By Elaine Bell Kaplan
Probably the most worrisome photographs in the United States this day is that of the teenage mom. For the African-American group, that photo is principally troubling: all of the difficulties of the welfare process appear to highlight the black teenage mother. Elaine Bell Kaplan's affecting and insightful e-book dispels universal perceptions of those younger ladies. Her interviews with the ladies themselves, and with their moms and grandmothers, offer a brilliant photograph of lives stuck within the intersection of race, type, and gender.Kaplan demanding situations the idea conveyed within the renowned media that the African-American neighborhood condones youngster being pregnant, unmarried parenting, and reliance on welfare. particularly telling are the emotions of frustration, anger, and unhappiness expressed by way of the moms and grandmothers Kaplan interviewed. And in hearing teenage moms speak about their difficulties, Kaplan hears first-hand in their misunderstandings concerning intercourse, their fraught relationships with males, and their problems with the academic system--all components that endure seriously on their prestige as younger parents.Kaplan's personal adventure as an African-American teenage mom provides a private measurement to this publication, and he or she deals enormous proposals for rethinking and reassessing the category components, gender family members, and racism that impact black young ones to develop into moms.
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Additional info for Not Our Kind of Girl: Unravelling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood
The major problem with Stack's analysis is that it reduces the complexities of contemporary Black families to the simplicity of a quaint culture in which all Black families ― 52 ― are alike. Such support and extensive kin networks were not commonplace among the teen mothers and families I interviewed. How Black teen mothers and their adult mothers view and handle their new situation is of theoretical importance given the assumptions and debates in social science and in the political arena concerning Black teenage mothers.
As Carmilla recited a list of complaints about her mother, she expressed her ambivalence about her new status. She wanted some flexibility in her roles as both mother and teenager but at the same time expected her mother to be her main source of support. As illustrated by the teen mothers' quotes above, part of the problem is the question of who should make decisions about the teen mothers' new situation—the teenager or her mother? It was not clear to these mothers who should make decisions—about abortion, marriage, housing, or financial support—or who was responsible for the baby's care.
Dirty worn linoleum squeaked beneath our feet. De Vonya seemed pleased to be moving into the apartment; she smiled as we investigated the closets and bathroom. We laughingly called the apartment the "penthouse," because it was the only one located on the third (and last) floor. From the "penthouse" bedroom windows we looked down on broken liquor bottles littering the roof of the building next door. De Vonya thought the building's cleaning people had left the garbage there. I told her I thought the garbage on the roof meant those drug dealers were using the roof.