According to new research from Yale University, 42% of black women have never been married compared to 21% of white women, and the marriage rates of African-Americans continues to decline. Black women are the least likely group to get married in the U.S., and if they do marry an African-American man, those couples have the highest divorce rate in the country. What is happening to the state of the black family, and why are so many women unmarried?
Marriage is for white people
Marriage is hazardous to the health of black women
Black women are single by choice
Black men are in limited supply due to incarceration, lower education, and gay or bi-sexual men.
Standards of black women are too high
The perception of black women is negative
Lack of respect in the black community between men and women
The explanations as to why black women are single are varied, and yet there have been no concrete solutions posed to counteract this growing social issue. The solutions I found were to cure the symptoms but did not attack the real source of the decline of marriage for black women:
Black women should learn to date outside their race
Black women should lower their expectations and focus less on superficial qualities like looks, money, and body.
Black women need to learn how to communicate, respect and celebrate black men
Black women need to shed their bad attitudes
Black women need to stop having babies out of wedlock
There are 2.5 millions weddings on average each year, and it has become a $70 billion dollar a year industry. The role of any industry is to make money, so you would think there would be more research as to how to remedy the decline in black female marriages. I believe the issue lies in restructuring our education system. There are no classes in school that teach you how to have a healthy, balanced, respectful relationship. Many children are raised in single parent households, which lack the examples necessary to help children understand the relationships between men and women. Most children are fed the cinderella fairy-tale which places emphasis on finding a prince charming, who will sweep you off your feet and you will live happily ever after.
These fairy tales make no mention of the realities of daily life, the responsibilities of raising children, or any details as to what exactly happily ever after should be. It's time to educate both men and women so they understand what their requirements, needs, wants, and desires should be in a healthy relationship. African-american women and men are not cookie cutter figures who fit into the same mold that worked for white america. As slaves we were forced to accept the religions and practices of our white masters, even though they were foreign to us. We have been taught to prey at the alter of money and financial success, and have lost site of our true familial identity.
In our struggles to redefine it for ourselves we need to emphasize the importance of love, family and relationships, balanced with education and career success. As a community we need to come together and find the solutions to define our own values in marriage and move towards creating a nuclear black family that works for each of us.
Rebecca Brody is a Relationship Coach in New York City. She is the creator of She Caught the Crazy! If you need relationship advice or want to work with Coach Brody contact Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or go to www.TheLuvCoach.com. For more crazy stories visit www.SheCaughtTheCrazy.com