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Misconceptions about African American Single Mothers

Misconceptions about African American single mothers and their families are insidious and deeply entrenched. They are stereotyped as inferior, non-productive, and dysfunctional for themselves and society. Typically, research about them has been pursued through conventional paradigms based on models and concepts of the dominate culture that have created many myths and distorted portrayal.

What does it mean to be an African American single mother and parent? How should we conceptualize such complex and paradoxical experiences? Such a discussion is needed because the culture of poverty paradigm, pathological or otherwise, that has guided most popular and social scientific thinking about so-called female-headed African American families has discouraged this kind of creative reconsiderations.

African American mothers must be provoked to think more creatively and constructively about a most misunderstood and misconstrued topic.