>More black men marrying non-black women–and why it’s not our problem

>Another installment of the black-women-are-being-abandoned-by-black-men series by the media has been published today.

It is a familiar lament of single African-American women: where are the “good” black men to marry?


A new study shows that more and more black men are marrying women of other races. In fact, more than 1 in 5 black men who wed (22 percent) married a nonblack woman in 2008. This compares with about 9 percent of black women, and represents a significant increase for black men — from 15.7 percent in 2000 and 7.9 percent in 1980. Sociologists said the rate of black men marrying women of other races further reduces the already-shrunken pool of potential partners for black women seeking a black husband.

“When you add in the prison population,” said Prof. Steven Ruggles, director of the Minnesota Population Center, “it pretty well explains the extraordinarily low marriage rates of black women.” 

Among all married African-Americans in 2008, 13 percent of men and 6 percent of women had a nonblack spouse. This compares with nearly half of American-born Asians choosing non-Asian spouses. 

“The continuing imbalance in the rates for black men and black women could be making it even harder for black women to find a husband,” said Prof. Andrew J. Cherlin, director of the population center at Johns Hopkins University. 

In other words: black women, if you haven’t nabbed a “good” black man now, your chances of nabbing a “good” continues to shrink as each day goes by.  It should be noted the findings are part of a study released by the Pew Research Center. The study found that interracial marriages between blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics now account for one in six new marriages.

A record 14.6% of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from each other, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That figure is an estimated six times the intermarriage rate among newlyweds in 1960 and more than double the rate in 1980.
Go back and read the first sentence of The New York Times article.

It is a familiar lament of single African-American women: where are the “good” black men to marry? 

A familiar lament of single African-American women. In other words, the writer is contending the disappearance of “good” black men from the dating pool is lamented by single black women. 

There’s no question that mainstream media outlets likes to take the tragic angle with many of its stories; it’s part of the model they operate on. And you can’t beat the tragedy of black women in America: educated, successful, childless AND without a husband. These type of stories, along with stories about the decline in fertility as women age or the chance of your baby having autism is related to how long you wait to have children, are meant to strike fear in the hearts of women. Reading the endless tales about the so-called shortage of black men (who, according to these articles, are either in prison or can’t handle a black woman’s success) could no doubt send one into a biological frenzy, wondering if they will ever find a suitable man to settle down and have children with (if that is what she desires).

The problem I have with these sort of doom-and-gloom stories about black women is that the writers and the news outlets automatically assume that black women are only interested in dating black men. They also assume that most successful black women are incapable of finding and keeping “good” black men. These superficial analysts and assumptions continue to plague articles and studies on the dating habits of black women.

As a black woman, the “shortage” of black men is not my problem. My fate is not connected to the fate of black men–or the black community. The number of black men getting college degrees isn’t my problem; it doesn’t affect whom I choose to date (as an aside, I’m sure many successful black men in this country would take offense to the notion there aren’t any “good,” successful black men). The number of black men choosing to marry non-black women and have biracial or multiracial children does not impact me as a black woman. A black man’s decision to date and marry whomever he wishes is not a problem for black women.

Many, many black women, like myself, are not limiting our options to only black men, so this “shortage” has no impact on us. Divested and self-actualized black women have the skills and the talents to lure in men of all races, ethnicities and nationalities. Self-actualized, confident, secure single black women are not sitting around, “lamenting” about the fact that there are no “good” black men. Self-actualized black women are not waiting on a black knight in shining armor to come and rescue us from our dark, gloomy days.

My livelihood and destiny are not intertwined with black men. Like Oprah said in her support for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama: I am a free woman.