FOR THOSE OF US who esteem William Faulkner as the greatest of southern storytellers, one whose pages are crowded with historical implications, there is less mystery than many sociologists profess to find in the recent disintegration of black family structures. For Faulkner it was foreshadowed sixty years and more ago, especially in what is perhaps his greatest novel, The Sound and the Fury, and not there alone.
I am prompted to make this assertion by recent reports of sky- rocketing illegitimacy rates, white and black, especially the latter. What was considered too shocking for candid discussion only a quarter century ago is now becoming a sort of national norm. For black Americans, as of 1991, the illegitimacy rate surpassed 63 percent. For whites, it is almost 18 percent.
In what became known as the Moynihan Report in 1965, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, then a Harvard sociologist serving as a subcabinet official under President Lyndon Johnson, noted that a quarter of all black children were being born out of