Archive for the ‘Black Love’ Category

A new poll by The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation reveals African-American women put less of an emphasis on the importance of marriage then their White Counterparts.

We’ve all read the news features attempting to illuminate the reason as to why there are so many single African-American women.  A recent survey by The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation  suggests that African-American women place less of a value on marriage than their White female counterparts and both Black and White men.

In an article titled Survey Paints Portrait of Black Women, the Post revealed that just 40 percent of Black women polled viewed getting married as “very important” compared to 55 percent of White women, 47 percent of Black men and 54 percent of White men. They were also the most likely to think that marriage was not important at all. Very interesting stuff. The study also showed that Black women place a higher value on free time, being religious and being attractive than the other three demographic groups polled.

This very revealing study leads me to question whether the reason for the marriage gap in the black community is the cause for these attitudes or whether these attitudes are the reason for the marriage gap? Have three hundred plus years of attacks on the Black family structure, by both internal and external forces, made African-American women give up on the idea of marriage as a real possibility for themselves? Listen to the analysis of Towan Isom, a 39 year-old who owns a public relations firm in D.C.

“I can go to school. I can be successful. I can make money. I can have a career. That is in my power to control,” she said. “Finding a husband — that would be great, but that’s not in my power to control.”

Certainly one can live a good, fulfilling life without being married. But I would argue that out of all the ethnic groups in America, African-Americans would benefit the most from a two-parent family structure. The two parent structure not only provides children with the best change for success, it also allows the pooling of financial resources which is especially critical in times of financial crisis such as these. Just look at the chart on this page.

I find it very disheartening when women feel that marriage is less important than men. Not because I’m a chauvinist, but simply because I think women under-estimate their impact on men. I’m convinced that when it comes to relationships, a male’s standards are largely determined by the demands put on him by the pool of females he interacts with.  If women up their standards and expectations, men will follow suit.

But that’s my two cents. How important is marriage to you in the year 2012? Does this poll accurately reflect the views of yourself or African-American women you know.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years or so, you’ve probably read or heard dozens of news stories and features on marriage and African-Americans. To me, they all pretty much read the same…They give some horrible statistics and talk about how hard it is for Black women to find “good black men. (You know, since we’re all either in jail, gay or dating outside of our race.)

Adding fuel to the fire is a new book by a Black Stanford Professor named Ralph Richard Banks. His book, Is Marriage For White People?  is getting a lot of attention, both in the black community as well as in the mainstream media. In an interview with Time, Banks said educated and successful black women are more apt to look “down” (for black men in blue collar jobs) than “out” (as in out of their race). The conclusion Banks comes to is that it is time for Black Women to start looking outside of their race for potential husbands.

It’s a theory that I’ve heard expressed plenty of times, but usually within the confines of the Black Community. It’s not so much the thought of masses of black women dating outside their race that bothers me as it is an uneasiness with the mainstream media’s interest in a book with this type of editorial slant. There just seems to be something very condescending about it, like they are embracing the idea that dating White people is the solution to the problems for the Blacks. It smacks of paternalism to me. Why no coverage of books about Black Love?

In almost every story, I see all these pictures of beautiful, smiling sisters snuggling up with white men while reading that it’s damn near impossible to find a black man who can read and keep his ass out of prison. I know that as a group, African-American men have alot of areas to improve on, but is there anything positive has ever come from these types of stories?All they do is divide black men and women and continue driving a wedge between us instead of bringing us together.

The problem with stories like this is that they play out like some type of dark, adult Fairy Tale. In order to be saved from the brutish Black man, Black women must lay aside their natural preference and submit to the White Knight, who will wisk them away to a beautiful castle where good credit and children with “good hair” await them.

It’s not only the media who portray this falsity, it’s also black women themselves. After decades of choosing the wrong Black men, they date outside their race, find a white man who meets their requirements and then suddenly become the “expert” on these matters. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a frustrated black woman threaten to “go to the other side.” The truth of the matter is that men are men and all of us are capable of being equally trifling.

Let me leave you with this scenario: There are two equally attractive, educated female black accountants. One steps outside her social circle and falls in love with a black carpenter. The other decides that since she can’t find a black man that meets her requirements, so she marries a white man she hopes she can learn to love…Who settled more?