Undermining Marriage: White Supremacy and the Black Family

Jacqueline C. Rivers

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Title: Undermining Marriage: White Supremacy and the Black Family

Abstract: Structural disadvantages and cultural patterns have, over many decades, led to fewer black people participating in marriage, which has hurt large numbers of black children. These patterns have spread to all racial and ethnic groups and are increasingly common at all economic levels. Many sociologists recognize that this has created a downward spiral in which the disadvantages of one generation lead to lower levels of wellbeing in the next. However, this problem is not irremediable. With the right social policy levers and church-based action, it is possible to begin the long, slow and difficult process of shifting marriage patterns in the black community and in the US more generally.

Bio: Jacqueline C. Rivers is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow for Social Science and Policy at the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies. She has served as a lecturer in both Sociology and African American Studies at Harvard University and has presented her research at Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, the Vatican, Stanford University, the United Nations and in several other venues. Jacqueline holds a PhD from Harvard University where she was a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy of the J. F. Kennedy School of Government and a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation. She graduated from Harvard Radcliffe College (B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and M.A., both in Psychology).

Contact Allison Smythe, SmytheA@Missouri.edu for Zoom Link.

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