Friday, November 27, 2009

Slavery Isn't to Blame for Single Parents

Marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of work to keep a marriage going and even more to keep it open, fun and functional.

The payoffs, however, are many and all positive. Divorce and single parenting are devastating to the offspring, the single parent and the community. Married people are happier, live longer and produce more positive and creative outcomes for society.

All groups are experiencing divorce and conflict in marriages but Black Families are really under pressure to split up or never get married in the first place. In fact, the situation has gotten so bad that there were a higher percent of married couples during slavery than today. That is a stunner! Take a look at this data.

Marriage Portrait• In 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared, “I have a dream,” more than 70% of black families were headed by married
couples. Today, 40 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, married couples head only 46% of black families.

• More alarming, 45% of black men have never married and 42% of black women have never married.
• Married black women declined from 62% to 31% between 1950 and 2002.
• By age 30, only 52% of black women will marry compared to 81% of white women, 77% of Hispanics and Asians.

• Only 6% of black men and 2% of black women marry Whites.
• In 1970, just 33% of black women, age 20-29 were unmarried. By 1992, that number exploded to 70%.

“Black men and women are less likely to be married and more likely to divorce when we do marry.” -The Black Commentator, Margaret Kimberley. Black Families - A Glass Half Empty and Half Full, April 23, 2004

Every church in America needs to urgently promote healthy marriages. But Black Churches must act today! We are losing Black kids and that is tragic.