Cards For Single Black Moms On Father’s Day ‘Still” Spark Controversy
Many of you know that Hallmark’s Mahogany Brand creates greeting cards specifically designed for African-American consumers.
Starting back in 2011, they created designs for African-Americans for Father’s Day, and a few of those celebrated Black mothers.
Hallmark spokesperson Kristi Ernsting, says that Hallmark started selling these types of cards at the request of customers to celebrate parents who play many different roles in their children’s upbringing. She adds that their goal was to celebrate mothers of all ethnicities.
“It’s a common request for people who have lost a parent and want a way to express to their living parent that he/she has been both mother and father to them. We also released one card that was specifically addressed to all mothers in our general Hallmark line. It is our goal to create cards for the wide range of people’s relationships so that everyone who seeks to connect in a positive way with others can find a card that will meet their needs.”
But why are these cards heavily marketed to African American Consumers?
Award-winning author, journalist and educator Wil LaVeist believes that there is a larger issue at stake when it comes to marketing these products to Black single mothers.
He writes “contrary to this cultural campaign by Hallmark and others, Father’s Day is not a holiday for black single moms.” He goes on to add that while he respects single moms, he believes that “a woman can never be a father and a man can never be a mother and that both parenting roles are equally unique and invaluable.”
By marketing ‘some love’ to single moms on Father’s Day, the role of dads is devalued, especially in a community that badly needs fathers to step up and be real parents. It’s also capitalizing on a self-inflicted wound. Society should be lifting men who are honoring their role.”
Even back in 2011, when many found the release of these nontraditional greeting cards a tad offensive, the demand for these products speaks for itself. According to sales reports, the cards are practically flying off the shelves, year after year.
This year they even started offering “To Dad on Mother’s Day” card in the general Mother’s Day line, as well as “Like a Mother” cards appropriate for many relationships.
Is Hallmark simply making a good business decision or should people of color be offended by any of this?
With 2 out of 3 Black homes solely ran by an African-American women, what are the effects, if any, do these cards have in celebrating single motherhood as a replacement for black fatherhood?
Are some people making too much of this or is this threatening the value system across our communities of ‘”male” fathers not being required to make a house a home?
We want to hear your thoughts on this subject?
The views expressed are that solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect WHUR or Howard University.
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