Dear Black Women,
A black man isn’t likely to commit to you. Why you ask?
Stop what you’re doing and google the phrase “Why don’t black men get married.” What you’ll find is a disturbing list of articles discussing the black man’s inability to commit and subsequently marry a black woman. At first glance, it’s easy to chalk up such ideas as bigoted stereotypes that have plagued African-Americans for decades. Emotion automatically drives us to a place of dismissal when we read headlines similar to the one above, but all stereotypes stem from a place of TRUTH. A black man isn’t likely to commit to you simply because a large portion of them are “missing.”
A New York Times article digs deeper into the disparaging statistics and gives a very thorough explanation of why black men just don’t commit.
According to the article, for every 100 African-American women from the age of 24 to 54 not incarcerated, there are only 83 African-American men. This means on an average there are 1.5 million black men missing from society and from the lives of eligible women. In stark contrast, there are 99 white men for every 100 white women not incarcerated.
This obvious gap between the number of black women and men in our society can be the reason for many of the issues that plague predominantly black communities as many of these communities are left without men to be fathers to children and husbands to wives.
In cities like Ferguson, MO, the number of missing black men is even greater than the national average. For every 100 black women in Ferguson who are not incarcerated, there are only 60 black men. In New York alone there are 118,000 missing black men. This means that 43% of black men in the city of New York are incarcerated or have died from illness, violence or wartime casualties.
African-American women who have the desire to date or marry a black man are left with a very small pool to choose from and in turn end up becoming competition among other women who are also seeking companionship and commitment from this same small gender pool. The African-American woman is now more likely to become “independent,” taking on many gender roles and responsibilities that in the past were intended for the men.
This also has an adverse effect on how the remaining black men view relationships. According to research by economist at the University of Chicago Kerwin Charles, the “missing-men” theory has caused lower marriage rates and higher rates of childbirth outside marriage.
“Men seem less likely to commit to romantic relationships, or to work hard to maintain them,” Said Charles.
He won’t commit because he has options, and as bad as this sounds it’s the hard and ever present reality. The imbalance between the genders has forced women to rely on themselves and have made men less likely to take a relationship serious because of the abundance of potential suitors.
The systemic relationship problems that plague our community derives from a larger issue which is that 1 out of every 6 men are absent from society.
A black man isn’t likely to commit to you. Not because he doesn’t love you, but because he just isn’t allowed. Almost 1 in 12 black men between the ages of 25 to 54 are behind bars. This means less dads, less brothers and, less sons to love on.
Whether you believe in dating outside your race or opening up your arms to a man who just isn’t your type, the fact that a large portion of our men cannot participate in society should sting more than the rigors of single life. Ending mass incarceration could help change things for the better. If a black man isn’t in jail and loves himself, he can love his woman the way she deserves to be loved.