Monday, August 8, 2011

Why are so many black women not married?

I just finished reading an article written by Ralph Richard Banks for the Wall Street Journal, entitled An Interracial Fix for Black Marriages. (link included). The author states that it is difficult to find black men of 'marriage quality' for the nearly 70% of the unmarried black females across the nation. The author readily states that the number crosses all socio-economic groups and that less than 50% of black women will consider dating outside of her race. However, what I found most amazing is that according to online dating sites, black women are the partners least desired by non black men but are more desired by ethnic men other than black men. Hmmm, interesting. Especially when the author states;
"Black women who do marry often end up with black men who are less accomplished than they are. They are more likely than any other group of women to earn more than their husbands. More than half of college-educated black wives are better educated than their husbands."
The stats are alarming. There are approximately 125,000 African American women to approximately 58,000 African American men. 

"Because black men are in short supply, their options are better than those of black women. A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that's not so for black women.
If many black women remain unmarried because they think they have too few options, some black men stay single because they think they have so many. The same numbers imbalance that makes life difficult for black women may be a source of power for black men. Why cash in, they reason, when it is so easy to continue to play?"
The article proposes a remedy.
"By opening themselves to relationships with men of other races, black women would also lessen the power disparity that depresses the African-American marriage rate. As more black women expanded their options, black women as a group would have more leverage with black men. Even black women who remained unwilling to love across the color line would benefit from other black women's willingness to do so.
It's hard to resist the paradoxical possibility that, if more black women married non-black men, then more black men and women might, in time, marry each other."
I'm not sure why this article annoyed me as much as it does. The author is an African American man and thinks that most black women aren't married to black men because they are not up to par or because black men are just players. Really? Does the author not account for personal preference? Honestly, his thinking is the way a lot of the non-white men that I've been involved with think. But here is the truth as I see it:

It's black men that don't choose black women. 

I read a lot of the comments and they seemed to confirm my thoughts as many black men described what they hated about black women. Yeah...hated. It's sad to hear successful black men state that they can't get with AAW (African American Women) because we don't know how to act.  

Yeah, these are generalizations because all bigotry is based on that--but so are truths. 

"...drama is a daily part of my life as I shop or eat where I can support black business. Most of the clerks are AAW. The coldness and crude behavior from them as well as most black women makes me wonder sometimes if I've wronged them in their past. I consider myself responsible and financially secure. I'm without a criminal record, volunteer for various organizations and most important to me, I raised my daughter alone. Not trying to toot my own horn, but it seems to me that a black man is the last thing AAW want to see coming. Unless you bling, got a football or basketball contract, as a black man AAW attitudes tell me to keep steppin'. I'm not a perfect man, no one is and I'm not a ten, but certainly I can get up to an 7 and possibly 8 and three more quarters on a good day. Which brings me to this, I've chatted with Filipino's, Latino's, and other ethnics with favorable results and nice conversations. Read into to that what you want."
"As a young 29 year old educated black man working for a large corporation in San Francisco I can vouch for what you said. Black women were my preference for many years but finding one with a nice personality, attractive, and not a single mother was nearly impossible. The ones who did fit that discription weren't looking for me even thought I've never had any problem meeting women of every race you can think of. I can also tell you that AAW are very jealous. I had a girl who I was interested in the past but wasn't in to me verbally attack my white girlfriend for no reason. Claiming she was taking "their men" when in reality she wasn't even interested in me."
"As a black man, I find that this article kind of suggests that black men are moving away from black women. This is not true. I think black women have taken black men for granted, while white women have a certain sweet way of dealing with black men (more softer). This may not be true for all, but it seems to be the case with many black men. Many of my black friends say they are not well appreciated by black women."
I found the comments more telling than the article! Black women, don't get mad, LISTEN. Just stop and listen to what is being said about you and then I challenge you to show the world that this is NOT who you are.This includes myself. I spent one year where I did not date outside of my race and I did nothing but search for a black man to date. Black men did not want to date me! Predominantly I heard that I was too confrontational. What I didn't understand is why did the white men never say that? A Caucasian friend finally knocked sense into my head by asking me why I was trying to date to prove a point instead of trying to find true love. 

So guess what? I went back to dating for love and not for color. Anyways, I'm a proponent for interracial dating not a hater of black men. I suppose this is what annoys me so much. Who cares about color? I say stop worrying about why so and so is dating so and so and work on I'm doing.

What do you think?


  1. I completely agree with dating for love and not color. I'm a black woman who mostly dates outside the race. I have nothing against black men I just prefer to widen my options.

    They say there are plenty of fish in the sea and they aren't all the same type of fish. I've known a lot of successful black men who wont give me a chance because I'm black. I tell them, if you can't accept my skin color then you aren't in my target demographic.

    I want someone who loves me for me and not the color of my skin

  2. i'm probably not the most eloquent on this topic, but i always find it interesting that when someone wants to make a racial generality they have to find some reason it is concrete. basically, why write about stereotypes rather than actual people and what people are as individuals? granted stereotypes are a starting point for a lot, but it's the ability to get past the stereotype that's the problem for most. we all fit a stereotype in some fashion, but rarely do the stereotypes tell the whole story or define the person. i didn't choose to be white nor did i chose to be short. neither really tells the story of who i am. unfortunately, sometimes it's what stops someone from finding something interesting. oh well. rockon.

  3. I'm a woman who is black writing from Canada. Who you ultimatley choose as your life partner is not supposed to based on race, but on the qualites that each person identifies that they need to have to be emotionally fulfilled.
    While we can debate all we want about who dates who, the question is does it really matter? Everyone can provide ancedotal evidence proving or disproving one sterotype or another. Those things are not important and are not always representative of what is going on globally. The true heart of the matter should be are we finding love at all, regardless of race or ethnicity.

  4. Okay Pep...this one will be a little wordy :-D

    When I met my husband almost 18 years ago; he didn't even seem to be my type. I was a kid; shallow, and wasn't looking for a boyfriend, let alone a husband, but there was something about him that was special (obviously). I was a trailblazer, so to speak, when I was in high school, because all the guys had equal chances. Black, White, Mixed; we didn't really have any Latinos back then, but hot is hot!

    I don't consider the fact that I'm Mixed (with more things than anyone could possibly imagine LOL), and that my husband is White makes us different races. I'm partial to humans, and when that's the only racial restriction that you place on the love of your life; you have an easier time of finding the one.

    I LOVE men, all skin colors, and were it not for the husband and kids; I would be loving them physically as well as emotionally, but it's always been that way. In my 30s, I'm finding a lot more female friends, but guys relate to me and I relate to them. I think if we wouldn't limit ourselves to skin color; the world would be such a better place, because we're ALL the same race.

    As a mixed-race woman who identifies herself most with AAW; I say forget those trifling AAM that try to justify dating someone of a different skin-color by saying that AAW are too "this or that" and look for what makes you happy. To the men that used the actions of some trifling AAW to base your dating profile; I wouldn't give your weak ass the time of day anyway. If you can't be honest with yourself, don't give a weak explanation. I'm with my White husband because he got there before anybody else...and he's the love of my life. Not because there were Black thugs somewhere in the country. Good grief!

  5. It's an interesting article. The comments are interesting, also.

    I particularly found this interesting:

    "Some black women resist interracial marriage for a more primal reason. Long before Cecelia began her ill-fated relationship with her now ex-husband, she dated a white law-school classmate. They broke up because she couldn't imagine having children with him. "I wanted chocolate babies," she explained to me."

    I wonder how many black women feel this way.

  6. Being AAW and dating outside of my race means that other AAW will approach me and ask me how/why? When they are single I encourage them to take note of other races and they shake their heads and shy away. I don't remind them of their past relationships and how often they were 'wronged' by their men. I just say its your loss.

  7. This is the story of my life. I have no problem meeting men of any race but I try to date black men when possible. When you first meet, you both are on your best behavior but it seems like when I'm dating a black man I have to jump through hoops and put up with crap. Now they wouldn't take any crap from me so why don't they believe the same for them.

    The white and latino men that I date appreciate me for me and respect me for being a black female who knows what she wants from a positive relationship.

    Currently, I'm dating to find my future partner/husband and I don't care what race he is.

  8. Thumbs up natalieiw! I thought I was the only one that keeps getting into conflicts with the black men I've met.

  9. Okay, normally I don't leave a comment but I had to speak. I'm a AAW and I don't have a problem with race...,my problem is finding real men. I'm fairly large chested which means I get a lot of attention...and with slimming down and plumping the booty with a weight belt, I usually don't have a problem getting attention...HOWEVER, I get bored with most of the guys that try to talk to me. I personally don't think I will get married because I don't think I can find a man that can put me in my place...that's right I'm looking for an alpha male. Historical romances has ruined me for ordinary men..I don't want the sensitive guy...that's boring!!! I want that man that will tell me to Shut up and take it!! Now I'm not advocating

  10. I have traveled around a lot and know that how AAM approach women they are interested in varies by region.... So, I have a question. How do you know when a Non-AAM is interested in you? I am never sure. Sometimes I think they like me, but other times I think they are just being nice just as a cultural thing. My social groups are mainly black but I interact with all other races in passing. The situations are fast and touch-and-go which relies heavy on clues and body language which I am not comfortable deciphering. Dating has never been my strong suit and I just want to know so I know where I stand. Does anyone the rosetta stone for translating Non-AAM flirting behavior? Thanks.

  11. Good question! Much of my dating experience happened on dating sites so that by the time we met there wasn't much question as to attraction. But when that was not the case it was more difficult. For instance, the first time I dated outside my race was with a man I worked with. We became friends and I sensed mutual attraction but wasn't sure if it was just friendship or more. I basically waited until he showed me a sign and then I latched on to it. We hooked up and the rest is history. LOL. But that tactic might cause you to lose out on a potential date.

    Here is my advice; do the touch test. Normally we don't touch people that we are repulsed by, correct? Touch is a sign that you are comfortable with someone/or want them to be comfortable with you, or it is a flirtation. If you shoot wrong...well you can just pretend that it was the non flirty type of touch.

    Now if you don't think that you can do that because you barely know a person, think again. Because I had a man wanting to run for city council just approach me the other day and touch my arm 4x in the span of two minutes while he explained why he was a good candidate. It did weird me out a bit (as I was not attracted to him) but I will certainly remember him.

    One thing to remember is that AAW are notorious for dissing white men that approach them so it is even harder for a white guy to take that chance. Don't wait and miss out just pay attention to the vibes, maybe drop a question about relationships to determine if they will say they are single. You don't want a guy that is just looking for 'a walk on the wild side' unless that is what you are looking for.

    Recently I missed out big time by not responding to any of the flirt signs. I had called a plumber and he was soooo damn cute. Youngish, tanned, fit like a track star and so cornfed it would make you want to curl up into a big ball of happy just to hear him talk. He talked and talked and began making up excuses to stay around even after he fixed the problem. He fixed the sink and cleaned out a pipe and said he wouldn't charge me for it. Then while filling out the invoice we talked about barbecue, his recent trip to Chicago, he dropped that he was single.

    But then my daughter turned and scowled at me and I ended up just getting his card where he put his daily work hours (including days off). After he left my daughter exclaimed, 'I can't believe how bad you two were flirting with each other!'

    Haha. But I still have that card. Anyways I suppose I'm saying to take a chance because you only have this one opportunity to live the life that you want.

  12. Thanks for the quick response. Pep, I'm scared. I will try it though. Now where can I find you to jack you up in case it goes down really bad.

  13. I'm forwarding this article to all my single girlfriends. I hope they take to heart. I love your outlook on life and I hope you call that plumber and keep us updated on the outcome. Just so you know, we're best friends Pep, "in my head!" To quote the great Wendy Williams.....

    Ladye T

  14. This is excellent advice, Kim:

    "Here is my advice; do the touch test. Normally we don't touch people that we are repulsed by, correct? Touch is a sign that you are comfortable with someone/or want them to be comfortable with you, or it is a flirtation. If you shoot wrong...well you can just pretend that it was the non flirty type of touch."

    Men notice if a woman touches them for no apparent reason. We still have to decide if it's just a friendly touch, or something more, but it definitely says she doesn't have an impenetrable wall that could never, ever, under any circumstances, be breached.

  15. @ Anonymous, In my opinion it is good to be scared. Want to know why? Because that is what makes you uniquely you. If a guy is attracted to you then perhaps he is attracted to that part of you that would be nervous to approach him.

    So not to be super analytical about that but if this fails um's going to freaking smart. I know because it's happened to me and to most people that have the guts to put themselves out there. Men go through it everyday. Let me know how it turns out!

  16. @Ladye T, thanks. The plumber was super sexy but...Mmmm...there is another guy and we will just have to see what happens.

  17. Articles like this make me sad. Chalk it up to naivety or lack of experience with men in general, but I don't understand all the lashing out at black women. Men in general complain about their wives/girlfriends. This has been a long running joke for eons. Married with Children anyone? Yet, when black men complain about black women, it makes us completely undateable/not marriage material/hell not even worthy of respect? I never see non-black men make videos talking about how they hate ALL of their women just because one treated them wrong. Asian American men are often left single and they voice their frustrations, but they rarely, if ever lash out to the point of just being so hateful. And to hear that so many black men feel that way...I'd be lying if I said it wasn't damaging to the self-esteem.

  18. I agree with many of the things mentioned in this article(i didn't read all comments,so i apologize in advance if i mention sth that has been mentioned before).However,there is something that all black women must take into consideration: Move!Yep,that's right.Move.There are so many black women in America,in some areas is like being in Africa(lol).Unfortunately,those areas have become ghettos,where women don't receive the best attention.Has any of you ever considered coming to Europe?Or Asia?Ok, i know couples where the woman is black and the man is asian are rare,but still,why not give it a shot?And what about the first choice?What about Europe?I for one,come from Greece,and i am telling you that black women here are in high demand.Do you know why?Coz they are so rare.Here,we consider them as something exotic and adorable.You will find that there are more Greek men that are married to a black woman here than there are black men married to a Greek woman.And yeah,of course there are racists here,as there are in all countries(although here racism exists almost solely against foreign men,not women.That's why women from all countries like Greek men so much.Showing respect to a woman is the highest honour a man can achieve in his life :) ).But this is an entirely different matter to discuss coz racism exists everywhere.
    I am sorry if i have caused any misunderstandings due to my bad English or ignorance :)


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