Is Mr. Right White, Green, Red, Yellow & Other Colors of the Rainbow…?
“It’s not that easy being green,
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves,
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold,
Or something much more colorful like that.”
Kermit the Frog in “It’s Not Easy Being Green”
I remember hearing that song in my childhood, and it really touched me because I felt so very different as the lone black girl in my class for some time at Pathway Christian Elementary School. Fast forward 30 or so years later, and I’m still different and tragic as I’m a single black woman (yes, I have a manfriend, but I’m not married). Apparently, we are the most unmarried women on earth, and everyone wants to study us, dissect us and write endless stories about us…And so we are the focus of another article in the Wall Street Journal written by Ralph Richard Banks, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, in which he suggests that more of us would get married if we broadened our horizons by dating men of other races – namely white men…
Don’t get me wrong…I’m a journalist, and I understand having to write about the topic of the day…It just makes me feel a bit defensive when we have been the topic for the last two years…and I’m not entirely sure that women of other races are not having difficultly in this area as well…So back to the article of the day…Below are a few points from the article that I found interesting…
Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals. Three in 10 college-educated black women haven’t married by age 40; their white peers are less than half as likely to have remained unwed.
Black women confront the worst relationship market of any group because of economic and cultural forces that are not of their own making; and they have needlessly worsened their situation by limiting themselves to black men. I also arrived at a startling conclusion: Black women can best promote black marriage by opening themselves to relationships with men of other races.
A desirable black man who ends a relationship with one woman will find many others waiting; that’s not so for black women.If many black women remain unmarried because they think they have too few options, some black men stay single because they think they have so many. The same numbers imbalance that makes life difficult for black women may be a source of power for black men. Why cash in, they reason, when it is so easy to continue to play?
The prevalence of relationships between professional black women and blue-collar black men may help to explain another aspect of the racial gap in marriage: Even as divorce rates have declined for most groups during the past few decades, more than half of black marriages dissolve.
What would happen if more black women opened themselves to the possibility of marrying non-black men? To start, they might find themselves in better relationships. Some professional black women would no doubt discover that they are more compatible with a white, Asian or Latino coworker or college classmate than with the black guy they grew up with, who now works at the auto shop.
And in case you have never heard Kermit’s song, check it out here…