I'm a 36-year-old African-American man born and raised in Detroit. When I was 20 years old, my then girlfriend and I were shacking up with a newborn son. There was no stability, and there were no real plans to be married.
One night, I was listening to our local talk station and I was astounded to hear a woman's voice calling a young lady an "unpaid whore" and a bad mother for living with a man she wasn't married to and having his babies. Initially, I thought you were terrible for being so judgmental, but when you explained that your concern was for the well-being of the children, I was profoundly affected. I thought about my infant son and it became clear to me immediately that I was putting him at risk for any number of negative outcomes simply by not being married to his mother.
My girlfriend and I stopped shacking up and a year later I laid down my life for them. We've now been happily married for 14 years, and we have another son. I mentioned my race earlier only because statistically 72 percent of African-American children are born to unwed mothers, and for the past 15 years, I've tried to spread your message throughout my peer group. Because of you, I am my children's father and my wife's boyfriend, and I understand the importance of being financially responsible for my family.
You are a treasure. I so love and appreciate you, and thank you for your courage and