Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunday Is Black Marriage Day

Posted by Michele Olson

An article by Cindy George in the Houston Chronicle is a good benchmark of the type of articles trying to make everyone aware of what will be happening in many American communities this Sunday. March 28th, 2010 is designated as Black Marriage Day.

Why is a special day needed to highlight African American Marriages? Because that’s where marriage is falling the fastest.

The difference is most distinct for Americans in their early 30s. By that age, half of blacks have never married, compared with 31 percent or lower for other groups.
According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau reports, black females ages 35 to 44 are the only American women in their child-bearing years with lower marriage rates than men of the same race or ethnicity. By their early 40s, 31 percent of black women have never been wives, whereas 9 percent of white women, 11 percent of Asian women and 12 percent of Hispanic women have never been married.

The article writer visited with Kenyatta Phelps, a Prairie View A&M University sociologist who studies dating among black adolescents. She said there's not enough research to fully explain declining marriage rates among black Americans. Potential reasons include: delayed marriage for all groups including black adults, more homosexual relationships and high rates of black male imprisonment. In her social psychology research, she has found that black children have different socialization experiences and receive different cultural messages.

A lot of African-American females are taught independence — and independence from men — until they have achieved success. African-American males are told success goes hand in hand with dating — at least those are the messages they are hearing. Data shows that white females are told success and family go hand in hand and success may take a backseat to family,” said Phelps, a single black woman in her mid-30s. “I personally think it's a coping mechanism. African-American women are delving into opportunities for success to deal with not having a partner.”

Organizers are hoping that this year, the loving union of President Barack Obama and the First Lady will inspire other African American couples to put marriage before the baby carriage. Info on the national event is available at

Here in Wisconsin, is participating in a Black Marriage Day event at Milwaukee Metropolitan Baptist Church this Sunday from 5:00 - 9 pm. If you would like to attend or want more information contact Angela Robbins;;

If you are attending a Black Marriage Day event, tell us about your celebration. We'd love to hear your story!

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