Monday, August 08, 2011

Monday Take Away or Take OUT

Hello... its Monday of a new week and we are charging upward and forward with gusto. My in-box was belly full and it took me some time to get around to answering, acknowledging or deleting all that mail. Unfortunately,I didn't get as much mail as I would like concerning this forum, but never you mind that because I know that all of you are checking in at some point or another. If you check our live wire feed in the left margin, you can see who is coming to this site and from where they are coming from. So, here's a big shout out to my new friend Miss Haley from South Arkansas, folks in Star City, Hazen, Lonoke, Mena, Pine Bluff, Conway, Fort Smith and props to all of Central Arkansas for staying on point with COP/24/7. Come my peeps, hit that "follow me" button and tell the world that you want to follow the platform that will keep  you locked and loaded to what's really going on and then some! Do it TODAY!

COP 24/7 Special
Interracial fix for Black Marriage?

COP 24/7 is always on the hunt for interesting and engaging items to share with our readership and this article was forwarded to me from a contributor who believed that it would make the cut in this forum and lo and behold, it did. Originally found in the Wall Street Journal online website, this article muses about the continuing dilemma of the marriage paradigm in the Black community, with Black women unable to discover availablity marriage material within the race and the impact of the widing gulf of educated black women seeking counterparts to share their lives. This is a snapshot of the article, for the entire piece go to www.

[BMARRIAGE2]"At this point in my life," says Audrey, age 39, "I thought I'd be married with children." A native of southeast Washington, D.C., and the child of parents who are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary, Audrey seems like the proverbial "good catch"—smart, funny, well-educated, attractive.

Audrey earns a good living, too, with an income from management consulting that far surpasses what her parents ever made. Her social life is busy as well, filled with family, friends and church.

Only about one in 20 black women is interracially married; they are much less likely than black men to cross the race line.

What Audrey lacks is a husband. As she told me, sitting at a restaurant in the fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood of the nation's capital, "I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me."

Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U.S.: black women. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals. Three in 10 college-educated black women haven't married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed.

What explains this marriage gap? As a black man, my interest in the issue is more than academic. I've looked at all the studies—the history, the social science, the government data—and I've spent a year traveling the country interviewing scores of professional black women. In exchange for my promise to conceal their identities (in part by using pseudonyms, as I've done here), they shared with me their most personal experiences and desires in relation to marriage and family.

I came away convinced of two facts: Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.

Audrey and other black women confront a social scene in which desirable black men are scarce.

Part of the problem is incarceration. More than two million men are now imprisoned in the U.S., and roughly 40% of them are African-American. At any given time, more than 10% of black men in their 20s or 30s—prime marrying ages—are in jail or prison.

Educationally, black men also lag. There are roughly 1.4 million black women now in college, compared to just 900,000 black men. By graduation, black women outnumber men 2-to-1. Among graduate-school students, in 2008 there were 125,000 African-American women but only 58,000 African-American men. That same year, black women received more than three out of every five law or medical degrees awarded to African-Americans.

These problems translate into dimmer economic prospects for black men, and the less a man earns, the less likely he is to marry. That's how the relationship market operates. Marriage is a matter of love and commitment, but it is also an exchange. A black man without a job or the likelihood of landing one cannot offer a woman enough to make that exchange worthwhile.

But poor black men are not the only ones who don't marry. At every income level, black men are less likely to marry than are their white counterparts. And the marriage gap is wider among men who earn more than $100,000 a year than among men who earn, say, $50,000 or $60,000 a year.

The dynamics of the relationship market offer one explanation for this pattern. Because black men are in short supply, their options are better than those of black women. A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that's not so for black women.

If many black women remain unmarried because they think they have too few options, some black men stay single because they think they have so many. The same numbers imbalance that makes life difficult for black women may be a source of power for black men. Why cash in, they reason, when it is so easy to continue to play?

Black women who do marry often end up with black men who are less accomplished than they are. They are more likely than any other group of women to earn more than their husbands. More than half of college-educated black wives are better educated than their husbands.

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