Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Book Encourages Black Women To Explore Interracial Relationships



Harvard professor Ralph Richard Banks may step on some toes with his new book: ‘Is Marriage for White People?’ The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Banks argues that “The percentage of black children born to unwed parents exceeds 70 percent not because single women are getting pregnant more often, but because black women are so much more likely to be single. Unwed childbearing is yet another consequence of the marriage decline.”

Whereas Black men, Asians, and Latinos are more likely to marry outside their race, Banks argues that Black women are not marrying because they are limiting themselves only to a specific race: the Black race.  He adds that Black women face challenges to finding a partner which include “high male incarceration rates, interracial marriage, which limits the pool of eligible men for middle-class, college-educated black women, and economic trends that have benefited women more than men (and that are much more pronounced among African-Americans).”

Although the pressure to marry within one’s race is diminishing, Banks said “Black women are seen as having a special responsibility to black men and to restore the black family, but those efforts are counterproductive and have been unsuccessful.” Of Black women Banks said: “They end up not marrying out but within the race.  A majority of college-educated black women who do marry, marry a less-educated man.”  He also states that less-educated Black women are less likely to marry.  He added: “At the core of the problem is that nearly twice as many black women as black men graduate from college.  So what are educated black women going to do when there are only half as many black men in their college classrooms or professional environment?”

Banks said if he had a daughter, he would encourage her to date interracially.  Speaking about the book, he said:  ”Part of the reason I wanted to write the book was to change the conversation – to enrich and deepen it.  It is a sad commentary that if it were written by a [white person] it would not be so well received.”

“The same forces that undermine marriage for African-Americans are actually in operation throughout American society and are reshaping or undermining marriage for everyone” Banks added. “One of those forces is that men are doing less well relative to women, and we see it starkly among African-Americans but also among whites. . . The economy has disproportionately hurt men.”

Banks also talks about the positive example set by the Obamas.  He said: “As African-Americans, they are extraordinary in the most ordinary way: They are a married couple raising their children together.”  The book raises a unique question about Black women and marriage.  Banks said his goal is to help “give black women the freedom to make decisions that are right for them.  That will often entail crossing the race lines.”

Shani K. Collins is a freelance writer.  You may visit her at


Anonymous said...

WOW. If you can't see how much we are in trouble as a people, then this article is tailor-made for you.

Our movement as a people has been overtaken and destroyed by those who mean us no good. We sought to integrate with people who have never seen, nor do not see, us as equals.

We as a people are damaged-what says that marrying into another race will totally end the problems in our community?!? They won't, unless you see our problems as something the Almighty white husband or wife can cure.

Believe me, the problems that you have as a person will follow you into whatever relationship you enter into, so take stock of yourself, and realize that there are just as many unmarried black men as there are black women.

Get rid of lists-they're shallow. Have solid standards, and understand that you can find a mate that has a few dings and scratches, yet you may have a few dings and scratches, too-and that's OK.

Marriage is all about growing together, and 50% f all marriages end up in divorce. Whatever marriage you enter into is going to take a lot of work, so roll up your sleeves and prepare for a big job.

Stop listening to Oprah and all those unmarried advisors. Notice that she's a billionaire, yet she has NO Heirs?? And she's giving marriage, relationship and child-rearing advice? Please...

You've got to live your life. They have an agenda, and it doesn't fit us as a people or as a community.

Vic said...

My only concern for my children is to marry the opposite sex who is in love with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

The first comment hit the nail on the head!

MadysiinJournals said...

I agree with this article for the first time in my life this year. I've never agreed on interracial anything until now. This article along with it's contents are headon. I'm a black female from a family with indian and asian mixture and I've always desired to remain with a black man. The black male however for years has treated me different and only looked at me for my beauty, and mind and then a sex toy after those compliments. When I reject them for their invitations, I'm tossed away like I've done them wrong. Experiences with being approached by other races such as mexican and latino has always been sexual in nature and I have to run as fast as I can. In the area of caucasian men, I've run into 50/50 split. There are the ones who are corporate who only want to experience a black woman in the sexual content, and then there are the sad and sloppy ones, and the ones who are suave and also only want what they call you "chocolate" for. So where do you go, and what do you do at this point? I'm highly intelligent. I don't walk around half naked. I don't have a flip mouth. I'm almost ready to graduate with an English Literature degree and discussing going back for a Law degree. So tell me, is a pet poodle in my sight down tne road for me as " womans best friend". At this point, it is a great option. M

Anonymous said...

I would call this book a book on black disunity. Encouraging black women to get involved with the ancestors of our masters.

Anonymous said...

When someone affirms or denies something using race as a factor, that person has committed an act of racism. This book is racist. Black females have the highest percentage of HIV. Who do you think is giving them diseases? Not Black men because they don't sleep with Black men. So when a suggestion like this one is made, it tells Black women to jump out of the pan into the fire.

Anonymous said...

I am a Black man who does now and always has seen women of all races. Anonymous said is a racist, to leave ANYONE out is racist.Equal opportunities for ALL. Black women are getting aids from trifling black men who are bi sexual and not willing to be honest, like Eddie Long in Atlanta.

Droid said...

The man that wrote this book is a sellout. He's taking advantage of a real problem in the black community to line his own pocket. He's a traitor of the highest order!

Most black women will see right through this, those who are part of the "swirler" movement will find validation for their actions.

The women who will stereotype their own people by virtue of a few bad experiences deserve whatever they get.