Marriage eludes the high-achieving Black woman

I think that the reason we Black women are a little bit obsessed (in a positive way) with the Obamas (at least all of my friends), is because it’s so wonderful to see an educated Black man (and did I mention, the President!) in love with his beautiful Black, educated, and strong wife. I swear I was absolutely giddy when they shared that dance at the Inauguration Ball. Hot, right?

Not that there is a problem with interacial marriages or relationships, I am a completely happy product of the multi-racial party that resulted in my birth. However, it is refreshing to actually SEE that a relationship like the Obamas’ exists because, unfortunately, there is not a lot of representation of the positive and loving Black family unit that the Obamas have been portraying in the media or even in the Black community. Especially a family unit where the wife is educated and about her business just as much as her husband is. Go do some research on the Black community and single motherhood if you dont believe me. Oh, also count the number of Black television shows, movies, etc. that depict a Black educated woman in a loving relationship with a Black man. The Cosby Show doesn’t count. It is no longer airing. Great show, though.

In relation to the topic, I wanted to share an article entitled, “Marriage eludes high-achieving black women”, by Brian Alexander from MSNBC.com. Click here to read. Brian appears to be a Caucasian male and a doppleganger for Mickey Rourke, but he is speaking to my soul! I have long since had the opinion that an education limits the Black woman’s dating options. This opinion was formed not only from personal experience and observation, but also from seeing clients and my friendships with other educated Black women. It was almost validation to read this article and that’s why it is on this blog. Because I think it is a positive thing that people are being made aware of this social issue.

Highlights of the article….

*There are more Black women attaining a higher education than there are Black men.

*The rate of childlessness has increased in educated black women.

*Fewer highly educated black people having children means that they cannot pass on those advantages and knowledge.”
* This trend defeats the goal of affirmative action, argue some demographers. The idea behind assuring that blacks had access to higher education and graduate school was that after a generation or so, African-Americans would reach a kind of achievement parity after generations of suffering educational and career restriction. But if black women, who comprise 71 percent of black graduate students, according to the census data, do not have children, the rate of achievement reaches a kind of familial dead end.

* The disparity in education is important because Americans have a strong tendency to marry those with equal levels of education, a trend that has only grown stronger since World War II. One of the Yale researchers indicates that “since there are fewer [Black] men with the same education…either have to find another group you can marry or you are out of luck. You have nowhere to go.”

*Highly educated black men tend to “outmarry” (marry outside race, religion or ethnicity) at a higher rate than black women, researchers say. Think of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates or Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Both married white women.

*Black women are either much more reluctant to marry outside their race, or do not have the opportunity to do so. Yale sociologist Clarke believes that Black woman deal with both at the same time.

In conclusion, I say…what are we gonna do about this disturbing trend?

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