure my siblings and I could have a Merry Christmas. She is such a strong, faithful, and calm woman, and easily the best person I know.  For me, everyday is Mothers Day; she is the rock of my life.

In today’s society every child born into a fatherless home does not have the same type of mother or opportunities that I had growing up.  I had access to a caring brother and loving uncles, but many children of fatherless homes today have no significant male figure to look up to. There are many single mothers out there working hard to make ends meet, working two and three jobs just to provide for their children, but it is hard for them to work multiple jobs and be active in their children lives.

Fatherless homes are quickly becoming deserted homes because fathers are absent and mothers are out working. Children of deserted homes turn to sex, drugs and violence, often continuing a generational curse within their family. African-American men have to become active in their children lives if we want to restore our community and African-American women have to stop having children from irresponsible men.

Mothers Day is not just a regular day in the African-American Community; it is a day when we celebrate the rock and leaders of our households which unfortunately is led by our women and not our absentee men.


2 thoughts on “African-American Women Are Both Mother & Father

  1. The statics are sad and honestly quite embarrassing for me as a African American man. However, the strength in which black women support their families taking on the role as mother and father is remarkable. Happy mothers day to all the mothers out there

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