Article I found online...READ IT!!

Behind the statistics about single mothers lies a complicated story about men
Betty Bayé

A friend recently took a European vacation with her man and expects to meet his parents later this year.
"Do you think he's the one?" I whispered to her when the other women around us weren't listening.
"Maybe," she said, flashing a very hopeful grin.
Later, it occurred to me that I have quite a few women friends, either in their 50s or close to it, who have never been married.
Mostly, they're solidly educated, well-read and well-traveled professionals and entrepreneurs. Yet, as together as they are, they remain among the African-American never-marrieds.
Don't get me wrong. Few of my never-married women friends sit around pining for some prince. They hardly have time. They're thoroughly modern; in fact, several haven't allowed the absence of a groom to deny them motherhood. Some are solo parents of adopted children and foster children, and a few have given birth the old-fashioned way, fully expecting to rely on "the village" (family, friends, church or such groups as Big Brothers/Big Sisters) to assist them with their parenting.
Still, plenty of life-long unmarried African Americans I know would love to marry. Or, as one put it, "to at least be asked."
Sadly, as many as a third of African-American women who harbor such dreams won't see them fulfilled if they limit their choice of mates to only African-American men.
Though my eyeballing is suggesting ever more strongly these days that younger African-American women aren't bothering to limit their marriage options to black men, the 2000 Census found that 73 percent of black-white couples were black men married to white women.
The dilemma for African-American women who wish to marry African-American men virtually shouted from the pages of the March Governing magazine.
An article about altering welfare policies to focus on fathers included a chart showing that the percentage of black children under 18 years old living with a single, never-married parent rose from 14.1 percent in 1970 to 28.7 percent in 1980, to 51.8 percent in 1990, to 63 percent in 2002. ( I think it's now 71%)Numerous studies over the years have given explanations for the absence of enough marriageable black men to go around.
Some key reasons include welfare policies that drove men out of poor black households, black men's chronic joblessness (their rates often are double and triple that of whites) and the government's war on drugs. For at least two generations now, that war has resulted in hundreds of thousands of African-American males spending their prime years for getting educated and marrying behind bars.
Other factors are homosexuality and the lopsided mortality rate for African-American men compared to every other group. A new study of health inequalities, for example, found that African-American men account disproportionately for African Americans' 83,000 "excess deaths" in any given year.
So, when all is said and done, the pickings are pretty slim for African-American women romantically interested in black men only. And the irony to me is how many Sundays such women sit in churches being lectured, mostly by married male preachers, that if they want to marry, it's their duty to do so with men with whom they're "evenly yoked" -- meaning men who are similar in faith, income, education and dreams.
"Easy for the preacher to say," many women mumble as they look around in the church, on the job and out in the world and see what's as clear as the noses on their faces: that most of the black men with whom they'd stand a chance of being evenly yoked aren't available.
Obviously, there's a need for more African-American men to get themselves together; to take more serious personal responsibility for their lives. But African Americans didn't create this imbalance between black men and women all by themselves. Nor can they fix it all by themselves. If we as a society are demanding that more black men become good husbands and responsible fathers, we must also strive to eradicate the social, economic and political policies that unfairly target black males to fail and that perpetuate the false notion that, in the words of one recent study, "the dramatic rise in African-American single motherhood is a capricious choice."

Betty Bayé reports on social issues with an emphasis on women and African-Americans. Her column appears Thursdays in The Forum. Read them online at;

1 comment

Anonymous | April 19, 2010 at 2:29 PM

What a powerful read this blog was and oh so true. I don't have an answer but agree with your conclusion about the need for more responsible black men. That said I do believe black men are strong and will see better days ahead in the future as they have steadily progressed in mind, spirit and responsibility since the abolution of slavery (that drug period was a thing the government introduced into our communities if you ask me). There's a reason our black men have always coveted by white women. Great blog! I'm scared of you my sister. - Haupi