Divorce & “Black” Boys

Impact of divorce on Black boys

Does Divorce Have Special Impact on African American Boys?

I can find nothing on the Internet on the subject of “Divorce & ‘Black’ Boys.” I do not think there is any scientific study on the effects of divorce on black boys. I could be wrong. But it strikes me that this demographic is one of the most invisible in the divorce industry. When people think of divorce and the impact divorce has and the damage it does, hardly ever do they think of it from the perspective of a “black” boy or a “black” child for that matter.

I find this very curious.

Why don’t people concern themselves with the impact of divorce on so called “black” children the way they do with other children? The only studies I ever heard of seemed to conclude that divorce does not have such a significant impact on black kids because with one parent gone, it is quite normal for black kids to be raised in a single family, low income situation anyway. So who cares? Why even waste research dollars and resources and time discussing this issue.

I find this very curious.

As the world breaks apart piece by piece, I think that what will be left in the rubble of our former existence, is an old system based on old ideas and stereotypes about human beings and who and what they are. This is going to be the only good thing about the new world order that is coming, I think. It will reshuffle everything. This will be good for little black boys of divorced parents.

And they exist! There are lots of them. And many are not even “low income” as far as that stereotype goes (but not that their economic status makes any difference for these purposes). With all the grim statistics about black marriages and the black divorce rate and the single parent households and low incomes, the fact remains that there are hundreds of thousands of African American marriages in this country and these couples have children and when they divorce, there is a significant impact on the psyche of these children and these people just like in any other group. Skin color does not take away human feelings and human emotions.

The uniqueness of the little black boys who grow up without fathers because their parents got divorced, is that the isolation they feel as a result of their parents’ divorce (and often their father’s separation from the family after having lived with an intact family for a portion of their lives) is compounded by the fact that nobody even acknowledges that these kids exist. Nobody seems to even think their experience matters.

All boys need their fathers’ influence in their lives no matter what their race, religion, ethnicity or provenance. But in the current world system where so many stereotypes exist about what it means to be a so called “black” male in society, it can be argued that little “black” boys REALLY need their fathers’ influence in their lives and that losing their dad not by death but by divorce is a special type of pain and loss that will significantly impact their lives in the years ahead.

Current society may be fine with ignoring little black boys of divorce but black fathers of little “black” sons really need to make an extra special effort to continue to play an active role in their lives of their children and in particular their sons. No question their daughters need their influence too. But their sons are really a forgotten species in this purgatory called divorce and in my opinion, need specific attention.

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Note that I say “so called black” because I have come to view color descriptions as misnomers at best and racist at worst, and just like referring to people as red and yellow is insulting, it is also insulting to refer to people as “black” and “white.” Very few people in the world match either of these two colors. Think about in  a literal sense. How did these descriptions become our “reality”? This is a racist construct! And what problems this construct causes in our society!

 

Author: Jennifer Adams Jones

I am a researcher interested in Black Studies and African American history.

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