“Is marriage worth it for black women? These women say, ‘Yes!'”

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http://thegrio.com/2012/07/26/is-marriage-worth-it-for-black-women/

This article asks the question, is marriage worth it for black women? This challenges whether or not marriage is even desirable to black women for three reasons. First, African-American marriages are more likely to end in divorce than Whites and Asians. Second, “certain research studies” question whether or not marriage is equally advantageous between men and women since statistics show that married women are more depressed, less successful, and less healthy than single women. Lastly, with the falling employment rate of men, marriage can present economic and emotional burdens that may outweigh the positives. Despite these three points, black women are still saying yes, marriage is still desirable and it is very worth it. Blacks need to work together to strengthen and empower the institution of marriage. The writer, Ama Yawson, ends with a hopeful tone by saying that even though the statistics and the numbers may make the thought of marriage seem pointless, readers are encouraged to not give up on it. If a person desires marriage then they should fight for it.

This article is a great example of how the institution of marriage, or lack there of, during slavery affects marriage between blacks today. By the age of 30, only 52% of black women get married as opposed to 81% of white women and about 71% of Hispanic women. As I read this article, I could not help but draw parallels between the period of slavery and today. During slavery, women and men did not live in a traditional husband-wife household. Plantations, even states, separated families so the children lived with the mom without the presence of a father.  Not saying this for all men and all families, but for the most part, the lack of a father’s presence has been missing since slavery.  A lot of women took care of and provided for themselves and their children. As a result, Black women then developed the stigma of being too independent and driving men away with her dominance. Marie-Gabrielle, a black and single CEO in her twenties was quoted in the article stating that she “bemoans the negative media image of black women as not being worthy of love and protection from men and or society’s institutions.” This negative image stems from stereotypes that were created long ago. This negative media image is a continuation of the Jezebel stereotype and the idea that black women are not “ladies”. They were not seen as Victorian ladies, therefore they were thought of as being unable to love or be loved. Since slavery, blacks had to fight to upkeep their marriage due to distance and for whites to see their marriages as legitimate. Back then Black women were unable to enjoy the freedom of an “ideal marriage” and today almost half are struggling just to get married at all.

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One thought on ““Is marriage worth it for black women? These women say, ‘Yes!'”

  1. I agree, I think that a lot of the problem black relationships face now are effects of slavery, particularly that of the unstable family and broken family unit. I think that these cycles keep recycling themsevles, and that black people need to try especially hard to dispel these stigmas of black women who are to be blamed for not being married and to work against the stereotypes of black relationships and break these cycles.

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