Fox News. The Los Angeles Times. The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal. These are just a few of the publications that have jumped on the media bandwagon, singing all praises to the controversial new book: “Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.” Penned by an African-American professor of law at Stanford University, Ralph Richard Banks uses his book to recommend succinctly that successful black women look outside the black race to marry. He suggests that this is a far better road to take than “marrying down,” or remaining alone. Citing many personal observations and analyzes of relationship data, Banks makes the case that there is no reason for highly successful black women to remain dedicated to the black man. In fact, he argues that many of the social ills in African-American society can be ameliorated by high-earning black women “marrying out,” thereby creating more stable two-parent homes for black children.
Banks counters the arguments made by many black women who are highly educated but may prefer marrying a blue collar black fellow or remaining alone. Forget what they actually want — the law professor-turnt-love doctor wants these women to realize that most successful black men have no problem “dating out.” Negative historical associations with white men and positive political intentions towards black men mean nothing. We’ve got to face the stark reality that there are 50% fewer eligible black men on the market than African-American women seeking mates. Deal with it — but don’t go it alone.
After all, what is the point of the most accomplished women in our community forgoing the chance to reproduce and pass on their cultured social abilities to another generation? Why allow their wealth to be drained in an economically mismatched marriage? How is the black community being helped in the long run by 42% of black women remaining forever single? Why not run from all these problems and marry a man from another race?
I get it. I totally understand where Professor Banks is coming from. As a black woman who is college educated, and no spring chicken, the fear of remaining single forever is there. So is the fear of white men, and the concern that no matter how intelligent and accomplished you are, you will only be seen as an experimental fling. I have felt the deep concern for the brothers being left behind, even as I have been secretly terrified that the more unconscionable among them might take me down with them. But more than anything, I am concerned with the media circus surrounding the black woman and her love life yet again — and sickened that it is a black man who is the main ring leader doing the profiting.