Monday, December 08, 2008

Kay Hymowitz and the Obama Era

Posted by Michele Olson

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, or look over at our recommended reading on the right hand column, you will know the name: Kay Hymowitz.

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research has this overview of Kay’s work:

Kay S. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She writes extensively on education and childhood in America.

Hymowitz is the author of the new book Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age, a compilation of some of her previously published City Journal essays. She examines the breakdown of marriage in the United States and how it threatens the nation's future. The book begins with the proposition that American marriage is designed to further "The Mission"—the shaping of children into self-reliant citizens and workers. Alarmingly, while the children of married parents tend to become married parents themselves eventually, the children of single parents tend not to, fueling a vicious cycle that, Ms. Hymowitz argues, has engendered "two Americas": one marriage-minded, one not; one economically successful, the other perpetually struggling. This is of particular concern to the African American community, in which married parents are increasingly rare. Her previous book, Liberation's Children: Parents and Kids in a Postmodern Age, was widely praised.

Kay also writes for major papers like the Washington Post. She just posted an article reiterating her research and viewpoints in light of President Elect Obama’s step into the White House.
She points out that at this time, Obama has the chance to revive what Lyndon Johnson called “the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights.” She is speaking of the fact that since 1965, through economic recessions and booms, the black family has unraveled in ways that have little parallel in human culture.

Amid all the attention being paid to the economy and the social ills that lay at our doorstep, Kay is a voice reminding us that healthy marriages can be the foundation of the hope that we all so desperately need right now.

Let us hear your thoughts. Add to our blog!

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