In a recent television appearance, I discussed my appointment to a presidential commission called “The Social Status of Black Men and Black Boys.”
I called fatherless households America’s top domestic problem, a particularly severe phenomenon in the black community where nearly 70 percent of kids begin their lives in households with unmarried mothers.
I then received the following letter:
“Dear Mr. Elder:
“I saw your interview today. … I wanted to share some information about this.
“In the summer of 1969, I was a first-year obstetrics and gynecology resident at a hospital in New Orleans. I do not know if you are familiar with Charity Hospital. Unfortunately, it was closed by Hurricane Katrina. Up until then, it was nicknamed ‘Big Mother’ because most Black people in New Orleans were born