[GSMITHBOOK] I was perusing the Los Angeles Times and came across this article about “Black Marriage Day.” I stopped, of course, because I wanted to know more about this. What is Black Marriage Day all about? Then I read the article which says in part:
Other black couples will be marking the eighth annual Black Marriage Day this weekend, by attending workshops, black-tie dinners and other activities. Some groups have held events throughout the month, although Black Marriage Day, which celebrates matrimony in the black community, falls on the fourth Sunday in March. So it’s this weekend.
The founder estimates more than 300 celebrations are being held this weekend. The aim is to try to stabilize, if not reverse, the trend of non-commitment within the black community. According to 2009 census figures, 41.9 percent of black adults had never married, compared to 23.6 percent of whites. Studies show blacks also are more likely than other ethnic groups to divorce and bear children out of wedlock.
Experts blame the disparities in part on high black male unemployment, high black male imprisonment and the moderate performance of black men in college compared with black women.
And then I thought, “hme…” That explains a lot. But then again, it doesn’t. I am the only unmarried person in my black family, which is huge. My parents have been married 44 years and they are both in their early sixties (do the math). It is from them I’ve learned the lesson that, no matter what, marriage is forever. It is from them that I am so terrified of divorce on a personal level (which, in part, is the reason I never tied the knot in the first place, not because I don’t believe in commitment, but because I take it so seriously that I will only do it if I am absolutely sure that it is with the right person, for the right reasons, at the right time). I guess I project my own reality on the rest of the universe and so I didn’t realize there was this “crisis” in black marriages (as compared to the rest of the population), that so few blacks got married in the first place (thought it was just me), that the rate of divorce is so disproportionately high. Wow.
Hme…It is true that I and many of my Black female contemporaries lament the lack of eligible black men to go around. Not to say there aren’t any, but surely, for every one eligible professional bachelor who is commitment minded, etc, etc, there are about 20 eligible females (many would beg to differ on this and still live in a world, in their own minds where most black women are fat, under-educated and a welfare mother with five kids with five different guys). That is far from reality for the average black woman today. There are all these single, accomplished, attractive, eligible, wonderful black women without mates; or, out of desperation, they get married to a man who is not their “equal” and the marriage fails because she feels she has a gigolo on her hands and he feels emasculated, and all these other women are trying to steal this “catch” away and often do.
Hme…I guess those black marriages that do last, for how ever long they do, should be celebrated these days. Maybe the stats are right and it is a rare phenomenon – whatever the reason. Although, I don’t necessarily believe the stats. I think the institution of marriage, regardless of race, is in trouble.
It sure is disturbing that such a thing as “Black Marriage Day” even needs to exist….I mean, what the heck?! How did things get so bad? Are things that bad?…….And you know what? Is it really that important? Is getting married really that big a deal? I mean, as a professional woman who writes for this divorce blog and who sees and hears the things she sees and hears, I just wonder what the fuss with marriage is really all about? I mean, in the final analysis, black, white, pink or striped, why don’t people celebrate a single, independent, contented life that is well lived?
Or is that an oxymoron?
Well, hey, buy a black marriage day trucker hat from our store to commemorate the occasion.