Melissa Harris-Perry Looks at the American Family

I love me some Melissa Harris-Perry, the MSNBC host, author, and Tulane University professor. This past Saturday, I came to love her even more for the lengthy segment she did on “The American Family.” She and her guests discuss families headed by same-sex couples—but Harris-Perry smartly sees our families as only one part of a larger picture that includes single parents, adoptive parents, and other forms of family that differ from the traditional married, opposite-sex parents raising their own biological children. She also looks at how conceptions of family intersect with issues of politics, race, class, and economics—going all the way back to the days of slavery. It’s a lovely broad view and well worth watching in full.

Harris-Perry’s guests were Brooklyn Law professor Marsha Garrison, MSNBC’s  Thomas Roberts, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, Johns Hopkins professor Lester K. Spence, and the Center for American Progress’ Aisha Moodie-Mills.

The best line of the show comes from Harris-Perry herself, though, who observed, “Even Jesus was born to an unwed mom and raised by a doting stepfather.”

MSNBC has put the segment online in three parts. You’ll be prompted to click to the next when one finishes. (MSNBC runs a 30-second ad at the start of each one. Can’t be helped.)

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