My latest reading of Andrew Hacker’s Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal talked about single-parent households among African-Americans. On the one hand, there are African-American men who, lacking opportunities to prove their worth to others, try to prove their manhood by having children. On the other hand, there are African-American young women who appreciate the choices that they get to make when they have children: the choice of what the child’s name will be, rules for the child, etc. Meanwhile, according to Hacker, the incarceration of a number of African-American men contributes to the number of single-parent households, for incarceration limits the number of available African-American men for African-American women to marry. Not only are African-American men less likely to get married behind bars, but, even after their release from prison, that felony on their record can pose a barrier to gainful (or any) employment, thereby lessening their attractiveness (or, in the eyes of many, their suitability) as a potential spouse.
There is more to Hacker’s discussion, but this is what stood out to me.