1. Some argue that todays weak black-family structure is a legacy of slavery. But this view loses credibility when one examines evidence from the past. 2. During slavery, where marriage was forbidden, most black children lived in biological two-parent families. In ¾ of slave families, all of the children had the same mother and father. Herbert Gutman, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom: 1750-1925, p. 10. a. In NYC, 1925, 85% of kin-related black households were two-parent households. Gutman, Ibid, ix. 3. Before anyone attempt to explain todays black family in terms of slavery and discrimination, realize that years ago there were only slight differences in family structure between racial groups. The % of nuclear families were: black (75.2), Irish (82.2), German (84.5), and naïve white American (73.1). Kenneth L. Kusmer, From Reconstruction to the Great Migration,1877-1917. Vol 4, part II, p. 72-96. 4. Ex-slave families were more likely than free-born to be two-parent families. Furstenberg, Jr., Hershberg, and Modell, The Origins of the Female-Headed Black Family: the Impact of the Urban Experience, p.211-233. 'But it is a fine place to make money': migration and African-American families in Cleveland, 1915-1929 - page 12 | Journal of Social History 5. Going back a hundred years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, we find that census data of that era showed that a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. This fact remained true in every census from 1890 to 1940. Sowell, The Vision, p. 81 (Prior to 1890, the question was not part of the census.) 6. Coupled with the dramatic breakdown of black family structure has been the astonishing growth of illegitimacy: 19% in 1940, skyrocketing in the late 60s, to 68% in 2000- and over 80% in some cities. See the National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Report, vol. 50 "...skyrocketing in the late 60s,..." LBJ.....'War on Poverty'.... 7. So, if not slavery or discrimination, where to look for the root of the problem? Black propensity? Genetics? Racial differences? Clearly the stats above show this not to be the case. Get ready studies show that welfare programs are a major contributor to behavioral poverty. 8. Proof? Sure. The government conducted a study, 1971-1978 known as the Seattle-Denver Income Maintenance Experiment, or SIME-DIME, in which low income families were given a guaranteed income, a welfare package with everything liberal policy makers could hope for. Result: for every dollar of extra welfare given, low income recipients reduced their labor by 80 cents. http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/12794.pdf a. Further results: dissolution of families: This conclusion was unambiguously unfavorable to advocates of a negative income tax that would cover married couples, for two important reasons. First, increased marital breakups among the poor would increase the numbers on welfare and the amount of transfer payments, principally because the separated wife and children would receive higher transfer payments. Second, marital dissolutions and the usual accompanying absence of fathers from households with children are generally considered unfavorable outcomes regardless of whether or not the welfare rolls increase. http://www.bos.frb.org/economic/conf/conf30/conf30c.pdf b. When families received guaranteed income at 90% of the poverty level, there was a 43% increase in black family dissolution and a 63% increase in white family dissolution. At 125% of the poverty levels, dissolutions were 75% and 40%. Robert B. Carleson, Government Is The Problem, p. 57. 9. Despite frequent assertions to the contrary, many seemingly intractable poroblems encountered by a significant number of black Americans do not result from racial discrimination, but rather from the policies, regulations, and restrictions emanating from federal, state, and local government. From Race & Economics, by Walter E. Williams.