Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is viewed as the scourge of American society with inner-city fathers often dismissed as "deadbeat dads."
But according to scholars Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson, the significant economic and cultural shifts that have transformed society at large have also revolutionized the meaning of fatherhood and family life among the urban poor.
These mammoth changes, Edin and Nelson say, are more responsible for this new familial paradigm than any character flaws or a lack of responsibility in the fathers.
As an NFL player, Chad Johnson patted a lot of men on the butt when he liked their work, but on Monday, defendant Chad Johnson found out that one Florida courtroom was not the place to play that game.
After Johnson patted his lawyer on the rear, Judge Kathleen McHugh rejected Johnson's plea to a probation violation in the domestic violence case involving Johnson and his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada.
Johnson was arrested in May for not meeting with his probation officer and was in court Monday to enter a plea.
The Trayvon Martin case doesn't involve a white-Bronco car chase, an NFL legend and a pretty blonde – just a black, unarmed teenage boy in a hoodie and a neighborhood-watch captain with a gun named George Zimmerman.
But the second-degree-murder case against Zimmerman – who says he killed Trayvon in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., last February out of self-defense – has the potential to be just as meaningful as the O.J. Simpson trial when it comes to race and the justice system.
Charles Ogletree, director and founder of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, told The Root that the "distinctive qualities" of the case – which centers around the issues of racial profiling, gun violence and self-defense laws – make it particularly relevant. "I will even go so far as to say that this will be the trial of the century that will say a lot about the court system of the 21st century," he said.
Former South African leader Nelson Mandela remained in intensive care Monday, two days after he was hospitalized with a recurring lung infection.
The increasingly frail Mandela was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria on Saturday. Later in the day, the South African president's office said the 94-year-old former leader was in a "serious but stable condition."
He was breathing on his own own and his wife was by his side, the office said at the time.
In an interview with the New York Times' Charles M. Blow that led the columnist to characterize her as "a tower of grace and a well of good will, a woman who misses her son desperately and is trying to make the best of an awful situation, the kind who perseveres through faith and is in search of forgiveness and peace," Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, spoke about preparing for Monday, when George Zimmerman will go on trial for killing her son.
The piece is a poignant reminder that Trayvon, commonly referred to as "an unarmed Florida teen," was also someone's son – and that someone has a lot at stake when it comes to what could be the most divisive American criminal case in decades.
On why she's collecting the things people give her in tribute to Trayvon:
The basic math points to the problem.
African Americans in Tennessee make up 17 percent of the population but 46 percent of the marijuana-possession arrests.
That's according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which says a new report shows wide racial disparities in marijuana arrest rates nationwide.
Getting arrested for marijuana possession cost 31-year-old Nick Smith of Austin, Texas his driver's license. For the past three years, he's had to ride the bus to work.
It takes him 45 minutes to get there. Driving would take 15.
Recently, Smith got an occupational license that lets him drive to work. It cost him $250 and a court appearance to get it.