The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


    Fewer blacks getting married; why?


    NEW ORLEANS (April 11, 2013)-In 2008, superstar Beyoncé Knowles had the world singing, “If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it.” It seems this chant fell deaf upon African-American ears.

    With black married power couples such as Barack and Michelle Obama and Beyoncé and Jay Z in the spotlight, one might expect young African-Americans to follow the trend of being married and having a family.

    However, African-Americans are the least likely group of people in the United States to get married, according to a recent Yale University study.

    The Huffington Post reported marriage rates in the United States have been declining steadily over the last decade. African Americans and those with less than a high school education have been marrying much less and later in life, if at all, than whites and those with more education. This is even more so the case with African-American women.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control National Survey of Family Growth in 2012, slightly more than one-fourth of all African American women – 26 percent – are currently married, compared with the rate of white women at 51 percent. These numbers indicate that fewer black women are walking down the aisles.

    And here’s another statistic: While the birth rate for American teens reached an historic low in 2010 – at 34.3 percent, the lowest in seven decades – black teens, along with American Indian, Alaskan natives and Hispanics, are more likely than non-Hispanic white teens to have more than one teen pregnancy, according to recently analysis from the Centers for Disease Control.

    And when you compare single mothers in the United States with those in other industrialized countries, single mothers here are employed more hours and yet have much higher poverty rates than their peers in other countries, according to the 2012 report “Worst Off: Single-Parent Families in the United States,” prepared by Legal Momentum, a group advocating for legal rights for women and girls.

    So in the face of such daunting data, why are we seeing a greater decline of marriage among African-Americans? In my opinion, many factors have contributed.

    It all ties in with the media. The media portrays African-American relationships as dysfunctional. Some of my favorite African-American romance films are centered on black dysfunctional relationships. Black men are portrayed as cheaters and liars who will hurt women either physically, emotionally or sometimes both. Black women are stereotyped as loud, angry and bitter over the way a man is treating them or how a man has treated them in the past.

    In the current hip-hop era, it is a constant to hear young black men rap about money, cars and women. Yet, none of them rap about monogamous relationships. It simply is not the cool thing to do.

    The more women these rappers have flocking around them, the higher their status in the rap game appears to be. This begins to dehumanize women as merely awards to their success.

    In the current top-charting rap song “Bad” by rapper Wale and Tiara Thomas, Wale opens the song with a short quote on his thoughts on monogamous relationships: “Monogamy or whatever you call it, I’m starting to think it [isn’t] for everybody. Most of us aren’t rushing into it, anyways…You [are not] rushing for love, and I [am not] up here to judge. So let’s neglect the ‘what if’s and make it do what it does.”

    The song speaks about a young woman’s fear of a committed relationship based on past experiences, yet her willingness to have sexual intercourse despite her vulnerability.


    Is it that the young black community is substituting sexual relationships for love, or do black women take pride in being independent women?

    Many African-American women apparently have embraced having a career and raising a family alone as a way of life. According to the 2010 Census data, the number of children living in single-parent homes has nearly doubled since 1960. Of those single-mother households 67 percent are African-American.

    The most recent census data shows the percentage of two-parent families dropped significantly over the past decade in all 50 states. Although the number of American households with children increased by 160,000, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million, according to  The Washington Times.

    It is not that black women do not want to be married. Rather, they are being misled by the media and simply do not know how to achieve this goal. Marriage is a commitment that is definite and life-changing.

    Black women should raise their standards and carry themselves with respect and put an end to settling for half of a man and uplift the morals and values of a real woman that demands respect. You deserve a ring on it.

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    Fewer blacks getting married; why?