Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ralph Richard Banks

Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks is the author of Is Marriage for White People?: How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.

From his Q & A with David Kaufman at Time magazine:

How is marriage faring among the black middle class?

Not well — particularly for black women. Typically, the more educated the woman, the more likely she is to marry. But a college-educated black woman is no more likely to have a husband than a poor Caucasian woman with barely a high school diploma. When it comes to forming a family, black women are not reaping the benefits of advanced education — nor are they passing those benefits onto the next generation.

There are plenty of black men out there, so what's keeping these women single?

Part of the answer lies in the gender imbalance within the black community — where two African American women graduate from college for every one African American male. Despite this imbalance, there is still enormous social pressure on black women to only marry black men — to "sustain" the race and build strong black families. And this means marrying black men even if they are less educated or earn less money. In short, no matter the personal cost, black woman are encourage to marry "down" before they marry "out."

"Down before out" — ouch! That sounds like a pretty harsh indictment.

Well, this has become...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue