Photo by EPIC FUWilliam Julius Wilson was one of the first social scientists doing work on race to connect the dying industrial economy to the growing number of single (black) mothers. So instead of pushing for more resources to single mothers, what does he do? Push for increasing the job opportunities of young black men. Something that sounds like common sense I guess, but ends up fitting right into neoconservative arguments about the need for marriage and sound black families.
The middle class (Wilson was concerned with the poor) version of this has pundits and scholars alike wringing their hands about the dwindling pool of available black men, particularly for educated black women. To be fair, I’ve seen this first hand, to a lesser extent as an undergrad, but definitely as a professor. I imagine that I’ve probably taught around 10-15 black male students since I’ve been a professor, while I’ve taught three times as many black women.
But this dynamic is not, and perhaps never has been, one relegated to black populations, as shown by the article below. They do note that black women face particular problems but they are by no means alone: