Out Of Wedlock Births High

December 6, 2011 by staff 

Out Of Wedlock Births High, A high out-of-wedlock birthrate profoundly influences African-American poverty numbers in the Omaha area, State Sen. Brenda Council said, and those who deny it wear blinders.

Council, who represents much of northeast Omaha, spoke Saturday to about 150 people at the Empowerment Network’s meeting at Omaha North High School.

She said she hopes to propel a bill through the Nebraska Legislature requiring age-appropriate, “medically accurate” sex education for all children.

“When you have only one person providing income, one person providing resources … our opportunities to move these young people out of poverty are greatly diminished,” Council told the audience.

The meeting, which covered jobs, education and poverty, opened with statistics indicating African-American poverty remains high. About 40 percent of metro-area blacks younger than 18 live in poverty.

Unwed mothers accounted for 76 percent of African-American births in the Omaha area from 2008 through 2010.

Council said society needs to “take the blinders off” and provide young people the tools and knowledge they need to be sexually responsible.

After the meeting, at least a couple of women walked up to Council and thanked her for her comments on the topic.

“We look at the data and then we ignore what the data is telling us,” Council said. “If we’re going to rely on data, let’s use it.”

The Empowerment Network, launched five years ago, strives to improve the economic status and quality of life of African-Americans, north Omaha residents and residents of the metropolitan area in general.

Willie Barney, president of the Empowerment Network, showed numbers indicating the three-year average unemployment rate among metro-area blacks stood at 17.4 percent, compared with 9.4 percent for Hispanics and 5 percent for whites.

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