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“I don’t want my child to feel that the way we live is something that we have to defend to the world.” Stacia herself was raised by a single mother.And she learned from her mother to protect her own daughter from the stain of so-called illegitimacy.When your kids hear you say, ‘I don’t want to be a statistic,’ they feel like their household is…. If it were, those who rail against unmarried mothers would spend at least equal time calling for affordable family planning and reproductive health care, universal access to good child care, improved urban school systems, a higher minimum wage, and college education that doesn’t break the banks of average people.And they would admit that the welfare-queen image is a distortion and a distraction.People hate to feel ashamed.” Heidi’s parents were married when she was born. Our wedding anniversary is the same as the day we first got together.They grew up together and were high school sweethearts. We didn’t change the day cause we felt like we wanted to honor the whole eleven years.

She tells a story about attending a neighborhood outing with her oldest son and his father while she was pregnant with their second child. This one woman that I grew up with said to my cousin, ‘Oh my God! ’” Heidi’s cousin had three children with two fathers.There was still this ‘don’t be like them’ narrative.Why would I want to be like people who weren’t being affirmed?More than 70 percent of black births happen outside marriage.From Tea Party candidates to black clergy, folks will tell you that statistic is a sin and a shame.

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