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Marriage & The Black Woman

I think one of the saddest statistics within the black community is the number of women who aren’t married, and in some cases will never get married.

According to stats, more than two out of every three black women are unmarried, and they are more than twice as likely as white women never to marry.

Linda Young from Psychology Today writes:

“We have been hearing for several years that about 70% of black women are unmarried (including never-married, divorced and widowed). According to the 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS) of the U.S. Census1 nearly twice the percentage of black women (44.5%) as white women (24%) and Asian women (23%) have never been married. They also significantly outnumber never-married Latinas2 (32%).”

Young also writes:

“She was a 40 year old black woman with a Ph.D., ready to find a mate in a city that is only 5% black. One day a tall good-looking black man about her age approached her in the gym. He hadn’t finished college but was smart, funny and interesting and she was happy to go out with him. At the end of what she thought was a fun, easygoing dinner he said he was really attracted to her and tried to get her to stay at his place. She refused, telling him it was too fast for her but that she would love to see him again. His response? “Just because you have a Ph.D. you think you’re too good for me?” She was so taken aback by his comment she’s never forgotten it. That woman was me.”

Ralph Richard Banks, author of Is Marriage For White People, seems to agree with young’s implication that educated black women have a harder time finding a mate:

“One reason that marriage has declined is that as black women have advanced economically and educationally, black men have fallen behind. Nearly twice as many black women as black men graduate from college each year.Thus, not only are many college-educated black women unmarried, they are more likely than any other group of women to marry less educated and lower earning men. Half of college-educated black wives are more educated than their husbands.”

This ABC report touches on the issue, and is very interesting:

In my real life, I see the above reflected in the black women around me.

I have a particular friend who’s university educated, has a good job, and she’s unmarried. She’s attractive with a good figure, good sense of humour, and I think probably has all the desirable traits that a man would want in a woman. Unfortunately for her, the pickings are slim.

Also, my friend has a preference for black guys. This makes things even harder, because as far as I can tell, the only decent black guy in our little town is my brother:) And he’s married.

I bet you guys are thinking that she’s probably too choosy, but to be fair, all she wants is a guy who’s educated, ambitious, has a good sense of humour, doesn’t have any prior baggage (i.e. kids) and isn’t physically aggressive. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, but you’d be surprised by how hard it is to find such a black man, in our corner of the world. If she took away the lack-of-baggage prerequisite, then she might have a few more men to choose from, but that’s a deal breaker for her. It probably would be for me too, in all honesty.

Of course I’ve tried opening up her mind to dating outside our race, but she’s a little stuck in her ways with regards to thinking beyond the black man. Don’t get me wrong, she’s met the odd decent black guy, but the problem has been that none of those guys have wanted to commit. Of course as a woman, she thinks that the problem might be her, so she’s tried changing in order to attract the black man that will put a ring on her finger. As far as I can tell, unless she widens her dating pool, she’s onto a loser. Whilst black men in our corner of the world don’t have a problem impregnating black women, marrying them seems to present an impossible challenge.

Funnily enough, the married black men that we do know, are married to white women, and the black women who dared to date outside their race, are married to their white men. I’ve never really managed to figure out why IR couples don’t seem to have the same problem committing to each other.

I really hope this state of affairs changes soon for the majority of black women, it’s bad enough being considered to be beneath the notice of black men, but being considered not good enough to marry just adds insult to injury.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Are there any black guys out there who would like to weigh in and give their opinion on this subject?


  • willaful
    August 26
    5:54 pm

    Perhaps the people who are more likely to follow their heart are more ready to commit. Or maybe having to break through some kind of barrier to be with someone creates a feeling of investment that makes you more likely to commit.


  • iCan’t with black women who spout this nonsense. I wonder if they’ve had some Scientologist level brainwashing because for the life of me I can’t see what it is about black men that has them so dick whupped. I’ve had dick in so many varieties I should have a United Nations flag hanging over my bed. For me, black men have always been fairly low on my list of preferences. So many of them are so full of themselves that I’m like bleh. It got so bad at one point that they literally became invisible to me. I’m not mad at the black women who feel this way though, more international dick for me!

    The only problem I’ve ever had with interracial dating was meeting enough dudes who were open to dating black women. Here in the states, especially when I was young and living in the Deep South, white dudes were strictly about the blondes. We didn’t really have Hispanics or Asians. Once I found open minded guys I was off and never looked back. These chicks who have plenty of other guys to choose from and stick with black guys are just stupid. I can’t imagine being in a place where guys are open and staying at home picking lint out of my navel instead. All that international dick? I would live up to my reputation for sure! Bottom line is, black men are out fucking the rainbow, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. Black women should have bought a clue a long time ago and got their own. Instead, they’re wasting their prime man catching years on bullshit.


  • Toni
    August 26
    8:59 pm

    This is a real issue in the black community. However, the second a single woman who is looking for marriage mentions a height requirement (or something equally ridiculous), I roll my eyes and move on because it’s very likely they’ve been looking for the wrong thing for many years. And there’s no telling how many wonderful, interesting men they haven’t given the time of day to in search of some ridiculous ideal. Really, it’s like a man requiring a certain cup size before finding a woman marriageable. #GetAClue.


  • foosrock!
    August 27
    6:27 pm


    I hardly find height requirement ridiculous and please don’t quote the “when lying down” Spiel. LOL!


  • Toni
    August 27
    7:08 pm

    @foosrock!: I would never quote that.

    You may not find it ridiculous, but I do. Marriage is about so much more than ticking off a list of arbitrary physical requirements. No one is saying that a husband and wife shouldn’t have intense chemistry, but there are so many women who immediately shut down men without finding anything about them, then lament that there are no good men to marry. No doubt there are women who will get everything on a 30 plus-item list of things they require in a husband, but most won’t.


  • @Toni: to be honest, height has always been a consideration for me personally. I think it’s ok to not want a man shorter than you.


  • Toni
    August 27
    9:21 pm

    @Karen Scott: I’m not really talking about men shorter than you. I was referring more to women who have a tall ideal height, or some other less than vital list item, as a requirement for a mate. The woman in the clip said that her old requirement (requirement, not wish) was 6’5″. To me, that’s a signal that for many years she really wasn’t being realistic about what marriage is about, what she wants from it, and what kind of man could really make a good husband for her to build a life with. Now that she’s 34, she’s realizing that the requirement was not so important after all, and many of the men she turned down in her 20s for not fitting her list could have been good mates. Of couse, those men have now moved on, and despite cutting down her list, the pickings are slimmer than ever.

    At first glance, anyone would see a woman like her and think that being black is the only reason she is single. After all, she is beautiful, successful, educated, etc., but when you dig deeper you see other factors that may be contributing to her still being single.


  • katieM
    August 27
    10:18 pm

    @Karen Scott: At 4’9″, I really do want a man taller than me; someone who doesn’t think I’m weird or odd; someone who can have a conversation about any and everything.


  • I’m 5’9″. Dudes had to at least be 6’0″. I don’t recall any shorter guys approaching me, so it wasn’t an issue. My husband is 6’3″. I never liked freakishly tall guys. As it is, our son is estimated to be 6’7″ when he reaches his full height. If I’d married someone any taller I’d be dealing with a Shaq situation. Who wants tofeed all of that!?


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