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  1. #1 CNN Asks: Is Marriage For White People? 
    Black and single: Is marriage really for white people?

    By Dionne Hill
    CNN Producer

    (CNN) -- Mrs. Allen had it all.

    CNN's Dionne Hill is optimistic she'll marry, even though 45 percent of black women have never married.

    A career she enjoyed, a nice home, two adorable children and a husband. She shared her tools for success with me at an early age. She went to college, got married and waited until she was 26 to have her first child.

    The perfect life. The perfect plan. It was one I decided to model.

    My aspirations for both a career and family were set at the age of 12. I knew I could accomplish what Mrs. Allen, my fifth- and seventh-grade teacher, had. But as I approach 30 and measure the goals I had at 12 against the reality of life, the only thing I can check off that list is a college education.

    I am a statistic.

    And there are millions more like me. Forty-five percent of black women in America have never been married, compared with 23 percent of white women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey in 2006. Articles like the one published in the Washington Post two years ago could lead me to believe that it's because "Marriage is for White People."

    The difference between Mrs. Allen and me: She was white.

    The numbers, undeniably, are not in my favor. But they have never been. Born black, raised in a single-parent home and primarily educated in low-performing public schools, I am not supposed to be a success story. But giving weight to statistics in my personal life only contributes to a culture of fear surrounding marriage.

    This fear causes some women to make hasty decisions like staying in unfulfilling relationships that lead to unsuccessful marriages, which end in divorce (another dismal statistic). Or just the opposite: Women become so fearful of making the wrong choice, they find themselves surrounded by a moat with no bridge to their final destination: marriage.

    (snip)

    Mrs. Allen was white, but she was also part of a generation of people, like my parents, who married at an earlier age. Today, black women outnumber black men almost 2-to-1 in higher education. But white women are also surpassing white men in college enrollment and completion, according to the National Center on Education Statistics.

    What is a rooted example in the black community is also sprouting legs among America's other racial groups. I am part of a generation of Americans who are choosing to postpone marriage while they pursue their careers.

    My outlook: optimistic. My honest fear: It may never happen.

    If it doesn't happen, it won't be because of a widening gap in the education, employment and ambitions of black men and women. I will not attribute it to a lack of options, intra- or interracially. I know the numbers.

    On a macro level, the horizon is grim, but my personal experience reflects stories of black women and men who are married or very seriously considering it. Social and economic conditions are very strong influences, but so is the desire for love.

    If I remain in my current statistical category, a single black woman, it will be because I missed someone while gazing at the ancient obelisks of Egypt's Karnak Temple, partying with expats in Hong Kong or simply spending time with family and friends in America.

    It's more likely that the proverbial "The One" and I will find each other somewhere along the way. My life is not lived on a timetable or measured by how much sand has fallen in an hourglass.
    No, you will remain single because your priorities are you and your career. You don't have the time or interest to include others in your life except as passers-by. I happen to know some of these women (both black and white). Marriage and family usually aren't things that just happen to women these days. They take a lot of planning and negotiation. You have to realize that you are being unrealistic if you want the Bad Boy husband, the killer career, and the 1.8 perfectly self-actualized kids with the I.Q. of 180.

    You may have to make do with the average-looking guy, the ordinary job, and the loving but ditsy kids.

    CNN
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  2. #2  
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    I don't think being career-focused precludes marriage. It didn't for me. Even in my thirties, I had a wide range of "appropriate" men to choose from - men who were as educated as I (if not moreso), who were my socioeconomic equals. Black women are in a tougher demographic situation as far as those things are concerned.
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    Senior Member Molon Labe's Avatar
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    So instead of discussing how the lack of marriage may have effected the black culture negatively...
    I cannot believe they titled the story that. It seems more a story about the statistics, but they manage to shape it into a black/white issue.
    Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown


    The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
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    Senior Member LogansPapa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    You may have to make do with the average-looking guy, the ordinary job, and the loving but ditsy kids.
    ;) outstanding.
    At Coretta Scott King's funeral in early 2006, Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, leaned over to him and whispered, "The torch is being passed to you." "A chill went up my spine," Obama told an aide. (Newsweek)
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    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    Getting married is easy. When I started looking again, it took about 3 weeks to find Mr Smith...and I was already over 40, with 5 kids. :D
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member jendf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Getting married is easy. When I started looking again, it took about 3 weeks to find Mr Smith...and I was already over 40, with 5 kids. :D
    How did you meet Mr. Smith?
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    Senior Member samurai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jendf View Post
    How did you meet Mr. Smith?
    They were both assassins assigned to the same target... ;)
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    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I don't think being career-focused precludes marriage. It didn't for me. Even in my thirties, I had a wide range of "appropriate" men to choose from - men who were as educated as I (if not moreso), who were my socioeconomic equals. Black women are in a tougher demographic situation as far as those things are concerned.
    That may be true for you, but it is not true of a lot of the women I work with. They see it as an either or thing. Career or family and they feel like they need to choose one over the the other. I work with a lot of career oriented, high powered business women and many feel that with the amount of time that they have to invest in their career, they could not properly give enough attention to a husband and children. One would be neglected for the sake of the other or both would suffer because splitting time between the two would short change both.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    That may be true for you, but it is not true of a lot of the women I work with. They see it as an either or thing. Career or family and they feel like they need to choose one over the the other. I work with a lot of career oriented, high powered business women and many feel that with the amount of time that they have to invest in their career, they could not properly give enough attention to a husband and children. One would be neglected for the sake of the other or both would suffer because splitting time between the two would short change both.
    I'm not saying something doesn't have to give. Career and husband work for me; children were never going to be part of the equation, because (career or not) I have never been even remotely interested in having kids. Focusing my efforts in two directions has worked; I'm not saying I could have focused well in three directions.
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  10. #10  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Getting married is easy.
    No doubt. It's that whole staying married thing I've always found difficult.:p
    Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
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