Volume XIII, No. 21
Thursday, April 2, 1987
5tack sees hope for the black family
By Aleta Sinkfield
fc'm the king. I’m the king,”
Its Timothy, a young black
^ shadowboxing inside the
|very room of a hospital where
a young black woman, has
Et given birth to their third
|imothy and Alice are not mar-
Timothy has three other
^Idren by three different
i'imothy says he plans to marry
II because he loves her. He is
mployed. Alice receives a
fare check of $385 a month
1 $112 in food stamps.
^ice is always telling Timothy
i: he needs to get a job, that it
tiuld not be hard to find one, that
e doesn’t want to spend the rest
her life awaiting those monthly
checks from the government.
Cases like this one are not
unusual; they provided the topic
for a two-day symposium on the
black family in America held here
The program began with a
Tuesday evening screening of the
1986 CBS documentary. The
Vanishing Family: Crisis in Black
America, in Whitley Auditorium.
Program narrator Bill Moyers
painted a bleak picture for black
Americans, demonstrating how
single-parent families, unwed
teenage pregnancies and high
unemployment have become the
rule in most black communities.
However, on Wednesday Dr.
Carol Stack, associate professor
of anthropology and public policy
at Duke University, offered a
more positive outlook for the
black American family.
Stack said that documentaries
can tell people anything and that
she wanted to give a different pic
ture than Moyers presented.
Stack asked her Whitley
Auditorium audience to recall a
scene in the CBS documentary in
which Moyers interviewed a
17-year-old unwed black mother
named Clardina. Stack noted that
Clardina’s mother-a strong-
looking woman who had herself
been a teenage mother-sat near
her daughter but was not inter
viewed. Nor did Moyers inter
view any of the others in the
household who might have been
helping Clardina raise her child.
The point of her criticism.
Stack said, is that people work out
different strategies for survival
and that they do not always regard
living on welfare as an easy or ac
ceptable means of survival.
Stack also noted that “extensive
reverse migration” of blacks may
help stop the dissolution of black
families that Moyers’ documen
In the early twentieth century,
it was common for blacks to move
from the South to the North in
search of better jobs. Stack said.
“Now descendants of those who
migrated north are returning
home to their relatives in the rural
South,” she said.
The Moyers program dealt in
part with this idea of “reverse
migration” in depicting the case
of a black woman named Brenda,
who with her children attended a
family reunion in South Carolina.
“But Brenda’s family was just
visiting,” Stack pointed out. “The
documentary showed a little hope
for the survival of her family, but
it took her back to hard times in
Stack was critical of govern
mental policies such as the
welfare system for contributing to
the breakup of black families.
“The father often has to move out
of the home before the liamily
receives any payments,” she said.
“Furthermore, if the father is pay
ing child support, the family does
not receive the money. It goes
back to the slate to rep^ welfare
Stack argued that Moyers’
documeittary “presented only one
reality about the black family”
and suggested that its
characterization of blacks may
have reinforced the frustration of
other Americans about the
Campus cat gives birth
By Greg Zaiser
While students and faculty
were enjoying a well-deserved
spring break, a blessed event oc-
cured here on campus.
Ms. Serif, the latest stray feline
to take up residence at Elon, gave
birth to four bouncing baby kit
tens on Wednesday, March 25.
They were christened Bodini,
Helvetica, Bold and Italica-
names derived from printing
terms. The kittens are affec
tionately known as The Copycats.
Laura Bennett, director of the
print shop in Cariton Building, is
playing the role of hostess (and
' = In their bellies. The kittens were midwife) Ms. Serif and family.
flne. She is ™ ..id .ni™, lo.c, who
plays an active role in taking care
of campus animals.
Bennett’s “cat fund” raise:
money to assist in spaying oi
neutering stray cats that wandei
onto campus. Presently, fimds arc
being raised to have Ms. Seri
spayed. Donations can be made
in the Print Shop.
As for the kittens, they an
growing rapidly everyday. Ms
Serif has proven to a wonderfu
mom and the future looks ex
tremely promising for the nev
fanvily. All four kittens have saf
and happy homes waiting fo
them as soon as they are ok
enough. Congratulations, Ms
ROTC program successful
Cadets trained in leadership