“I think it went well, but seven other people are interviewing for the job, too,” Rochelle told me. She had applied for a part-time hourly management position at her store. They would keep her as a full-time employee, and she would work half-time as a manager over the cashiers and half-time at her normal cashier position. At first I was concerned she would not keep her full-time job with benefits, but she asked and they said all would be well. “We don’t do our people that way,” her manager told her. Basically Rochelle would be monitoring the lunches and breaks of the other cashiers and handling problems at the check out stations. “I won’t be real upset if I don’t get it,” she told me. “I still have my full-time job, and I haven’t been here very long.” She called me after her interview and said she thought it had gone well
At first I thought I would wait until the results of this job application had been decided before I made another post. Rochelle will find out the results later this week. But this is a major event in Rochelle’s life. She has never been able to apply for advancement before. She is saving a bit of money and has the possibility of moving up in her job. I sure hope she gets the position, but if not, eventually she will move forward if she sticks with it. I think we will get back to a discussion about teen pregnancy in our next interview. I’ve got real concerns about her 12 year old daughter. Rochelle has yet to talk to her about sex, and the girl seems to have friends who are already involved with boyfriends and either potentially or actually sexually active. Several of her Facebook “friends” say they are “in a relationship.” At 12. Rochelle and I have discussed this before, but nothing seems to be happening on the sex ed front, either at home or at school. I think it is time to get back to the original subject of this blog, which is the problems of single black mothers. Her 12 year old daughter may be one soon, and it would be a good thing if Rochelle can prevent it from happening.
The chances are far from good for Rochelle’s daughter. In 2011, the last date for which I found conclusive figures, 72% of the African American mothers who gave birth in the United States were unmarried. (So were 35% of the white mothers and 53% of the Hispanic mothers.) Another way of looking at this is to note that in the same year (2011), only 51% of all Americans had ever been married (compared to 72% in 1960). And if we look at the stats by race, we see that in 2011, only 30 of all African Americans had ever been married. Fewer Americans are getting married now than ever before, and more babies are being born to unmarried mothers than ever before, and these two trends are most pronounced among African Americans. Just statistically it is possible to say that Rochelle’s daughter will probably be an unmarried mother, and that she will probably never marry. If we add to this the facts that most of Rochelle’s female relatives are single mothers, that most of her daughter’s cousins and friends are or soon will be single mothers, the picture looks grim, indeed. It is simply the norm for poor, African American females to become single mothers, and to do so when they are quite young and have no job skills. Rochelle’s daughter does not do well in school, either academically or socially. She is classified as a “slow learner,” and she has trouble controlling her temper. School does not offer her a rewarding experience in any way. She has no obvious future to protect. It seems inevitable that she will be a mother sooner rather than later, especially if Rochelle does not have a serious talk with her about sex..