After living together for 16 years and having four children together, Keisha Bryant, a TakeCharge volunteer, decided to get married.
Bryant said she was raised by a single mother and did not see the benefits of marriage.
“I thought it was only a piece of paper,” she said. “It’s so much more.”
Bryant decided, after becoming a TakeCharge volunteer, if she is going to be an example, she needs to walk the talk.
She shared her story with Kendall and Sheila Qualls on this week’s episode of the Fully Charged podcast.
“Marriage across all segments of society has taken a hit; it’s especially taken a hit in the black community,” Mrs. Qualls said.
“At TakeCharge, we work to restore the two-parent black family, which has almost become extinct,” Mr. Qualls said.
When MLK was assassinated in 1968, 80 percent of black children were born into two-parent families, according to Mr. Qualls.
They credit Aide to Families with Dependent Children, a social welfare program introduced in the 1960s, with literally changing the black culture.
“After the program was introduced, we saw a significant decline in marriage rates in the black community,” Mrs. Qualls said. “Welfare took fathers out of the home, normalized out of wedlock births, and delegitimized marriage to the point where today, almost 80 percent of black children are born into fatherless homes.”
Marriage is the safest place for women and children, Mr. Qualls said.
Marriage can address many of the social ills we see today. Married women have fewer abortions. Marriage reduces poverty, he said.
“Studies have shown a two-parent family is the best environment to raise children. They do better academically, socially, emotionally,” Mrs. Qualls said. “There are some benefits you can only get in marriage.”