Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Black, Single, and Female

There is a New York Times article I came across a little over a week ago. It’s from December 20th. In the opinion section, there’s a subsection called Room for Debate. They have a topic up for discussion and then they have some experts offer their opinion.

This topic is started because a black woman is single and says her family and friends treat her like she has some condition that will never improve because the odds are stacked against her. This topic piqued my interest, but not for the normal reasons.

I’m not one of those people who is drawn to “black” issues simply because I’m black. I find myself interested in issues that affect cultures. I’m just as interested in the Jewish diaspora as I am the African diaspora, perhaps even more so because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent actions, but I digress.

Back to the black women who are destined to never get married because the odds are stacked against them. Based on my own world, I can say the odds aren’t good. The fiancé and I are having 8 women and 12 men in our wedding party. Only 2 are married, and those are the guys.

5 of the 8 women are in long-term serious relationships that could be headed towards marriage, but there’s no way to know for sure until someone proposes. And we have a boatload of single people at the wedding. In the under 35 range, there’s way more singles than couples.

Perhaps black folk are just waiting until later in life to get married. Perhaps too many black men are in jail, undereducated, under-churched, already fathers, etc. My friends who have really high standards (i.e., wanting a man to match their degrees, earning potential, love for the Lord, lack of parenthood, and good relationships with their mother and father) are painfully single.

I hit the jackpot when the fiancé found me. Even compared the guys my friends are dating, no one’s dating “resumé” looks nearly as good.

But is that what it’s about? Fitting a list of criteria? I don’t know. And I feel like I’m about to be even more out of touch since I’ll only be single for another month.

What do you think is the cause of all this black female singlehood?

4 responses

  1. silverneurotic

    My question is, is it really a cultural thing…or does geography play a bigger role. If the people in question were from smaller communities, rather than big cities (or close to)…would the numbers be different?

    January 4, 2012 at 11:14

    • Good question. I know as a general rule, African-Americans live in urban centers, so there are only small numbers of us even in smaller communities. But that could make a difference..

      January 7, 2012 at 00:16

  2. I gotta say I think if we were to focus our attention more on building healthy relationships this really wouldn’t even be an issue. Marriage is a nice commitment but it’s not everything. I have been married. And the commitment turns into merely a burden if the relationship is not healthy.

    People always ask if I want to get married again or if I want to have another child. And neither is an issue for me. I want a healthy loving relationship. The marriage/child are results of that. If I never got married again I wouldn’t care. I just want a loving relationship

    January 6, 2012 at 07:23

    • It’s interesting you say this. If you find that loving relationship, but stay unmarried, you’ll still fit that statistic of an unmarried black woman. I for one, think that’s bullshit! I have more than a couple friends who are in heterosexual life-long committed relationships with no intention on getting married. This article (and every socially conservative pundit) seems to think that shouldn’t be included because, what, a relationship isn’t good and stable unless it’s in a marriage? Ridiculous!

      January 6, 2012 at 23:10