Black, Single and Sad?
Can we finally put to all these “the state of black women” reports to rest?
For the past few years –remember that 2007 episode of Oprah revealed the statistic that 70% of African-American women were single? — the single black women has been the topic of countless articles and television segments. They say we are unhappy statistics who can’t find a good black man, and, oh yeah, we’re also looking for a network newsperson to do a roundtable interview about us so we can pour our hearts out. Please.
I’m a single black woman… and a mom. I was recently dating someone for a few months and before that I had been single for a long stretch of time. Was I looking for a great guy? Sure. But was I depressed and hating my life? Not at all.
I recently read this article full of online dating statistics, which claims that black women are the least desirable group to date among all ethnic groups, and closes with the statement: “…African-American women seem to face an uphill battle.”
I understand how the media machine works. A story is publicized and has some legs, so someone else writes another story, and then it just snowballs into a theme, and then it gets to the point where the Single Black Woman is an epidemic.
But we aren’t the only group facing challenges when it comes to love and marriage? In the 2007 article, “51% of Women Are Now Living Without A Spouse,” New York Times writer Sam Roberts analyzes census results and claims that this may be the first time in American history that more women are unmarried than married.
And while it is true, black women have the lowest marriage rates at 30 percent, according to the Census Bureau, about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women are living with a spouse. Why does it feel a bit like black women are being targeted? I’m willing to bet there are Latina, white, and Asian women out there who are single and in their 30s and 40s. I’m also willing to bet that some of them — not all — are unhappy about being single and not impressed with the selection of available men.
I find it hysterical that when a woman (especially a black woman) says she wants a man who is attractive, trustworthy, kind, makes a good living and is caring, she is labeled “picky.” I’m not saying men have to adhere to a Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas (What Chilli Wants on VH1) type of list, but in these times women better have great standards and stick to them!! We can’t just give men a pass to be less than good men because of the law of economics — supply and demand — is in their favor.
As blogger Sister Toldja put it: “Surviving the ghetto doesn’t mean you are a catch. Going to college doesn’t make you a good mate. Making a ton of money does not a gentleman make.”
Are you single and happy? Does being a single black woman make you feel like a statistic?