The marriage rate for African Americans has been dropping since the 1960s, and today, we have the lowest marriage rate of any racial group in the United States. In 2001, according to the U.S. Census, 43.3 percent of black men and 41.9 percent of black women in America had never been married, in contrast to 27.4 percent and 20.7 percent respectively for whites. African American women are the least likely in our society to marry. In the period between 1970 and 2001, the overall marriage rate in the United States declined by 17 percent; but for blacks, it fell by 34 percent. Read more...
Yet every time I look around black women are single. And I mean single, not alone. There is a difference. Plenty of black women have healthy and hearty dating lives. I just wonder why black women getting to the altar still seems to be an issue. Particularly for educated, financially sound, well-traveled, high-powered, and ambitious black women. Read more...
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't,Maybe you'll have children,maybe you won't,Maybe you'll divorce at 40,Maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…What ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either– your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.
I no longer recognize marriage. It's a new thing I'm trying.
Turns out it's fun.
Yesterday I called a woman's spouse her boyfriend.
She says, correcting me, "He's my husband,"
"Oh," I say, "I no longer recognize marriage."
"How's your longtime companion, Jill?"
"She's my wife!"
"Yeah, well, my beliefs don't recognize marriage."
Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it's like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another's beliefs.
Just replace the words husband, wife, spouse, or fiancé with boyfriend, girlfriend, special friend, or longtime companion. There is a reason we needed stronger words for more serious relationships. We know it; now they can see it.
A marriage is a lot of things. Culturally, it's a declaration to the community that two people are now a unit, and that unity should be respected. Legally, it's a set of rights and responsibilities. And spiritually, it's whatever your beliefs think it is. Read more...