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”

Hello World,

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.

Any thoughts?

And in case you have never heard Kermit’s song, check it out here…

~ by jackieholness on August 10, 2011.

6 Responses to “Is Mr. Right White, Green, Red, Yellow & Other Colors of the Rainbow…?”

  1. My niece, who is white, is married to a black man. No one in our family seems distracted by this. Is it an issue with black women to cross racial lines?

    I have many friends, both black and white, and yes, some green ones too, Jackie! ;o) The interesting thing to me is that my black friends are more apt to make comments about our differences, while I seem oblivious to them. One friend told me that I was the nicest white woman she knew. I wondered why she had to make note of my color.

    It is in our similarities where I relate to, and love all my friends and family.

    This isn’t the first time you’ve blogged on single black women, Jackie. Why is it such an issue? Many women are choosing to stay single these days. Both my sons are choosing to stay single (one is in a relationship and one is not – Jackie, one is spoken for, but the other is very handsome and I’d be happy to introduce you, should your relationship with your man-friend cease to exist!) He’s in southeast Asia right now, but will be home for Thanksgiving, God willing.

  2. Well, I think it’s an issue for black people because of our history in the U.S., but attitudes are slowly shifting – even for black women…I write about relationships so much because it’s an interesting topic, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel good to be “singled out” in so many “woe is me” articles…as far as people choosing to stay single, it is an appropriate choice, but it is different when that is forced upon you because of statistics, attitudes, etc. …and thanks for the offer about your son, but R. is handsome…but I might keep your offer in mind for some of my friends!

  3. I remember my former pastor in New Jersey, who was Italian, saying this in response to criticisms of the interracial pairings in our church. “It’s hard enough finding someone you love who loves you back to worry about what color they are.”

    Totally agree …

    • I know that’s right…but at the same time, it would make me feel weird to have to explain various cultural things like why I wear a scarf on my head at night or don’t wash my hair every day or every other day…

  4. Jackie, I loved Professor Reynolds article because he was telling the plain ole truth. Black men never limit themselves to black women. Never. They have choice and they take advantage of them. Why should black women? If we want to get married and have more choices, we HAVE to date outside of our race. The numbers do not tip in our favor for us to restrict ourselves to only black men. Professor Reynolds made a good point about looking for compatablity in a life mate. Compatability does not always mean race. Education, socio-economic status, life experiences, profession and religion are also very important factors.

    Gerri, if Jackie does not want to meet your son, I will! LOL!

    • Toicha, I’m open to love anywhere you find it, but men are men – good ones and bad ones in any race…marrying a man of another race doesn’t guarantee that it will be a good marriage or relationship – ask Halle Berry…or Garcelle Beauvais…That being said, I’m happy to help you meet Gerri’s son 🙂

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