In conservative responses to racial disparities involving wealth and other things a lack of fatherhood figures within the black community is often cited as causative. For example, Ben Shapiro said about 4 years ago:
[If racial disparities are not largely a "black" cultural problem, then explain why] the single motherhood rate in the black community jumped from 20% to 70% in the same course of time that the civil rights movement has made such tremendous strides.
I was reading around on similar topics on Skeptics and found a quote from MLK that criticized the black community in 1957 for their "illegitimacy rate".
We have eight times more illegitimacy than white persons.
I readily see that these two claims are not exactly comparable nor mutually exclusive. Both could be true at the same time, but it made me immediately think that perhaps there's a significant twist on both of these quotes that is not captured in their exact words.
I'm looking for a brief historical analysis on the "illegitimacy rates" in the black community1. Shapiro is claiming an increase from a low rate (by today's standards) in the early sixties up to a high rate today, while MLK states pre-sixties that it was already high compared to whites. I'm supposing that perhaps Shapiro's claim misses a large bit of nuance in the relative differences, since his claim is absolute in context, or MLK's factoid is actually false (but was maybe a common misconception at the time).
- I understand "illegitimacy" to mean children born without married parents. It would be great if "committed relationship" were more quantifiable, in 1960 and now, because my impression of modern culture is that it is far more acceptable and common for committed couples to have children even if they are not legally married, but this seems unlikely to be differentiated in official statistics.