Despite what you may have heard about Black women and marriage, I have good news.
First, let’s deal with the so-called bad news that you’ve probably been hearing in the media for the past 6 years.
In 2009, two researchers from Yale University released findings from a study in which only 42% of Black women were married. The media began running stories with titles like “Marriage Eludes High Achieving Black Women,” and “Why Are There So Many Single Black Females?”
These stories made it seem like Black women were doomed to single life. Everybody was trying to figure out why it was so hard for sisters to find a husband. We started hearing things like:
- Black men are intimidated by strong Black women
- Black men make less than Black women and therefore aren’t suitable partners
- Black men prefer to marry outside their race–they just don’t want Black women
With news like this, it’s easy to start feeling like something’s wrong with you!
Unfortunately, many sisters have been believing these myths. I hear it expressed in the fears and frustrations of women I meet every day. I’ve even read a blog post written by a sister in her 20s who is finishing up graduate school who concluded that based on the research, she probably wasn’t ever going to get married. She was quitting before she even got started!
This is the danger in letting stats and stories shape your beliefs about yourself, the opposite sex and about marriage. It’s not your fault, though. It’s easy to get caught up in the story that if you’re educated, Black and single, then you’re not marriage material. Think about most of the images of strong, successful Black women on your favorite TV shows. They’re often portrayed as side pieces, chronically single, or unable to maintain a healthy relationship.
But I’ve got good news! First of all, the stats are inaccurate. Two social scientists, Ivory A. Toldson of Howard University and Bryant Marks of Morehouse College from Moorhouse, showed that the Yale researchers were basing their numbers on women 18 and up. When was the last time you attended a wedding of an 18-year-old couple?!
Toldson and Marks looked at more realistic marrying ages. They discovered that 75% of Black women marry before the age of 35!
That’s good news if you’re a sister who wants to be married!
There’s even more good news. Continuing reading here