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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

"[T]oo many young mothers are encouraged to believe that a child support check isn"t so much a replacement for a husband:  It IS a husband to them. "And too many young men, facing cultural attitudes that reduce effective male co-parenting as optional to children, are marginalized to the point where their family presence is of little to no consequence..." Fathers & Families' national board member Bill Stephney, a former prominent music executive who produced artists Public Enemy, Vanessa Williams and others, has a new article out for NewsOne called Mom-In-Chief Says "This Is How We Do It' (5/9/09). Stephney writes:
[Michelle Obama] is the First Lady of our nation...a corporate lawyer, with degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law....she is most importantly a good mother, a supportive spouse and a respectful daughter... [I]t is in fact Michelle Obama, not her husband, who may serve as the one figure capable of affecting prevailing attitudes and institutional processes as they relate to African-American families (and by logic and extension, all of the nation"s families). According to a recent Child Trends DataBank report, 69.5% of African-American children are born to an unmarried mother, in comparison to 47.9% of Hispanic children, 25.4% of White children, and 16.2% of Asian/Pacific Islander children.  Most Black families with children don"t break up - they never form to begin with. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="175" caption="Fathers & Families' Bill Stephney"][/caption] So, how do we turn around this "Maury Povich' culture of ours?  A culture where too many young mothers are encouraged to believe that a child support check isn"t so much a replacement for a husband:  It IS a husband to them. And too many young men, facing cultural attitudes that reduce effective male co-parenting as optional to children, are marginalized to the point where their family presence is of little to no consequence.  Paging Michelle Obama, Esq... 2010 will be the 45th Anniversary of the U.S. Department of Labor"s report "Crisis of the Negro Family.'  In short, the federal government"s report focused on the historical devastation that so wrecked African-American family, and community structure:
At the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family…It was by destroying the Negro family under slavery that white America broke the will of the Negro people. Although that will has reasserted itself in our time, it is a resurgence doomed to frustration unless the viability of the Negro family is restored.
President-Elect Obama should consider recruiting the First Lady-Elect to use her popularity by having her supervise a re-examination of the report"s findings, along with providing a current assessment of the critical issues that have so divided many families, such as the high out-of-wedlock birthrate, and radically fatherless African-American neighborhoods...
Read Bill's full article here.

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