Ralph Richard Banks tackles the question, “What are so many Black people single?” Statistics show that we’re the most unmarried race in the country, and Banks does a great job examining the reasons and issues within the Black community that have led to the marriage decline and the destruction of the family dynamic: high incarceration rates, man sharing (not here for that), lack of education, struggling economics, Black men preferring the single life, etc (oddly enough, homosexuality wasn’t mentioned…hmmm). A majority of Black women are faced with either “marrying down” (which comes with its own set of issues), or never marrying at all.
But many of us already know this. What set’s Banks’ book apart from every other book about Black relationships is his solution to the problem: Black women should consider interracial dating and marriage. Black women are more apt to marry down” than “marry out” but Banks believes that if more Black women were to open their hearts to other races, the marriage decline would come to a halt, or at least slow down.
I’m not completely sold on his solution, but the chapters on why Black women should become more open-minded when choosing a mate did change my perspective on dating others. I think though that the title is this book is very misleading. It is not so much about marriage being for white people, but more about Black women needing to venture outside of the race if they really want to get married. And though I am very much for women actively pursuing their own happiness and love, I kind of agreed with another reviewer of the book who felt that Black women are always told to do x,y,z to secure successful relationships, while Black men aren’t included in the discussion, or expected to participate in rectifying such a dire situation.
My book club had a grand time discussing this over empanadas and drinks, pushing our meeting an hour and 15 minutes over our usual time. It definitely provided for a hot conversation piece. I’d love though, to see what men think about the author’s conclusions.