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Example research essay topic: African American Women People On Welfare - 985 words

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In the article, So How Did I Get Here? : Growing Up on Welfare, Rosemary L. Bray raises some important issues dealing with the welfare system and peoples beliefs. Brays family had to turn to welfare after her father was gambling most of his paycheck at the races in the year of 1960. At that year Bray states that the poverty threshold for a family of five in the United States was $ 3, 560 and the monthly payment to a family of five from the State of Illinois wasa total of $ 2, 190. 72 a year. Bray offers this as proof to the false belief that people living on welfare are living comfortably.

Brays family was on welfare for eighteen years. Bray states that they survived by the kindness of strangers and friends, churches, and her mothers ability to save and use every penny wisely. Bray believes that her family utilized welfare the way welfare was designed to be used. The next generation did more than survive without the use of welfare; three of them went to college and the other two have decent jobs. Bray goes on to state that many people believe that the people on welfare are young, single African American women with many, many children. In all actuality, the people on welfare are white, single women with less children than most nuclear families.

Bray believes that this racial myth will cause damage to the welfare program. People believe that African American women are staying on welfare, having more children, and receiving more money. The truth is that a welfare recipient only receives so much money and it will not increase if that recipient continues to have children. The final myth that Bray wants people to recognize is that welfare does not make life easy; welfare makes it possible to barely survive. I chose this article because for me this is a personal issue. I am what people call a welfare child.

My mother met my father when she was 13 and my father was 23. They married when she was 16 and he was 26 in California. The rules of my mothers high school at that time stated that a married woman could not attend high school if she was married because a married woman was considered and adult. As everyone knows an adult cannot go to high school with young adults, so my mother never graduated from high school.

My parents started a family and had two daughters, my older sister and I. When my mother was 22, my sister 4, and I was 1 she decided that she did not want to be with my father any longer. She packed us up and left for Maryland. When we first arrived in Maryland we lived with my Aunt for two months in the projects and my mother went on welfare and we moved into our own apartment in the projects.

My mother was on welfare for 6 months. My mother went back to school, received her high school GED and then applied for a job as a secretary. From there my mother has taken a few college courses and she is now on the leadership team of Verizon Internet Solutions. My mother worked her way from being a single mother with two children and no high school degree to being one of the top people in a nationwide company. The oldest welfare child went to beauty school and is now employed and making a decent living with two children of her own.

The youngest welfare child, myself, is working her way through college for a dual degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. I wanted to tell my story because there is something that I do not agree with in Brays article. Although Bray and her siblings are successful, I do not believe that they used welfare for what it was intended for. I do not agree with her family being on welfare for eighteen years. There is no reason why any family should use welfare that long.

My mother used welfare for what it was intended for and she struggled. Welfare should only be temporary. I feel that Brays family made it a lifestyle. I feel that Brays mother should have tried harder to better herself along with her children by going back to school or getting a job. People may argue that then Bray and her siblings would not get the support that they need from their parents. Well that is entirely untrue.

My mother was there for me for all my childhood and continues to be there for me now. My mother always made quality time for her children no matter how tired she was or how hard it was for her. Another statement that I do not agree with is Bray saying that everyone believes that it is African American women on welfare. I have never heard that said, although I have heard people talking about white trash all my life. Just look at the Jerry Springer show which is host to all kinds of trash and mostly it tends to be white trash. I do agree with her other statement about people believing that welfare is a dream, when it is not.

I myself am guilty of believing the same thing. I worked at a market and saw women who would come in with food stamps from Maryland and West Virginia. Now I am old enough to realize that they were taking advantage of the Maryland welfare system and the West Virginia welfare system by deceiving both Maryland and West Virginia. Overall, I believe that Brays article is important for people to read, even if I disagree with many of the issues she discusses. I believe that she wants people to become aware of the fact that welfare is not what they believe it to be and they need to face the facts.


Free research essays on topics related to: married woman, african american women, people on welfare, west virginia, back to school

Research essay sample on African American Women People On Welfare

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