Tuesday, November 30, 2010

House clears black farmer settlements

The House has passed landmark legislation to pay for some $4.6 billion in settlements with American Indians and black farmers who say they faced discrimination and mistreatment from the government.

Lawmakers voted 256-152 to send the measure to President Barack Obama, whose administration brokered the settlements over the past year.

The package would award some $3.4 billion to American Indians over claims they were cheated out of royalties overseen by the Interior Department for resources like oil, gas and timber. Another $1.2 billion would go to African-Americans who claim they were unfairly denied loans and other assistance from the Agriculture Department.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CVS/pharmacy hopes to boost flu shot rates among African-Americans

CVS/pharmacy is encouraging African-Americans to get a seasonal flu shot as African-Americans have lower influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates, compared with the rest of the population.

According to CVS/pharmacy, 67% of whites received flu shots in the past year, compared with 48% of African-Americans and 55% of Hispanics. The CVS/pharmacy "all-in-one" flu shot protects against three of this season's flu viruses, including H1N1 and the new strain H3N2. With the majority of influenza cases that can be prevented by receiving the flu vaccine, it is best to get a flu vaccination as early as possible. The CVS/pharmacy "all-in-one" flu shots are $29.95 and are covered by many insurance plans.

African-Americans have many misconceptions about getting the flu shot and do not realize that the seasonal flu can be unpredictable and even healthy people can get seriously ill from the flu, according to CVS/pharmacy.

Approximately 75% of all influenza and pneumonia deaths in African-Americans occurs among those ages 65 years and older. Many also believe that if they get the flu shot, they will get seriously ill. It is even thought among African-Americans that the flu shot administered in retail settings is not of the same quality and standard as the flu shot from their doctor's office. None of these myths are true, the retailer stated.

"[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's] new universal recommendation was expanded this year to encourage anyone 6 months of age or older to get a flu shot," explained Ian Smith, medical expert and CVS/pharmacy spokesman. "The CVS/pharmacy 'all-in-one' flu shot is a convenient way to get protected against the flu and a great gift this holiday season to yourself and your loved ones. It is administered by licensed CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners, and it is the same flu shot that you would get from your doctor."

CVS/pharmacy also is offering flu shot gift cards for $29.95.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks leaks transcripts of secret 2009 GOP meeting

The crack investigative team here at AAreports.com which includes me, a six pack of beer, and well me have just recently came into the possession of some very secret documents. A folder arrived outside the office of Aareports wrapped in a brown paper. You can imagine my disappointment upon opening up and realizing it wasn't what I thought it was. But I continued to read on and was shocked.

The following is the transcript obtained by Wikileaks. The transcript is a recording made at meeting of 5 GOP Party leaders at a GOP gathering at a restaurant somewhere in Washington DC in 2009 discussing the 2010 mid-term elections. The names have been deleted to protect the "innocent" George Cook AAreports.com

GOP #1: I'm so happy you could all be here especially after the tough year we have had.

GOP #2: Hey do we have any Grey Poupon? I can't eat without my Grey Poupon.

GOP #3: What are we going to do about Obama?

GOP #4: Wait a minute , is he really president?

GOP #1: Yes.

GOP #4: Oh I thought him winning was like that moon landing thing.

GOP #1: Hey watch it #5 doesn't know about that

GOP #5: Know about what?

GOP #2: I'm not getting my mustard am I?

GOP #1: We are going to just keep saying no to everything Obama says?

GOP #3: Want that make us just as much a part of the problem?

GOP #1: Yes but people will be so angry they will forget that and we will make sure they direct their anger at Obama.

GOP #5: How will we do that?

GOP #1: We will lie our ***es off?

GOP #2: Hey maybe I can ask that black guy walking around here to get my mustard.

GOP #5: That black guy is Michael Steele he's chair of the RNC

GOP #4: A black guy is head of the RNC?

GOP #3: We could co opt the Tea Party wing nuts and have them do the dirty work for us.

GOP #1: Good thinking and we could have someone like Sarah Palin be the face and voice of that anger. She's pretty and looking at her boobs will distract people from much of what she is actually saying outside of what to hate.

GOP #2: That Sarah sounds like a woman's name maybe she can get me some Grey Poupon.

GOP #3: Women are not just around to serve men anymore.

GOP #4: When the hell did that happen?

GOP #1: To get back in control we may also have to start liking black people and even run some of them for congress.

Silence for 2 minutes followed by 5 minutes of laughter.

GOP #1: No but seriously gentlemen we will have to start liking black people and run some of them for office.

GOP #5: Where are we going to get some black people from?

GOP #1: This is the United States I hear there are quite a few of them around.

GOP #3: We could even run some women for office provided they pay their own way.

GOP #1: Way to think. We can also use Fox News and talk radio to help
spread our lies. They have been very helpful in the past.

GOP #3: Yes I love the way they are fair and balanced in their news coverage.

3 minutes of laughter.

GOP #2: Hell maybe Fox News can get me some damned Grey Poupon.

GOP #4: Shhh that black guy that we elected chair is coming in....

GOP #2: Mr. Steele can you get me some Grey Poupon?

Recording ends.......

This is of course entirely fictional. Or is it?

George Cook AAreports.com

Charter schools in New Orleans get a fresh start

When Hurricane Katrina struck five years ago, it displaced families and destroyed schools. And the storm unwittingly provided a chance to reinvent public education in a failing school district.

So was launched the nation’s biggest charter school experiment. Today, 70 percent of New Orleans public school students attend a charter school. No other city comes close. So educators, lawmakers and researchers are watching for results.

Read more http://www.timesleader.com/news/Charter_schools_in_New_Orleans_get_a_fresh_start_11-28-2010.html

Rappers plea: Fathers take care of your kids

Everyone including me is quick to bash Hip Hop for all of the negativity it puts out there so I think it's only right we give it love when it puts positive messages out there. Check out this video by Scram Carolina titled Deadbeat Daddys in which he implores fathers to spend time with their children. His song can do something many of us can't and that's reach these young men in a langauge they understand. The best line in the song to me is ".....break up with the woman please don't break up with the kids." Much love to Scram Carolina.

George Cook AAreports.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pastor's plea: Save the black family

Rev. R.B. Holmes of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee is founder of Save the Black Family Now, a movement, he said, to restore the structure that enabled black Americans to endure so many challenges.

“I am who I am because I had a strong mama and a strong daddy who were married 62 years,” Holmes said. “They raised eight kids, and none of us went to jail. We all did well because of family principles like faith and prayer.”

He added that the family structure is what enabled black Americans to withstand such injustices as Jim Crow.

“Why were we able to hang in, in spite of? Strong families,” he said.

Read more: Pastor's plea: Save the black family

Friday, November 26, 2010

12 stitches for Obama after errant elbow in hoops

President Barack Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Harvard & Yale Alumni Mistaken for 'Local Gang Bangers'

A group of predominantly black Harvard and Yale alumni and graduate students was rejected from the Cure Lounge in Boston, Mass. after the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday.

As a line of Elis and Cantabs in cocktail attire gathered outside the club, the venue refused to admit attendees without a Harvard or Yale ID. In response, party organizers— who provided management with a guest list when three Harvard grads booked the space — argued that most of the guests were alumni and therefore would not be carrying school ID. The club kicked out those it had already admitted around 11:00 p.m., according to an e-mail party organizer and Harvard Business School student Michael Beal sent to invitees.

Beal’s e-mail blamed the event on racism and said the club’s management told him his party might attract “local gang bangers” and the “wrong crowd.”

Read more Black Harvard-Yale alumni party shut down

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Veteran threatens to shoot President Obama

A white South Carolina veteran said he wanted to shoot President Obama because he wasn't "doing enough to help African-Americans," an affidavit shows.

During a routine check-up Nov. 16 at a Spartanburg Veteran's Administration clinic, Michael Bowden was asked by a primary care nurse if he had any suicidal thoughts to which he responded, "yes, I would like to shoot the president and then myself," as shown in a Secret Service affidavit taken by Agent Mark Booth.

Bowden, who had been rated "positive" during a suicide screening in April, was then seen by a mental health nurse who followed up asking the same question.

He said he "was thinking of traveling to Washington, DC, to shoot the president because he is not doing enough to help African-Americans," the affidavit states.

Agent Booth and two other agents went to Bowden's home in Woodruff, S.C., where he lives with his wife and son, and after Bowden was read his rights, the sworn statement says, he replied, "if I had the opportunity to put Obama against the wall and shoot him, I would. I would kill, if possible, the president for what he has done to this country."

Agents searched Bowden's home and found three fully-loaded semi-automatic handguns and a semi-automatic rifle near his bed. They also found 12 other guns in the bedroom of Bowden's son along with a loaded, short-barrel shotgun near the home's front door, the Smoking Gun reported Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Women entering a "bald new world" with hair extensions warns doctor

NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A leading hair transplant doctor warns the public may be blindly entering a "bald new world" with the explosive growth of hair extensions.

Dermatologist and hair restoration expert Dr. Larry Shapiro said he has all the receding hairlines he needs to keep busy, so he doesn't need any additional help from hair extensions, which are literally pulling hair out of people's heads.

In fact, Dr. Larry Shapiro (www.drshapiroshairinstitute.com), said the situation has gotten so messed up that he has become a consumer advocate for healthy hair and will be warning consumers of the perils of hair extensions as well as using chemical-laden hair relaxers, which also are destroying otherwise perfectly good hair.

Recently Dr. Shapiro came to the rescue of a TV news damsel in distress, a black broadcaster who felt her hair should look more "relaxed" on air. His prescription would win an Emmy from civil rights groups.

"Wear an Afro," he advised the reporter. "You'll look better and you won't risk becoming bald." TV celebrities who resort to wearing wigs, toupees and even hats also are harming their hair and scalp, he added.

"If the growing hair extension industry doesn't straighten up its act and do something soon about warning consumers of the potential harm that extensions can cause to healthy hair, I'll start naming those companies that are the worst offenders," he said.

Dr. Shapiro also is developing an informational website called "HelpHairExtensions" to alert consumers what hair extensions to avoid, why they can lead to hair loss and what can be done to make hair follicles stronger and healthy enough to hold extensions without injury or hair loss. The site will also point out the pitfalls of hair straighteners and relaxers.

Dr. Shapiro recommends a variety of vitamins and nutritional supplements to promote healthy hair at www.helphair.com. Some of these applications should be used to protect hair tied to extensions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Allen West: Black Caucus Promotes Welfare Dependency

Allen West: Black Caucus Promotes Welfare Dependency

Congressman-elect Allen West says the Congressional Black Caucus has failed African-Americans by promoting dependence on government welfare programs. Still, the Florida Republican says he plans to join the organization, according to The Hill.

"The Congressional Black Caucus cannot continue to be a monolithic voice that promotes these liberal social welfare policies and programs that are failing in the Black community, that are preaching victimization and dependency, that's not the way that we should go," West said on Fox News Friday. "And those are not the types of principles that my mother and father raised me with in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Emanuel Cleaver to head Congressional Black Caucus

The Congressional Black Caucus said it has chosen U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., to lead the organization representing the black U.S. House members.

Cleaver, the group's first vice chairman, will replace Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., in January for the two-year chairman term, the caucus said. Lee will remain with the 42-member group.

"I am humbled and honored by my colleagues' support, and I plan to prove myself worthy of their endorsement," said Cleaver, a United Methodist minister.

"Regardless of which party controls the House of Representatives, the Congressional Black Caucus will never retreat from our commitment to create Opportunities for All -- Pathways Out of Poverty," Lee said.

Chief Quits After Council Refuses To Hire Black Officer

The white police chief of the small town of Nickerson, Kansas has resigned in protest after city council members refused to allow her to hire an African-American officer.

Watch video by clicking here: Chief Quits After Council Refuses To Hire Black Officer

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Video: Sen. Burris says goodbye & laments lack of African Americans in the US Senate

In his time in the US Senate Roland Burris has been treated like a red headed step child or like the kid who never takes a bath. Despite that his record shows he has served honorably and never embarrassed the office. In his farewell speech he talked about the honor of serving in the US Senate but also lamented the fact that there are now no African Americans there. Watch the video below:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Senate passes black farmers settlement

[ SOURCE ] The U.S. Senate approved a $1.15 billion measure Friday to fund a settlement initially reached between the Agriculture Department and minority farmers more than a decade ago.

The 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department was settled out of court 11 years ago. Under a federal judge's terms dating to 1999, qualified farmers could receive $50,000 each to settle claims of racial bias.

"This is much long overdue justice for black farmers," said John Boyd, founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association.

"I am pleased these long-suffering Americans can now receive the closure that they deserve," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. "The agreement that we reached shows what can happen when Democrats and Republicans come together to do the right thing."

The measure was approved by unanimous consent.

The measure will now have to be approved by the lame duck House before moving to President Barack Obama's desk to be signed into law.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Marion Barry: Welfare enslaves blacks

During an appearance on the Fox Business Channel councilman Barry made some thought provoking comments about welfare and it's effect on the African American Community. Watch his appearance below.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When did being a ho become a requirement for female rappers?

I am writing this because on November 22 Nicki Minaj's CD Pink Friday will be released and will be the #1 album unless a meteor strikes Earth. Now we all know that there is as much chance of that happening as the NY Knicks winning a game.

Nicki Minaj will be bigger than ever and more of a role model to our little girls whether we like it or not.

Women degrading themselves and selling sex appeal is nothing new in Hip Hop but Minaj doing so disturbs me because she is actually very talented. She doesn't have to stoop to this level to sell CDs or become a major star.

She has chosen the path that has given us shining examples of womanhood like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown. Nothing any of us would want our daughters to aspire to unless of course you work as a stripper and want a chip off the ole block.

I grew up in a era with Queen Latifah and MC Lyte when female rappers prided themselves on their skills on the mic and not on trying to see who could swallow it. What happened to wanting to be respected as an artist?

While much of this falls on Minaj and her label it also falls on the consumer. We buy this bull****. If this degrading image of black women didn't sell labels wouldn't put it out there.

Now I know that responsibility for what our children watch and listen to falls on the parents but sadly many little girls don't have parents that turn that garbage off. Hell mom and hopefully dad jump up and start dancing too.

Maybe I'm naive but I think that some responsibility falls on the artist here especially when they know their prospective audience. Am I wrong here?

George Cook AAreports.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pres. Obama's new children's book, Of Thee I sing: a letter to my daughters

Half a million copies of a new children's book by President Obama hit the shelves Tuesday.

First daughters Sasha and Malia inspired the president to write "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," publisher Random House said.

The publisher describes Obama's latest book as "a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation -- from the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington."

Read more here: Obama's new children's book hits shelves

Monday, November 15, 2010

Study: Most menthol cigarette smokers are African American

A new report says more African Americans and young adults smoke menthol cigarettes. Studies show that most menthol smokers are African-American, and many of them are women. Other studies claim that menthol makes it easier to get hooked and harder to quit.

Haiti cholera death toll soars

Haiti's cholera toll has risen above 900, including dozens of deaths in the teeming capital, as the epidemic showed no sign of abating just two weeks ahead of presidential elections.

Read more here: Haiti cholera death toll soars

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deal reached: James Clyburn gives up bid for democratic party whip

[ SOURCE ]House Democrats averted a messy leadership struggle, clearing the way for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to become second in command of their new minority without a challenge from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.

Under an arrangement worked out in private, officials said late Friday that Clyburn would instead receive a new position, title unknown and duties undescribed, explicitly labeled the third-ranking post in leadership.

The maneuvering was described by Democratic officials after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a vaguely worded statement saying she intends to nominate Clyburn to a new No. 3 post. The statement made no mention of Hoyer, and officials who filled in the details did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not permitted to speak publicly about the matter.

Pelosi is assured of remaining Democratic party leader when the new Congress convenes in January under a Republican majority. She has drawn no opposition for the post even though several members of the rank and file have said they would prefer she step aside after historic election losses. The GOP gained at least 60 seats in midterm elections, more than enough to return to power after a four-year absence.

A race between Hoyer, D-Md., and Clyburn, D-S.C., for the post of party whip took shape in the days following the election and quickly took on racial overtones. Clyburn is the most powerful African-American in Congress, and he drew a formal endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus. But he failed to generate enough additional support to overcome Hoyer's strength among liberals and conservatives alike, and it appeared his only options were to run against Hoyer and lose or else concede the obvious and step aside.

"Over the past four years, Congressman Clyburn's effective leadership in the Whip's Office was crucial to our passage of historic legislation on jobs, health care, veterans and Wall Street reform on behalf of the American people," Pelosi said in her written statement.

Clyburn's office declined to comment on the developments.

The leadership posts will be filled formally next week during a closed-door meeting of the Democratic rank and file.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Criticism of Newark's use of Facebook school reform dollars

As one who has given to PENewark I hope that these complaints are ones that usually accompany any project in it's early stages. This is a huge undertaking and some early mistakes are miscues should be expected. Let's hope Mayor Booker can come through on his promises of better education for the children of Newark. George Cook AAreports.com

The Partnership for Education in Newark was set up to match Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift. It estimates the outreach effort and advertising and public relation costs will total $1 million.

One of the first acts in the reform process has people knocking on 91,000 doors to ask Newark residents for suggestions on how to improve the schools. The chairman of the state Assembly's education committee tells the Star-Ledger of Newark the results will be predictable and the cost is high.

A legislator is criticizing how officials are spending money in New Jersey's largest city in the wake of a $100 million gift from the founder of Facebook.

"So much hope was generated from the $100 million gift, and to have the first million spent in a questionable manner is not the way to start this program off on the right foot," Assembly Education Chairman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) said. "The premise of community outreach is always a good idea, but $1 million is an awful lot of money to reach a result which is kind of self evident."

Fredrick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, questioned why Newark is spending at all before hiring a superintendent who will drive a targeted reform effort (Superintendent Clifford Janey has been told that he will not be rehired). Instead, PENewark has created a million-dollar "suggestion box," Hess said.

"Once he’s banged on every door and heard a litany of complaints, I’m not sure how that will position him to better transform the Newark schools," Hess said of Booker. "If they want the community and parents engaged in an improvement process, asking people to fill out a questionnaire on their doorsteps isn’t the way to do it. This feels more like the census than community organizing."

Rutgers-Newark history professor Clement Price supports PENewark, saying the enthusiasm surrounding their outreach is positive. But, Price said, the effort is raising more questions than it is answering.

"It’s great that education has found its way to the near center of civic discourse in Newark," he said. "What I don’t know is how this moment will be seized upon and for what purposes. My fear is that in rushing an agenda for civic engagement there cannot be real civic engagement."

Get more Information: The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The mother of Bobby Tillman speaks out

The mother of Bobby Tillman a young man beaten to death by four other men at a house party has spoken out abbout her son. Listen to her comments below:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Pres. Obama unveils $10 billion in new contracts for U.S. exports to India

Here's a story that may go under reported in the media. It wont be under reported so much because the mainstream media choose to ignore but because if history is any indication Obama's administration will do a horrible job of getting the good news out there. So I am just going to have to help them. George Cook AAreports.com

Eager to fend off any criticism that he's globetrotting just days after a disastrous midterm election, President Obama unveiled about $10 billion in new contracts for U.S. exports to India on Saturday as he launched an aggressive push to show his trip to Asia will deliver jobs back home.

"The United States sees Asia and especially India as a market of the future," Obama said at a meeting here with business leaders from the U.S. and India. "For America this is a jobs strategy."

Obama announced Saturday that about 54,000 U.S. jobs will be created by a total of $10 billion in new contracts for the Indian government and private companies here to buy a slew of American products, including jet airplanes from Boeing as well as engines and gas turbine technology from General Electric.

Read more here: On the road, Obama pushes U.S. jobs

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate

[ SOURCE ]One recent day at Dr. Natalie Carroll's OB-GYN practice, located inside a low-income apartment complex tucked between a gas station and a freeway, 12 pregnant black women come for consultations. Some bring their children or their mothers. Only one brings a husband.

Things move slowly here. Women sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the narrow waiting room, sometimes for more than an hour. Carroll does not rush her mothers in and out. She wants her babies born as healthy as possible, so Carroll spends time talking to the mothers about how they should care for themselves, what she expects them to do — and why they need to get married.

Seventy-two percent of black babies are born to unmarried mothers today, according to government statistics. This number is inseparable from the work of Carroll, an obstetrician who has dedicated her 40-year career to helping black women.

"The girls don't think they have to get married. I tell them children deserve a mama and a daddy. They really do," Carroll says from behind the desk of her office, which has cushioned pink-and-green armchairs, bars on the windows, and a wooden "LOVE" carving between two African figurines. Diamonds circle Carroll's ring finger.

As the issue of black unwed parenthood inches into public discourse, Carroll is among the few speaking boldly about it. And as a black woman who has brought thousands of babies into the world, who has sacrificed income to serve Houston's poor, Carroll is among the few whom black women will actually listen to.

"A mama can't give it all. And neither can a daddy, not by themselves," Carroll says. "Part of the reason is because you can only give that which you have. A mother cannot give all that a man can give. A truly involved father figure offers more fullness to a child's life."

Statistics show just what that fullness means. Children of unmarried mothers of any race are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor as adults, and have their own children out of wedlock.

The black community's 72 percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008, the most recent year for which government figures are available. The rate for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent.

This issue entered the public consciousness in 1965, when a now famous government report by future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described a "tangle of pathology" among blacks that fed a 24 percent black "illegitimacy" rate. The white rate then was 4 percent.

Many accused Moynihan, who was white, of "blaming the victim:" of saying that black behavior, not racism, was the main cause of black problems. That dynamic persists. Most talk about the 72 percent has come from conservative circles; when influential blacks like Bill Cosby have spoken out about it, they have been all but shouted down by liberals saying that a lack of equal education and opportunity are the true root of the problem.

Even in black churches, "nobody talks about it," Carroll says. "It's like some big secret." But there are signs of change, of discussion and debate within and outside the black community on how to address the growing problem.

Research has increased into links between behavior and poverty, scholars say. Historically black Hampton University recently launched a National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting. There is a Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, founded by a black woman who was left at the altar, and a Black Marriage Day, which aims "to make healthy marriages the norm rather than the exception."

In September, Princeton University and the liberal Brookings Institution released a collection of "Fragile Families" reports on unwed parents. And an online movement called "No Wedding No Womb" ignited a fierce debate that included strong opposition from many black women.

"There are a lot of sides to this," Carroll says. "Part of our community has lost its way."

There are simple arguments for why so many black women have children without marriage.

The legacy of segregation, the logic goes, means blacks are more likely to attend inferior schools. This creates a high proportion of blacks unprepared to compete for jobs in today's economy, where middle-class industrial work for unskilled laborers has largely disappeared.

The drug epidemic sent disproportionate numbers of black men to prison, and crushed the job opportunities for those who served their time. Women don't want to marry men who can't provide for their families, and welfare laws created a financial incentive for poor mothers to stay single.

If you remove these inequalities, some say, the 72 percent will decrease.

"It's all connected. The question should be, how has the black family survived at all?" says Maria Kefalas, co-author of "Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage."

The book is based on interviews with 162 low-income single mothers. One of its conclusions is that these women see motherhood as one of life's most fulfilling roles — a rare opportunity for love and joy, husband or no husband.

Sitting in Carroll's waiting room, Sherhonda Mouton watches all the babies with the tender expression of a first-time mother, even though she's about to have her fourth child. Inside her purse is a datebook containing a handwritten ode to her children, titled "One and Only." It concludes:

"You make the hardest tasks seem light with everything you do.

"How blessed I am, how thankful for my one and only you."

Mouton, 30, works full time as a fast-food manager on the 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift. She's starting classes to become a food inspector.

"My children are what keep me going, every day," she says. "They give me a lot of hope and encouragement." Her plans for them? "College, college, college."

On Mouton's right shoulder, the name of her oldest child, Zanevia, is tattooed around a series of scars. When Zanevia was an infant, Mouton's drug-addled fiance came home one night and started shooting. Mouton was hit with six bullets; Zanevia took three and survived.

"This man was the love of my life," Mouton says. He's serving a 60-year sentence. Another man fathered her second and third children; Mouton doesn't have good things to say about him. The father of her unborn child? "He's around. He helps with all the kids."

She does not see marriage in her future.

"It's another obligation that I don't need," Mouton says. "A good man is hard to find nowadays."

Mouton thinks it's a good idea to encourage black women to wait for marriage to have children. However, "what's good for you might not be good for me." Yes, some women might need the extra help of a husband. "I might do a little better, but I'm doing fine now. I'm very happy because of my children."

"I woke up today at six o'clock," she says. "My son was rubbing my stomach, and my daughter was on the other side. They're my angels."

Christelyn Karazin has four angels of her own. She had the first with her boyfriend while she was in college; they never married. Her last three came after she married another man and became a writer and homemaker in an affluent Southern California suburb.

In September, Karazin, who is black, marshaled 100 other writers and activists for the online movement No Wedding No Womb, which she calls "a very simplified reduction of a very complicated issue."

"I just want better for us," Karazin says. "I have four kids to raise in this world. It's about what kind of world do we want."

"We've spent the last 40 years discussing the issues of how we got here. How much more discussion, how many more children have to be sacrificed while we still discuss?"

The reaction was swift and ferocious. She had many supporters, but hundreds of others attacked NWNW online as shallow, anti-feminist, lacking solutions, or a conservative tool. Something else about Karazin touched a nerve: She's married to a white man and has a book about mixed-race relationships coming out.

Blogger Tracy Clayton, who posted a vicious parody of NWNW's theme song, said the movement focuses on the symptom instead of the cause.

"It's trying to kill a tree by pulling leaves off the limbs. And it carries a message of shame," said Clayton, a black woman born to a single mother. "I came out fine. My brother is married with children. (NWNW) makes it seem like there's something immoral about you, like you're contributing to the ultimate downfall of the black race. My mom worked hard to raise me, so I do take it personally."

Demetria Lucas, relationships editor at Essence, the magazine for black women, declined an invitation for her award-winning personal blog to endorse NWNW. Lucas, author of the forthcoming book "A Belle in Brooklyn: Advice for Living Your Single Life & Enjoying Mr. Right Now," says plenty of black women want to be married but have a hard time finding suitable black husbands.

Lucas says 42 percent of all black women and 70 percent of professional black women are unmarried. "If you can't get a husband, who am I to tell you no, you can't be a mom?" she asks. "A lot of women resent the idea that you're telling me my chances of being married are like 1 in 2, it's a crapshoot right now, but whether I can have a family of my own is based on whether a guy asks me to marry him or not."

Much has been made of the lack of marriageable black men, Lucas says, which has created the message that "there's no real chance of me being married, but because some black men can't get their stuff together I got to let my whole world fall apart. That's what the logic is for some women."

That logic rings false to Amy Wax, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, whose book "Race, Wrongs and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century" argues that even though discrimination caused blacks' present problems, only black action can cure them.

"The black community has fallen into this horribly dysfunctional equilibrium" with unwed mothers, Wax says in an interview. "It just doesn't work."

"Blacks as a group will never be equal while they have this situation going on, where the vast majority of children do not have fathers in the home married to their mother, involved in their lives, investing in them, investing in the next generation."

"The 21st century for the black community is about building human capital," says Wax, who is white. "That is the undone business. That is the unmet need. That is the completion of the civil rights mission."

All the patients are gone now from Carroll's office — the prison guard, the young married couple, the 24-year-old with a 10-year-old daughter and the father of her unborn child in jail. The final patient, an 18-year-old who dropped out of college to have her first child, departs by taxi, alone.

"I can't tell you that I feel deep sadness, because I don't," says Carroll, who has two grown children of her own. "And not because I'm not fully aware of what's happening to them. It's because I do all that I can to help them help themselves."

Carroll is on her second generation of patients now, delivering the babies of her babies. She does not intend to stop anytime soon. Her father, a general practitioner in Houston, worked right up until he died.

Each time she brings a child into this world, she thinks about what kind of life it will have.

"I tell the mothers, if you decide to have a baby, you decide to have a different kind of life because you owe them something. You owe them something better than you got."

"I ask them, what are you doing for your children? Do you want them to have a better life than you have? And if so, what are you going to do about it?"