Reflections: My Mother Who Fathered Me


Despite the prevalence of West Indian Americans and their networks throughout the United States, little attention is given to the significant accomplishments stemming from the collective work of West Indian Americans. Even less attention is given to the fact that many of these networks are predominantly comprised of women, many of whom are single mothers. This article focuses on the trend amongst West Indian American women to pursue motherhood regardless of marriage or intimate partnership despite the risks attendant to motherhood. The author argues that para-professional West Indian American women may be more willing than their counterparts in other communities to become single parents in the first place. Moreover, even if they are initially partnered, they may also be more likely to assume the later risk of single parenthood if a relationship ends. The Author explores various factors which may have led to this trend: for example, communal networks exist among West Indian Americans and provide support with the costs and labor related to child-rearing. Throughout the article, the Author relies upon an assumption of risk framework to explore the trends of child rearing amongst West Indian American women.


Community, West Indian American, Network, Marriage, Motherhood, Risk



Eleanor Brown (Fordham University)



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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