Freedwoman Mary Park taught children in 1891, not 1981.
Hampton, VA: On the beautiful campus of Hampton University in Virginia, a valiant group of multi-ethnic leaders gathered this week to discuss the state of marriage in America, specifically marriage in Black America; and to sign a related declaration at the site of the historical “Emancipation Oak” where freedwoman Mary Peak taught children of former slaves in 1891. It was noted by Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach of Priests for Life and Founder of King for America, that the marriage, family and parenting efforts also have the impact of lowering abortions because women who are supported by men who engage positively in marriage and fatherhood have help in bearing the burdens that parenthood can impose on a woman alone. “This fatherhood support, plus the awareness and support of social systems that support healthy marriages will have positive impact on negating abortions in our current civil right fight for the sanctity of life,” said Dr. King.
Dr. Linda Malone-Colon, Executive Director of The National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting planned and delivered (with an extraordinary group of her professional peers, students and friends) a two day dynamic conference that ended not only with hope, but with motivation and activation of the new Marriage Index (availabe at https://secure.hamptonu.edu/contribute/ncaamp/) More details also available at:
Prolife activist Pastor Stephen Broden was a panelist at the conference, and Alveda King was on hand to engage in positive dialogue. The august body of leaders dialogued and sometimes debated about whether abortion and gay marriage belonged in the discussion, but a general consensus seemed to agree that it was appropriate to at least discuss the abortion and gay marriage situations in context with the issues facing the African American family. Dissenters who called some issues including abortion, gay marriage, poverty and high rates of incarceration in the Black Community peripheral or non-related to the marriage debate were in the minority. One panelist even warned against a “silo” approach, isolating one’s personal or what they consider the “main issue” from the big picture. Cultural diversity tempered with collective reasoning was the tone of the day.
The purposeful conference ended with remarks by Hampton President William Harvey commending honorary chairmen Former National Football League coach Tony Dungy and Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy and his sons, Donald and Bubba; the organizers, and the diverse group of more than 100 religious leaders, psychologists and other counseling professionals, public health workers and others affiliated with groups that range from the conservative Focus on the Family to the Omega Psi Phi black fraternity, for their participation.